Something that stood out to me this week in my studies was Isaiah 41:10. It was the inspiration for one of the verses of How Firm a Foundation. I really love the powerful words of "Fear thou not; for I am with thee... for I am thy God". It makes me think of "Be still and know that I am God." All things are in his control and I need not worry about every little thing. In the words of President Gordon B Hinckley, "It will all work out".

Monday, December 1, 2014

Jing got baptized!!!

November 25, 2014

 "If I were a Sister, I'd be going home tomorrow." - Elder Garriss, November 21, 2014 ‏
Well, 18 months down.  Holy cow.  Times been just flying! Anyway, what great week!! 

Jing got baptized!!! And then she came to church and was confirmed and given the Holy Ghost!!!!  What a great blessing it has been to teach her and to have been able to baptize her.  Thank you so much for your prayers for her.  I know it made a huge difference for her! She has been feeling the Spirit so strong.  President Choi even attended her baptism!!! It meant so much to her to have him there.  He spoke at the end of her baptism and talked about how he could see her posterity in the temple, and being a strong influence to the Chinese people.  She truly will be.  She has such a strong testimony.  President Choi asked her to speak at the next Member and Missionary Fireside! If I haven't explained those in the past, I will now.  The Member and Missionary Fireside (M&M Fireside) is a fireside where Recent Converts, Investigators, Less Active Members, and Members from all over the mission attend to hear Recent Converts (usually those of the last 3 months) bear their testimonies of the gospel and share part of their conversion story.  These have been growing over the past couple of months to the point that between 500-800 people attend each one.  Its practically a Stake Conference!!  Jing will be speaking at the one in December!!  She is very excited!  It will be so cool to hear her testify to that many people.

We have been struggling a bit this week outside of our great success with Jing.  We have no investigators.  We have been tracting and using our evenings to visit potentials but we have not found any new investigators yet.  That being said, yesterday we had a conference with Elder Enrique R. Falabella (a member of the First Quorum of the 70). I am so happy to have had a conference from Elder Falabella yesterday!  I learned so much and gained great revelation concerning our area and our situation.

Among the many things I learned from Elder Falabella yesterday, was to turn our Recent Converts into missionaries.  This was something that stood out to me very much.  Elder Falabella illustrated this in the story of Ammon and his Brethren from the Book of Mormon.  They are most commonly remembered as the Missionaries that converted thousands, and they did.  But it was not on their own.  A careful study of chapters 17-26 will show that those thousands that were converted came from teaching families and helping those converts become missionaries themselves.  Ammon begins his mission serving King Lamoni (Alma 17:25).  He did not wait for King Lamoni to ask him to serve, nor did he ask if he could help and say "Well, call me if you need anything."  Soon, Ammon teaches King Lamoni (Alma 18).  He then converts his wife (Alma 19:9).  Following the "Parents" are the "Children" or the servants and people of the house of Lamoni who were taught and converted but not by Ammon but by Lamoni himself (Alma 19:31).  This same pattern is extended as Lamoni shares the gospel with his Father (Alma 20: 8-15) who is converted and in turn follows this same pattern above to convert his family and his people (Alma 22-23).  And thus we see, "thousands were brought to the knowledge of the Lord, yea,thousands were brought to believe in the traditions of the Nephites;" but not solely by the missionaries but through the efforts of those who have been converted.

As we learned of these things, I could see the progress of this area overflowing with investigators ready for baptism.  I could see the testimonies of our converts growing and becoming powerful missionaries like King Lamoni - bearing testimony to their families and friends.  We have 3 recent converts in this ward, 2 of which have a great desire to do missionary work and the third is in a situation to bring the rest of his family into the church.  I know that if we start with these 3 and build up, we will have a great investigator pool and our baptisms will explode!  We will see the success that Ammon and his brethren saw.  My commitment is to study Preach My Gospel daily and to learn the doctrines in it better than ever before so that I may help these recent converts learn the doctrines of Preach My Gospel and do missionary work.  I have been neglecting to read Preach My Gospel on a regular basis and repented (starting this morning) and will continue to study it.  I am looking forward to seeing great success in this area!

