Monday, June 11, 2012

It's A Small World, Sometimes!

On a mission it's rare to bump into someone you know from home. Brock had a wonderful encounter with his long time bishop who happened to be vacationing in Lincoln City.

Brock with his boyhood bishop Ted Hill and wife Becky on a deck overlooking the coast.  It was a random meeting!
Sunday we had meetings and church, and holy cow after sacrament I stand up and am walking around talking to people, I look over and I see my old bishop sitting there with his wife! :) It was awesome! Bishop Hill and his wife, Becky! :) I was so stoked so i just grabbed him and they were as shocked as I was! It was awesome to talk with them, and set up a time later in the day to go have dessert!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Life On The 101!

This is Brock and Elder Hatton with the Hansen family on Memorial Day 2012.  Jackie Hansen, the mom, took this
shot with the caption:  "Memorial Day keeping the kids in line at the Hansen's."  (Thanks, Jackie!) 
It's been busy, kind of overcast but today has been pretty warm and great!:)
Tuesday we had a lesson with the Davenports.  They're doing well.  They are still sad about their cat dying, but they are doing much better.  We went over there and had a great lesson on the Plan of  Salvation and answered their questions.  They have been going through some family struggles and so it was just great to sit there and talk with them and help them out in anyway we can. The bishop was awesome,  just being there to help them and letting them know that he was there if they needed anything!  Then we had a lesson with Bailey.  She is doing really well and getting stoked for her baptism on the 22nd of June. Crazy how fast things are coming up!  We read with her and answered a few of her questions.  Later we had a lesson with  Roberto! He is a Spanish investigator. Haha! Elder Hatton and I both were Spanish missionaries for only six weeks but it's fun teaching him. We had an awesome lesson with him and read 3  Nephi 11 and had a good discussion.  We invited him to be baptized on the 22nd and he said, "I have been waiting for you to ask!"   He is really an awesome humble guy. He is a chef at a restaurant here in town, and is looking for a new job because his boss is very racist against him and is just very rude! I don't understand how you could even be rude to this guy, he is just so humble and nice! The lesson went really well and he is just such an amazing person.  That night we had a lesson with the Koceas again. We taught them about the Gospel of Christ.  They really liked the lesson and the wife Corrine is trying to get work off so that she can be baptized along with the kids!  We have really gotten close with them. So... they have the same dog that's on "Anchorman" and we call it Baxter! Everytime we go there this dog just goes crazy hyper on us, and just wines and wines because it is so excited to see us. It's so funny! I will have to record it tomorrow when we go over there! Haha!
Wednesday we walked the 101 to talk to people. Most of them were tourists but it was alright! We did some service for the Grovers and helped them put their garden in.  They have a huge garden, with all sorts of stuff, so that was fun! :) We had dinner with the Kartchiners, an older,  super cute couple. They were pretty funny! they built their house and they have this huge swing.  Biggest swing I have ever seen.  You go like 30 feet in the air! It's legit! :)
Thursday we went over to Jorges, the gun expert, and had a great lesson with him and his wife.  We read with them and answered some of their questions then Jorge took us down and showed us some of the big guns he has, including a .50 caliber machine gun. Then we had a lesson with George and Alisha. They are going through a really rough time right now.  They have a lot of medical bills and George has a pump in his head along with a titanium plate from a flash bang gernade that went off in his hand when he was in the military. But he is a really awesome guy.  We also collected toys from other families in the ward and gave them to their kids because they're really tight on money and don't have a lot!  They are doing really great and enjoying church! Alisha is getting baptized on June 22nd, so they are pretty stoked! :)
Friday we had some great lessons! We had another lesson with Sierra and her kids.  It was awesome, we're just helping her with what we can.  I can only imagine being a single parent raising kids! But she does a great job. The kids really love the lessons and they bring us cookies!  

Saturday we had a lesson with Greg who is getting baptized on the 16th of June! He is doing really well and has been taught everything and is stoked for his date. He knows that it's what he needs and wants to do. He has been though a lot of heart break with things in his family! He is an awesome guy and has come a long way, use to be an alcoholic and and a big smoker.  He has been clean for about 3 years now! He knows the church is going to be something that will keep his feet planted, so I am happy for him that he has found what's working for him! :)
Sunday we had church. There were 400 plus people there.  It was pretty packed with everyone in town!
Today we BBQ'd on the beach and have just been chilling out enjoying the sun!
Well love ya! Hope all is well and be safe!
Love, Brock! :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Life In Lincoln City! Monkies, Dogs and The Work!

Brock really wanted to stay in Winston to finish his mission because he and his companion Elder Ewell had several people ready for baptism.  He really grew to love the people there!
Brock with the Beckinhaur family in Winston. He has a great love for the people he serves!
We're happy to report Brock loves his new assignment in Lincoln City and has already grown close to the people.

Things are going great.  No worries.  The beach is amazing! The area is way cool and the people here are all so ready to be baptized!
Tuesday we tracted.  Some of these houses I kid you not are the biggest thing I have ever seen. I guess that's what you get when you live in an area designated to tourists! Haha! But it's really cool, and I enjoy it.  It's so beautiful.  We had dinner with the Rehnes, a recent convert family.  I enjoyed getting to know them.  Elder Hatton  and I were so hungry, and the pasta they made was bomb! Later we taught a man named  Roberto, he only speaks Spanish.  Brother Nightingale and I were able to teach him but my Spanish was pretty rusty so I  wasn't much help. We will set a date with Roberto  next week for baptism so we're stoked about that.  We also had a lesson with a girl named Sierra! She is 25 and has two kids, a  single mother, and  a member of the church but not active.  She wants to get back into the church and learn everything again.  So we taught her the restoration which went really well and we set another appointment to meet back up with her later on in the week.
Wednesday we woke up and ran on the beach. It is so nice to wake up and smell the ocean, just that fresh ocean smell is amazing. I love it! :)   We have a dog that lives with us.  It's a wolfdog and  is so funny, haha it runs on the beach with us and it literally is the biggest baby in the world.

Apollo, the third companion at the Lincoln City beach house!
     After our workout and study time we did some  finding.  We had a lesson with a guy named Adam who just got out of prison and has a pretty crazy past!  He has been a member his whole life but fell away and now he really wants to change.  We taught him and read with him for a bit. He is a pretty cool guy, just needs a bit of help to stay on the right track.  After our lesson with him we went and contacted a bunch of people to try to get to know them so we can get the work going!  We had an awesome lesson with the Davenports, a really cool family. We set a date with them and just talked about some of their concerns.  They have an 8 year old kid who has severe autism, so it's really hard on the family sometimes, but he is an amazing kid. The parents are going to get baptized on the 16th of June! :) Then we went over to the Koceya family's house.  They are  a part member family and we read with them.  We're working with the wife and kid.  They actually just moved from Sandy, Utah. Imagine that!  It was a great lesson! :)
Thursday we did some finding in the morning, had lunch and then volunteered at the food bank.  It was really cool to help people out and give them the things they needed.  I love doing things like that. Later we met a guy named Jorge. He has every gun imaginable and has a shooting range in his backyard.  We taught and read with him.  That evening we had dinner at Elder Cooper's  aunt's house, and they have a pet monkey.  It's funny!  It tried to attack me through his cage!  I got a good laugh out of it. 

Shane, the monkey, who tried to "attack" Brock.  They're probably good friends now!

We had a lesson with Alisha and her husband, another family we are working with! The father is a member but his wife is not.  They are really cool.  We read with them and talked about the restoration!
Friday we did some service and then spent our time contacting people and just setting things up for next week.  We also did some finding, haha we just walk down the 101 and talk to people. It's pretty fun on weekends because there are a lot of people there!  We had a lesson with Melissa. We sat down and read with her.  She has a blood clot in her head so that's not good at all!  We feel really bad for her, especially since she has two little kids! She will be leaving for a month to go live with her mom so she can take care of her and her kids, so hopefully things get better for her.  Later we met our ward mission leader and correlated.   Our ward mission leader is a pretty cool guy.  He is a dentist and down to earth!
 Saturday we had a lesson with Gregg Wescott. He has been investigating the church for awhile now, but we had a really good lesson with him and set a baptism date with him for June 16th as well. He has been through a lot with his family so he is pretty excited for baptism! We had dinner with the bishop!  He is really cool and other members of the ward were there also so it was nice to get to know people!  They all have these huge houses right out on the beach! After dinner we went to a few lessons with the bishop. We  had another lesson with Sierra and the Koceyas.
Sunday we had our meetings and I gave a talk in sacrament meeting, so that was fun! Everyone said they enjoyed it! haha! So hopefully they did! After church we had a lesson with Bailey! She is 14, and we had the lesson at the Hansen's house!  We talked to her about her baptism coming up and how she felt about things and then read a few chapters and re-taught the restoration!

That's pretty much my week, super busy but really fun! We're really working hard and just enjoying every second we have out here! The people here in Lincoln City are really great!
Well, I hope all is well! 
Love, Brock

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Elder Bird Gets Special Assignment!

Just when we thought Brock would finish his mission in Winston, Oregon, President Young gave him a "special assignment" to open a new area in Lincoln City, a beautiful coastal town.

Lincoln City coastline, Brocks new and last area.