Thank you so much for the support you have shown me.  I love you so much! Have a great Thanksgiving!!

Elder Connor M. Garriss

PS: For those of you concerned about the squirrel bite of last week (Mom and Dad) I have watched it closely. Don't worry, I'm fine! #EagleScout #FirstAidMeritBadge
 With Jing before Baptism
President Choi attended!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"Rosie is here to see you!!". Seeing them was such a great blessing!

November 18, 2014

"Ow!" "Did that squirrel just bite you?" "Yes!" - Elders Garriss and Egbert ‏

This week has been a fantastic week for us!! 

Jing passed her baptismal interview on Friday and came to church on Sunday! We have taught her everything and she is preparing for baptism this Saturday.  She even asked me to baptize her!!! I am so honored!! We texted all of the information about her baptism to Sister Choi and we really hope they will be able to attend.  Having the opportunity to teach Jing has been one of the greatest blessings of my mission.  We attended the Member and Missionary Fireside last night as well. She really enjoyed the fireside.  President Choi and Sister Choi even talked with her after!

We received training this week which was really important for us.  We went over Baptisms and Baptismal Services -- focusing on how to have the perfect baptismal service. We are working closely with our Ward Mission Leader as well as Jing to prepared her and help him prepare the baptism.

We had the opportunity to have interviews with President Choi this week.  I love interviews.  Its 7 minutes with President.  Its a pretty amazing experience.  I love President Choi.

I wanted to share with you an experience from this week.  It happened at the Member and Missionary Fireside last night.  After the closing prayer, we are given about 20 minutes to socialize and see members, investigators, and converts from our previous wards who attended the Fireside. I had the special experience of seeing a family from Redmond 1st.  Rosie and Roberto with their sons Roberto Jr. and Jason all attended the fireside.  Elder Kearley -- who is now serving in Redmond 1st -- found me at the fireside and quickly pulled me over to them telling me "Rosie is here to see you!!".  Seeing them was such a great blessing!  I loved working with this family.  Rosie told me that her and her family came to the fireside specifically in the hopes to see me.  Rosie bore her testimony to me and thanked me through grateful tears for all I did for her and her family.  I never knew I had done that much for them.  It turns out, it wasn't until I had been transferred that they realized the importance of all that the Gospel holds. She expressed that she never thought I would actually get transferred or would be gone.  Because I was transferred, they began to take the discussions very seriously.  They told Elder Kearley not to call but just show up so that she can't make up an excuse haha! I was so grateful to hear that they have attended church almost every week since I left! Their whole family is coming together as a stronger unit and their testimonies are growing.  Roberto has decided he wants to be active in the church, Rosie wants to be baptized and stay strong, Jason has already been baptized since I left and little Roberto Jr is just an awesome little 4 year old.  I gave them all huge hugs and gave Jason an extra one since I can't hug Rosie.  As we were driving home, a scripture came to my mind: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings; that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good; that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth;" (Mosiah 12:21).  What a blessing it is to be a missionary.  It is inexpressible the joy I felt upon seeing Rosie and her family at the fireside, in their Sunday dress, happy, and giving thanks to God.  Do missionary work.  You will feel the love of the Savior touch the lives of those around you, and as you do, you will feel the Savior's love in a greater abundance in your own life.  Sharing the gospel is not about numbers.  It is about creating relationships that will last for eternity.

I love you! I hope you have had a wonderful week.  Thank you so much for your prayers!  I really appreciate them and feel their power.  Keep being faithful! And remember - Mom, Dad, and whomever else reads this - Do missionary work.
Elder Connor Marshall Garriss

Picture: I was feeding a squirrel.  Ever since I've been here I have been obsessed with those little dudes and I finally got one to come to me! The little guy bit me (which I do have a video of) but totally worth it!