  This is Brock's first assignment along the coast so it should be an awesome place to complete his mission.  By the way, it was wonderful to talk with  Brock on Mothers Day.  He sounds great, is  enjoying the work and he is excited to come home on June 28th but says he's going to make the best of the time he has left!  Here's his last email (the week before Mothers Day):

There is a clean car competition in the mission and the winners get 50 dollar gift cards, so I need the money and decided if I washed our mission car like I do my own, I would win!:) HAHA!  In the meantime (Tuesday) we had an appointment with Brandon Waddell.  He is doing great!  We read with him and then went to dinner at the Simpson's house!  I love that family! Patrick,  the dad, and I have so much in common, were like the same person! :) They made enchiladas and they were sooo bomb! After dinner we just went and contacted a bunch of people and then read with the Athertons!

Wednesday we had zone conference in Eugene. It was actually my last zone conference so that was wierd. Then they gave the prizes away for the cars! Guess who won the 50 bucks? Yes, me haha! I needed it!

Elder Bird and Elder Ewell won the clean car competition worth $50!

After zone conference we had an awesome lesson with Amber. She is loving church and is stoked for her baptism!

Thursday we did some finding in the morning had some lunch and then just did some more finding and contacting. We had an awesome lesson with Troy,  one that he really needed! He has has been going through a lot with his daughter but he just said that this is what he really needs right now! He is an awesome guy and does a lot of great things. He has come such a long way in his life.  After that we went over to the Athertons and helped them rip down a shed. We have been helping them a lot in their yard!  Never thought I would say this, but I love yard work! :) Haha! We also had a great lesson with Taliti.  He is doing really well.  Their dad is the football coach at the high school, so we talk football quit a bit. They are a really awesome family and I have just really grown close to them! :

Friday we had a lesson with Memory and Steph. Memory is getting ready for her baptism next week, so I am excited for her.

Saturday we had our AP correlation then helped Billy rip out blackberry bushes and get their yard ready for tilling. We met with this woman named Cammie.  She is really cool. We just started teaching her, and she has just been really looking for things to help her out in her life.  She lives alone with her daughter and they are going through some struggles, but we had an awesome lesson with them and they're coming  to church next week.  We had dinner with Billy and Stephanie Atherton, they took us out to the Rodeo Steak House!) Haha!  It was boss!
Elder Bird and Elder Ewell getting ready to down those ribs at the Rodeo Steak House in Roseburg!
After that we went and taught the  Lancasters. They are doing great!  Haha,  gotta love that family! So entertaining. They're such goofs!
Sunday we had church and a lesson with Taliti and then we went out and contacted some people and did some finding! We gave Brandon the sacrament.
(Monday-P-day)  I had to find a doctor to give me a tetnus shot because I stepped on a rusty nail about three days ago.

Things are going great!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hard Labor, A Labor of Love!

      Tuesday we went to Eugene for specialized training and we were there pretty much all day.  After that we headed home and only had a little time to visit a few people.
     Wednesday was pretty busy.  We did some finding in the morning.  We went and saw Troy and down and read with him.  He is doing awesome! His daughter was in town so we got to meet her, she was pretty chill.  We had a really good lesson with a new investigator we have been teaching.  Her name is Amber and she works at the school district as a councilor.   She grew up Lutheran and  has really struggled with a lot of the doctrine she grew up with and has  been looking for more! We  taught her about the Restoration and  answered a lot of her questions. It went really well.  She said  everything we taught her made complete sense and it's something that she really wants in her life, so we set a baptismal date with her for May 19th! :)   After that we had dinner with the Jacintos  Such a funny couple! I love them!  Brother Jacinto worked for NASA for a really long time and told us all these cool stories about every space launch.  He's writing a book about them all!   After dinner we saw a few people and read with the  Athertons. Everything is going really well there.  We moved Memory's baptismal date to May 12th,  so she is pretty stoked about it!

Myrtle Creek, Oregon.  A sample of the country Brock gets to see on the road.
Thursday morning we did some finding and then drove down to Myrtle Creek to go on exchanges with South Umpqua.  I was with Elder Ringer in my area.  We had a lesson with Brandon Waddell.  He is doing better,  just getting ready for the big day and the big surgery! He's kind of nervous about it.  Afterwards we went over to Troy's and talked with him and his brother.  They are hilarious. We dinner and then went over to the  Athertons to read with them! :)
     Friday we did some finding and ran into some pretty chill people who told us to come back, so that was good! We had a lesson with Sarah.  She is getting ready for her wedding and has a lot going on! She has been reading quite a bit from the Book of Mormon. Our lessons have gone really well and she is always excited when we come over.

Elder Bird was impressed with the green trees and rolling hills of Camas Valley, Oregon.

 After our lesson with her we exchanged back and then had to drive to Camas Valley for dinner, way out in the middle of the boonies, but it's really pretty over there, nothing but rolling hills of green tall trees! We read with the Athertons and the Van Ackers.  HaHa,  get those two families together and you're in for a treat.  They're pretty funny! We played some games with them and then went home and crashed.
     Saturday was a lot of hard work. We were at the Athertons cutting down trees, and ripping out fence all day.  It was 90 degrees.  I got fried.  We went over to the Simpson's house to see Wylie.  Patrick and his wife were so we just talked with them and then we all drove to Taco Time and ate. It was pretty fun!
     Sunday was just crazy! We had stake conference, then stake correlation, and lunch right after that. We had a lesson with Talati. He is doing really well, super stoked about his baptismal date and has been really busy with all the sports and stuff he and his brother are doing.  We had a great lesson. Sepha and Talati are so funny. We had another lesson with Amber. We taught her about the Plan of Salvation and she just loved it. It was a really good lesson and she is just so solid with everything! She has three dogs though and oh my gosh haha! One is a chihuahua,  like 3 months old, smallest thing I have seen, a black lab, and a toy poodle! The toy poodle just yaps and wants to play 24/7. It's a little black ball of energy haha!  It always gives us a laugh when we see it since it just runs around as fast as it can! haha! We had dinner with the Beckinhauers which is always fun.  Their 3 year old son is my little buddy.  He just folows me around and says the cutest things.  Jennifer, his mom said, "I have never seen him take to anyone the way he takes to you! Only his father and grandfather!" He is a cute kid! I love him! When we left there we had a lesson with Memory and that was our evening and week!
     Things here are going well. Signing up for classes this week! :)  I love you and will send pics next week! :)

Love you,

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Elder Bird Trains New Zone Leader!

(From Ron Bird)
I had the pleasure to speak on the phone with President Mark Young.  It is great to hear that Brock is doing so well and has been given a very important assignment to finish his mission.  Brock was sad to see his great companion Elder Cooper transferred, but he's excited to have his new companion Elder Ewell.  He's only been out six months but President Young has called on Brock to train him as a new zone leader as his "last hurrah!"  President Young said Brock has been an exceptional leader in the mission and that he will miss him once he goes home at the end of June.  President Young has had such a profound impact on Brock and the other missionaries. We are forever grateful to him.

President and Sister Young have a blog you can see at:
Brock showed up in some of their photos.  Here are a few!

This is at a zone leader conference on March 2, 2012.  Brock is on the back row, 10th elder from left to right.  President
Young says Brock is a frequent contributor at the training conferences.

No question, Brock loves to eat and usually one meal is one bite!  This photo
was taken at a zone conference in March.

President and Sister Young pose with the zone leaders outside the mission home in Eugene.  This is during a zone leaders'
conference on February 1, 2012.  Brock is in the middle of the back row.  What a beautiful setting.  It looks like Oregon!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Elder Bird Gets Release Date!

Brock just learned he will be released from his missionary service on June 28th.  This is about a month early so he can start school at Utah State University and be there in time for fall football camp.  Here are some of the highlights in Oregon from the last couple of weeks:

Elder Bird gives us a look at Winston, likely the place where he will end his mission.

March 12-18, 2012

Tuesday we contacted a few former investigators and actually ran into a really cool family, the Grimes family of 8 that we are now starting to teach.  They are really chill and really cool, humble people!  They live out in the middle of nowhere and Elder Cooper almost drove our car off a cliff trying to find them! :)

We had a lesson with Troy that went really well, haha he's funny, and is getting ready for his finals in his class. He is a welder, so he is under a lot of pressure because he's a little behind on his project. We had dinner and then a lesson with Brandon who is doing very well, getting ready for his bone marrow transplant at the end of the month, so he is a little nervous about that.  We went over to the Athertons and finished up with Memory's lessons.  So now we're just reading with her and reviewing things before she gets baptized!  She is doing great! Later we met up with Wylie again and went over some things we taught and he is just doing awesome! Haha,  funny kid! Got to love him! :)

Elder Bird and Elder Cooper sharing a lighter moment with Brandon at his baptism!  Brandon will soon receive the Aaronic Priesthood.

Wednesday we had a really good lesson with the Mackey family!  We set a date for them for May 5th to be baptized as a family.  It was really cool to sit down and have a nice lesson with them.  We saw Troy again and helped him around his yard a bit.  We had a lesson with Brandon who was recently baptized recently about  getting ready for the priesthood, so I  am excited for him.  We stopped over at the  Lancaters.  They are a recent convert family that got baptized back in November and it was a good visit.