Monday, November 10, 2014

We are teaching her the last point in lesson

November 10, 2014

 "I'm trying to decide if my sock is wet or if my feet are just cold." - Elder Egbert ‏
What a great week we've had!!!  We had 3 lessons with Jing, each one in a different member's home!  She has commit to everything that we have taught her.  We finished all of the commandments this week and are almost done with the Laws and Ordinances.  We are teaching her the last point in lesson five, Priesthood and Auxiliaries/Missionary Work, tonight in a member's home.  Then we will go over her the Baptismal Interview Questions on Thursday, again in a member's home.  Her Baptismal Interview is on Friday!  She is so ready and prepared.  To top it all off, she was able to come to Sacrament yesterday.  We had been worried about that.  She has been trying so hard to get that day off and although her boss won't let her have it off yet (although she did just get a new supervisor so she will be asking again) she was able to work extremely hard and the Lord blessed her with the strength to finish work 2 hours earlier than normal and come to Sacrament.  It was a huge miracle!  She wants to meet President Choi really bad too.  She is Chinese and hasn't seen any Asian members of the church yet.  When she asked about that, we told her our mission president is Korean and she got really excited! She said she wants to try and speak some Korean to President Choi! She can't wait to hear him speak at the Member and Missionary Fireside coming up.  We invited President to come to her Baptism.  Hopefully he can make it.  It would really mean a lot to her.

Outside of Jing, we have a few potential families that we are following up with.  They seemed pretty solid.  On top of that, we were able to have 2 members come out on visits with us for an hour each! We had a ward missionary come one night and a youth on another.  The youth are excited to do missionary work!  They asked us if they could start coming out with us.  So we set up with them to have a different priest assigned to come out with us every week.  Some of the more motivated Priests want to come out with us more often than that but for the rest, it means about once every 6-8 weeks they get a missionary experience.  It was truly inspired.  The Lord is pouring out blessings upon me and my companion and this area.

Thank you for the prayers!  Please keep praying for Jing!! She's going to get baptized!!  I love you! I hope you're having a good week!!

Elder Connor M. Garriss

Friday, November 7, 2014

"Yup, I see how all that is bad for me. Okay, I'll live it." (Word of Wisdom)

November 4, 2014

No quote Monday :(
And for the first time in a year, I am not having to attend transfers! Its a weird experience haha.  Both Elder Egbert and I are staying here in Pine Lake and we are staying together.  We are both really happy.  We get a long well, work hard together, and both of us would be bummed if one or the other got transferred before Jing's baptism this month!

This week was a great week!! Halloween was pretty lame... We had to be in our apartment by 6pm and do our weekly planning from 6-9pm.  Totally lame!  We didn't even get any trick-or-treaters out where we live!  The Trunk or Treat was pretty sweet though.  We had our own booth (as it seems you already found out from Sister Gutke).  We made a "Wheel of Fortune" using Elder Egbert's bike.  It was pretty fun, and one of the more popular booths.  Got to play volleyball again this week.  That was fun! I love the opportunity to be active with ward members.

We had a wonderful lesson with Jing. We commit her to live the Word of Wisdom! She drinks coffee but as soon as we finished teaching her about the Word of Wisdom, she simply said "Yup, I see how all that is bad for me. Okay, I'll live it." We've made sure to keep daily contact with her as she begins living the Word of Wisdom. Yesterday, Jing texted us and told us that since she has stopped drinking coffee, she has been happier than ever before and her coworkers have even noticed it! She is recognizing the blessings that the Lord is pouring out upon her already! I am so excited for her baptism on the 22nd. I am a little worried because she has not attended Sacrament yet because of her work schedule. Our fast for her went well. One of her coworkers came back to work after an injury and that coworker has Sunday off so she wants to try and trade her for a few Sundays off but Jing has yet to be able to get Sunday off. She comes to church straight from work each week now. She almost made it to Sacrament this week. She requested the day of her Baptism and Confirmation off but I hope she can come to Sacrament before that. We have a lesson with Jing scheduled over at a member's home again this week and we will go over a baptismal calendar with her.  She is seriously the best person ever! I just can't believe how blessed we are to have the opportunity to teach her.

Other than working with Jing, not much is going on. We are trying to find more investigators. We had to drop everyone we were teaching but Jing and a Part Member Family because they would not allow us to schedule lessons, they weren't coming to church, and they weren't progressing. We are just putting our faith in the Lord and his ability to provide for us people to teach and baptize.