Thursday we met up with Elder Jensen and Elder Sutton the assistants. I went with Jensen to teach Troy and Elder Cooper went with Elder Sutton to teach  Brother Kehne. Both lessons went really well.  Jensen was the original missionary that found Troy, so that was a nice surprise for Troy and it went really well. Elder Cooper and I did some finding after the lessons and ran into a girl named Sarah who is getting married in August, and she had been looking for a church to attend.  So we set an appointment  for  Saturday! :)

Friday we had a lesson with the Mackeys again and it went well.  We taught them the Plan of Salvation, and took a puzzle for the kids to put everything together. They really enjoyed having the lesson geared for the kids.  The are really excited about the church. We did some finding in a town called Ten Mile which is pretty much nothing haha! But we met some interesting people!  We saw the Van Acker family, a part member family and we set up an appiontment for that evening and taught Luke the non member husband! We had an awesome lesson with him. He is really cool and he really opened up to us and said he is going to start making church a higher priority in his life along with having an even stronger unity within the family! :) We were stoked! :)

March 19-25, 2012

So Tuesday we did some finding in the morning, had some lunch and then had a pretty good lesson with Troy.  I love that guy he is so funny! We have grown really close to troy and he is getting super stoked about his baptism, as am I.  A lot of people have been waiting on  Troy for awhile.  I am just glad i get to be a part of it all. We had a pretty sick lesson with the Athertons again.  The family is solid.  They're a funny group and their girls are crazy, but we have a fun time teaching them. Memory is getting ready for her baptism as well.  We're just continuing to read with her and Stephanie.  She just discovered that her iphone will read the B.O.M to her, so she was pretty stoked about that! Haha!  We also taught Wylie. \That kid is literally so funny! No joke! I love him, but he and his family are doing really well! :)

Wednesday we had a great lesson with Sarah.  She has been really excited  about church.  Her date isn't until August, so unfortunately I will miss out since I'll be home by then.  But it's still a blast to teach her and her husband Jared.   We also went and read with Stephanie and helped Billy move some stuff into the backyard because we're building a fence. We also visited with the Lancasters. Their kids are getting ready to go on Trek this summer.  Haha! Their daughter is slightly less excited about it. It was funny!
Thursday we did some more finding in the morning and then we had a lesson with Troy. He is totally changing and he was so happy that we were coming back over.  He wouldn't let the missionaries over for awhile but he loves us and reading with us. He has just been super happy lately and he said he knows it's because he has been meeting with us and feeling the Spirit. He bore his testimony to us about a few things and then we invited us over for dinner on  Saturday.

Friday we had interviews with President Young. I got my release date. It is june 28th. He basically talked about going home and he told me that where I am now is my last area and that he wants to have Elder Cooper and me  together for another transfer,  but he also wants me to train a new zone leader! It was good talking with President Young.  He is a funny guy!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Uncooked Meat And A Spiritual Feast!

Elder Bird had another baptism this past week.  Here's a portion of his play by play letter:

Tuesday was busy.  We had lessons with the Mackey family which went really well. We read and discussed the Plan of Salvation with them.  They are way stoked about the church and everything that we are teaching them. We have seen a huge difference in their family.  They're definitely more unified! :)  We contacted a lot of people, had dinner and a lesson with the Athertons. Memory is doing great.  She is getting ready for baptism and is super stoked about everything we're teaching her. It's been fun getting to know them and to see who this family was before and where they are now! :)  We had a lesson with Wylie. He is the coolest kid ever.  He's always happy and so enthused when we come over for lessons. He has really grasped onto the gospel and the things we're teaching him.
Brock in Winston March 2012.
Wednesday we did a bunch of finding in the morning and had another lesson with the Mackey family.  We also had a lesson with Troy Singlton.  Haha, he is a goof!  He's just always joking around, he is fun to teach, just really outgoing and positive.  He has come along way in the past 10 years!   We had dinner with the Roberts again.  Haha, everytime we eat there we have an adventure,  not in a bad way though! In a good way!  It seems like there is always something that goes wrong.  This time the roast didn't cook all the way through so they had to shave the outside of it to eat because it was the only part that was done, but it was really good! :)  We had a lesson with Brandon, got him ready for his baptismal interview and went over some stuff.  He was really excited. Then we had a brief lesson with Memory. We played basketball that night, it was a blast! :)
Thursday we had district meeting and then lunch.  Right after that we had our correlation with our district leader. The zone is doing really well actually!  It's doing the best in the whole mission! :) So we're happy that things are goin so well! :)  We had a lesson with brother Kehne again. He is doing well. We're  working on his stop smoking program with him, and its coming along really well.  We taught him the Gospel of Christ, and he really enjoyed it.  Later we contacted a lot of people, went to Brandon's baptismal interview and then had a really late dinner with brother Heirs and his litttle kid at McDonalds.  Haha! Gotta love Mcdonalds!  After that we had a call in conference with all the zone leaders and just talked about the work.

Elder Bird and Elder Cooper with Brandon on his baptism day (3-10-2012).

Saturday was super busy.  We wrote up the baptismal program and got everything set up. We had a lesson with Troy and then a correlation with Elder Jensen, and then another correlation with Brother Jensen. We were luckily able to fit in a few hours to go tracting and get our 12 hours for the week.  Brandon's baptism was awesome. He asked me to baptize him! He is a stud.  His mom was super stoked for it, it went really well and we had a good turn out. 

Sunday we had meetings with the ward all morning. Then we had church and later stake correlation with the stake president and his councilors over missionary work.  Later we did some tracting and picked up a new guy named Michael.  He is black and Muslim and wants to get baptized.  He's actually has taken the lessons before and said he is really excited to get the ball rollin! :)
Today (Monday) I am just resting! Haha, really tired but ready for a new week! :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

For The Love Of The People

It is so amazing to see how service to the Lord brings about mighty changes.  In this case it is wonderful to see how Brock has become devoted to others and his genuine love for the people he teaches.

So, here's my week!Tuesday we had dinner and a lesson at the Athertons with Stephanie, who just got baptized and Memory who will get baptized in a few weeks.  Our lesson went really well.  Memory prayed, and she is super excited about her baptism coming up. Afterwards weWylie's house and had a lesson with him.  We're re-teaching him everything, and honestly we have seen such a huge difference in him in the way he comprehends things.  He picks them up and understands them so much quicker now! His mom said he is doing a lot better at controlling his emotions.  If you don't remember, Wylie is autistic.  But he is the coolest kid ever.  I have a deep love for that kid, for who he is and the things he goes through.  I told him his new name is Thee Man.  So whenever I see him I ask him what his name is and he says, Thee Man! Haha! because he is thee man!

Brock taking a break on the porch of his missionary pad in Winston.
Wednesday we did a lot of finding and it turned out good.  We met Troy Singleton who is a former investigator. He has had a really rough past, has spent most of his life in prison, but has turned his life around.  The funny thing is Elder Jensen (Brock's former companion) found him almost two years ago and has been taking lessons on and off. So we sat down with him and talked for a bit, about life and the Gospel and we set a return apointment for Friday! :)  We had another lesson with the Athertons and a really good lesson with Brandon Waddell who is getting baptized on the 10th.  He starts his chemotherapy on the 12th, so he is really excited to be baptized right before he goes in.  He has been reading and praying every night and he said it has made the biggest difference in his days.  He's just has more peace and comfort as he  gets ready for his bone marrow transplant. So it was exciting to hear that from Brandon!  We played basketball later that night.  A lot of people were there as well as some of our investigators so we had a good time running around.

Thursday we had our district meeting, lunch and correlation.  Then we jetted home for a lesson with Emilio who is doing really well.  He totally cracks me up. He always has to be doing something!  We taught him the Plan of Salvation and read with him. He came to church this weekend,  so we were stoked about that. We ate dinner and then had to drive all the way back to Roseburg to do some baptismal interviews with some kids.  They were super cute, haha.  I love interviewing kids because they say the darndest things, that's for sure.  Kids are just awesome! They're so funny all the time,  and there is never a dull moment.  We drove right back to Winston to have a lesson with the Athertons. The dad has been coming back to church and we're hoping to get him to baptize his daughter. He said it's something he wants to do, and were working with him to make that happen. Since he has been coming to church and  participating in lessons he has been pumped about the church!

Friday we had a lesson with Troy.  We taught the Gospel of Christ to him and set a date for the 24th of March.  He is really excited about it and really wants to get baptized.  He is a funny guy and we have really grown close to him.  We had a lesson with Brother Kehne and his wife. She is not a member and he just came back to church since I have been here.  The lesson went really well and his wife had a lot of questions for us.  We taught her the Restoration, and she said it totally makes sense how it all works.
Saturday was all planning and corelating.  We did our weekly planning session that took forever because we are so busy! We had our correlation with Elder Jensen (AP).  There is so much going on now and the ward is excited!
We have zone leader council on Friday in Eugene. Elder Holland will be there!  Just 14 missionaries and the Spirit in the company of an apostle.  Oh gosh! 

Love you, and hope all is well!

Love Brock

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stephanie's Baptism

     It's always exciting to hear about a baptism.  Elder Bird and Elder Cooper baptized Stephanie this last week.  Here are some excerpts from Brock's last letter:
     We went and contacted some of the people who were potential investigators and some formers, to see if they were still interested in learning.  We did pick up a few people so that was really cool! But we will see how solid they are in this coming week.  We taught the Athertons as well as Stephanie, who got baptized this week.  We read with them and  planned Stephanie's baptismal program and went over a few things. We then headed over to Wylie's who got baptized the week before. Love that kid.  We talked with him and taught him and his family the restoration again.  It was a pretty busy day!

     So Wednesday was a pretty busy day too!  We did some finding in the morning and then we had a lesson with Emilio Melendez and made Pinewood Derby cars.  We didn't get too far in those few hours. It took us  three days to do it, not to mention I made mine from scratch!  when we were done there we had a lesson with Stephanie and read from the Book of Mormon.  She has really gained a testimony of it. She told us at first she started reading it as a text book, but as she kept reading she started to pay attention to how she felt.  The Spirit testified to her of the truth.  It was way cool to hear that from her!  Her family has come along way and now her step daughter has a date for the 24th of March!

    Thursday we had combined district meeting which went really well.  Elder Cooper and I taught it.  It went really well and the zone was excited!

    We had Stephanie's baptismal interview at the church on Friday.  We had weekly planning along with getting the baptismal program squared away.  We were lucky to be able to sqeeze in an appointment with Emilio. We taught him the Plan of  Salvation, and put the wheels on our cars for the ward party the next day.
Elder Cooper and Elder Bird with Stephanie on her baptism day.  (Friday, February 17, 2012)

     We headed to Roseburg, because Winston doesn't have a font, so we did it at the stake center! :)  Stephanies baptism was really good and went super well with a wonderful, spiritual atmosphere.  Afterwards we went to the Reed house for kind of a little after baptism party. It was fun, and we got to talk to a few part member families and we're going to start teaching the Van Acker family.  We're really excited about that! :)

     Saturday we had transfer calls, so we had to do that all morning and afternoon, plan where everyone was going and how they would get there!  Later in the day we had the ward party where we raced our Pinewood Derby cars haha!  Elder Cooper and I were the judges and our cars did very well!  
     Sunday we had church, and a lesson with the Beburgers, a partmember family that is being taught by the sister missionaries. President gave us a special assignment to teach him and set a date. We did so!  He will be baptized June 2nd, kind of a long time,  but he wants his son to do it and he is in Alaska fishing for work and won't be back until then which gives him time to read the Book of Mormon and be a little more prepared!  After that we had a lesson with the Athertons and taught Memory their daughter about the Book of Mormon. 

Wylie's Baptism

     It's exciting to see how well the work is going in Oregon.  Elder Bird and Elder Cooper just had two baptisms and they are teaching several people!

     We had a lesson with the Mackey family! They are doing great, just still reading with them and helping them progress at there own pace.  Usually for families it takes awhile, but in due time with patience and helping them the best we can they will do what's best for them.  They have 5 little kids and I don't know what it is about me, but every kid tends to think I am a jungle gym!  Haha! After that we had Wylie's baptismal interview which went really well.
Elder Cooper and Elder Bird with Wylie on his baptism day.  (Feb. 11, 2012)
     Saturday we had Wylie's baptism, it was great!  Wylie is a champ.  It was awesome. The whole family was there and they were so happy to see him get baptized!
     Our zone is only a one district zone and is doing the best in the mission right now.  Every companionship has people with baptism dates, 16 dates for our zone!  We are really excited and President is super thrilled with our work efforts!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Miracle of Prayer!

Here's a shot with Brock and a couple of the elders in his zone while he was still in Bend.  We're still waiting for pictures
from his new area in Winston.  Elder Bird is great at putting his arms around elders to let them know he loves being around them. 

     Here's a quick update from Brock as he keeps the pace in Winston with Elder Cooper.  We're amazed and excited that the work continues without skipping a beat:
     "Elder Cooper and I are tearing it up in Winston. I enjoy meeting people and seeing how different they are. For the most part people are pretty nice here and we have some great conversations."

      "We had a lesson with Stephanie. She is doing really well and is excited for her baptism! We have grown really close with that family. They have had their struggles but they are so happy when we come over. Honestly it's just such a blessing to really see the difference the Lord makes in people's lives. After that, we went to the Wylies house to teach their son. He is such a remarkable kid! Only 12 and has autism, but he's very bright. It's so cool to see how he interacts with us. He is an awesome kid!"

    It looks like Elder Bird and Elder Cooper are teaching quite a few people who are getting close to baptism. Here's another experience:
  "We had a lesson with Marie and she is doing great. We read and talked about the importance of prayer and how much we need it in our lives! We all knelt and she prayed. It was so awesome to see her pray for the first time. She just looked so happy and peaceful! :)"
"Things are going really well. Elder Cooper and I are working hard and having fun! My testimony is growing so much!"

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A New Four-Legged Companion!

Elder Bird with another new companion in Winston.  Tiger is a baby pitbull who hangs out with Brock and Elder Cooper
in their backyard.
     Hey, we have a new dog to add to the family. Haha! Her name is Tiger and lives in our backyard. She's an abandoned baby pitbull that is the cutest thing ever. It just wandered into our backyard and has been there for awhile. She takes off but always comes back. Haha! Kinda funny! Some members are adopting her!

    Brock's first days in Winston were a little tough.  He says he had a really bad cold but he seems to be back to normal now.
Things got a lot better now that I got rid of that cold.  It's good to be back to my old self and be out and working hard! Getting stuff done! DOIN' WORK! :)  We went out in the rain to tract.  This week was pouring rain!. It literally rained for 46 hours straight!  Haha, got to love Oregon!

     We taught Stephanie Atherton, which went really well.  We set a date for her to be baptized on February 4th and she is super thrilled about it.  We  answered a few of her questions and set a few things up and then headed to Wiley's house. He is really cool.  12 years old and super thrilled about getting baptized! He is thee most amazing kid! He has a minor case of autism so his parents waited a little longer for him to decide to get baptized, but I love teaching him.  You can just see the Light of Christ beaming from him! :)

    Elder Cooper and I had a lesson with the Mackey family.  Really cool family.  They had been homeless for awhile but now they're back on their feet looking for answers and guidance in their lives.  We have had some pretty good lessons with them and they totally have enjoyed reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church.  They say they have noticed a huge difference in their life as they have done so.

   We stopped at Taco Time and grabbed some free food from Brother Bechinhower!  He is soooo cool. I love that guy.  Later we had to do some finding and contact different people. then we had to drive all the way to Sutherline to do a baptismal interview which went really well and was fun to do! :) To see these people so excited to get baptized just makes the work totally worth it! :)

    We came in contact with Brandon, a really cool kid who looks like Sean White, so we got to know him and talked about the Gospel. His parents just got baptized a year ago and he has been coming to church with them and has loved it.  He is 15 and just told us he is ready so we set a date for him to be baptized on the 28th! :)  We're really excited for him!

     Brock sent more pictures from his time in Bend.  Here are a couple we wanted to share.

Elder Bird and Elder Lyon with Brother Marsh and Michael, who was baptized
not long before Brock left Bend.

Elder Bird calls these elders the "Bend Crew." 

 I love you hope all is well! :)

Be safe,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Brock Transferred to Winston!

Brock got the word that he would be transferred to Winston, a small town near Roseburg in Southwestern Oregon. He will serve as a zone leader alongside his new companion Elder Forrest Cooper from Layton, Utah:
     So, getting transferred to be a zone leader in Roseburg and will be serving in Winston with Elder Cooper who has been out 6 months!   I leave Wednesday!

Winston, with a population between 2,000-3,000 people
is next to Roseburg.  It is in a beautiful area with
magnificent water features and not all that far from the coast.

While Brock says he's looking forward to serving with Elder Cooper, it was hard to leave Bend where he became close to the ward members and the people he taught and baptized.
     Sunday was a bittersweet day.  It was fast and testimony meeting and the whole ward pretty much got up and shared their testimonies.
Elders Lyon and Bird with Thomas and Romey Baker on their baptism day on Thanksgiving weekend.
Just one of the many wonderful memories in Bend.
     They thanked Elder Lyon and me for all we've done for the ward and their families.  It was super emotional and super spiritual!  The Bishop cried when I told him I was leaving.  But it was a good Sunday because we had had a baptism!!!  A lot of people came!  I am very grateful to have served in this ward and area. I have learned so much and truly have experienced my own real growth in the process. The baptism was awesome!

Bend was also a great place for P-day activities.  How about snow shoeing?  Brock loved it!
      We look forward to hearing about more incredible experiences from Brock's new assignment in Winston-Roseburg!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Jelly Fish, Santa Imposter, And Dinner Surprise!

     The hoilidays are over, but you gotta see this!  Guess who?

Yes, this is Elder Bird filling in for Santa.  He helped deliver presents to boys and girls in
one of the Bend wards.
     The work continues to go forth in Bend.  Brock and his companion have been blessed and are preparing for yet another wonderful baptism.
     We had a lesson with Micheal Masters who is getting baptized this weekend! He is a really cool chill guy.  We have taught him all the lessons and now we're just answering his questions. He has had some concerns but everything is going smoothly and he really is loving church! :)
     Speaking of teaching, as zone leader Brock has the opportunity to work with and teach district leaders and other missionaries in his zone on a weekly basis.  Here he is at a recent zone leaders' conference.

Elder Bird with his companion Elder Lyon and President Young.  In this shot, Brock just finished instructing a group of
elders on "real growth."
      As a missionary, there are a wealth of stories to be told.  Brock shared a couple of them.  Here's one while on a "split" with one of the district leaders:
     We had a lesson with Marc Miller, a recent convert to the church! Really cool guy. There daughter is super cute, about 3-year-s old.  I taught her the jelly fish handshake and she always comes up to me and says, "Jelly fish!"  And we do the hand shake, haha! :)
     Another story, but this one is downright awkward:
     We had dinner with this family. It was the most awkward dinner of my life! Everyone was quiet, the food was... well,  I don't even know what it was! But their daughters we just staring at us. We would look up and they would look away!  Then the 14-year-old daughter apparently thought the dog was under the counter, but nope, it was my feet.  She kept trying to message them with her foot, and I was like, "Ummm.... that's not the dog, that's my feet.  She was super embarrassed, but it's all okay!  Hah!
     Finally,  we never knew Brock was a composer, choreographer and dancer. 

Elder Bird on the right cloaked in a "Holy Bible" and a cast of Elders perform for President and Sister Young at a
recent zone conference.  We're not sure if "We're Elders and We Know It" will hit Broadway anytime soon!