I hope you have had a great week! I love you!!

Elder Connor M. Garriss

  The Wheel of Fortune!
Our Shower - lol its slanted.


You're so welcome!  I just took this picture of them riding their bikes in the rain.  They're very patient :)
(Elder Garriss is in front).  My husband is the ward mission leader so we get to have these awesome guys in our house quite a bit.
Emily Gutke

I took these pictures of Elders Egbert and Garriss tonight at the Trunk or Treat. The idea for their booth was brilliant and they came up with it themselves. It was a huge hit!  They are great missionaries and wonderful young men!  Thanks for sharing them with us.

Emily Gutke

Hi there Janet – I’m Suzie Wiley.  Your cute son (aka Elder Garriss) had dinner at our house tonight, along with his companion Elder Egbert.  I wanted to send you these 2 pics of the guys with our dog Cato.
Your son was such a joy to have in our home and is a big asset to our ward. He shared his testimony – confident and steady – about missionary work and that if we ask the lord he will direct us to those we need to talk to.  He also shared how proud and excited he is that you have invited a family friend/neighbor to have the discussions and challenged us to do the same!
We also enjoyed hearing about his great family and his plans for the future, as well as an update on who he’s teaching!  We talked golf, BYU dorms and ate lots of tacos!!
You must all be so proud of him –my own son Calvin is serving in Spain right now! Calvin has only 4 months left and I miss him every day- but am grateful, that like your son, he is serving the Lord!
Best to you and your family!
Suzie Wiley

We had quite a few miracles!

October 27, 2014

This week has been a pretty great week!  We had quite a few miracles!

We were tracting early on in the week and found a Japanese woman who decided she wanted to learn more about the gospel and find out if God really is there.  We taught her about prayer and gave her a Book of Mormon with a few chapters to read.  She accepted a return appointment.  We dropped by the next day to let her know that the return appointment we had set was actually during our Trunk r Treat activity and that we would need to reschedule it.  She opened the door and quickly said "Ah! I haven't read yet!" We all got to laugh as we explained the situation and invited her and her family of 4 kids to the activity.  She said she would love to come and we will be meeting with her tonight.

Same street, different day.  We had a pretty big storm blowing in.  Before our tracting, I had prayed that we may find some way to avoid some of the rain.  Well, the Lord provides.  4th house into our tracting, a chinese woman opens the door and we explain who we are.  She looked at us and said "I want to believe in God. Can you teach me?"  Of course!!!! So she invited us in on the spot and (miraculously) her father was home so we could come in.  Her husband is still in China and does not get here for another week or so.  She just moved her a month ago from China.  We taught her simply the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who Jesus Christ was, why he is important, and our relationship with God.  She was so excited!  We taught her to pray and she commit to pray daily and to read a pamphlet we left with her.  We will also be seeing her tonight.

We had a surprise call from a less active member of the ward this week.  She requested a blessing.  After explaining the situation to us, we gave her one and had a chance to visit with her.  She still has a strong testimony and has decided she wants to come back.  We are working with members of the ward for fellowship.  She attended church on Sunday.

We had a dinner with Jing at our Relief Society President's house this week.  Jing is doing amazing! She is just soaking up the gospel.  We taught her the Plan of Salvation and it answered many of her questions.  She said that's already what she believes! We invited her to church.  She is still trying to get work off but said she would come to Relief Society because she will be off work at 2:30 and that starts at 3.  She did.  She loved it.  Tuesday, she will be asking for work off.  Please pray for her!! We will be praying and fasting for her to get Sundays off.

Overall, what an amazing week!  The Lord blessed us with so many miracles and so many great blessings.  I have been pondering this week my service to the Lord.  So often, we quote 1 Nephi 3:7 when we are faced with difficult tasks.  "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."  While this is true, I often fall into the snare of "I will go and do, just not right now".  While in my study this morning, I was reading in Mark.  Speaking of Simon's (who would later be named Peter) response to the Savior's call, the scriptures say "And straightway they [Simon and his brother] forsook their nets, and followed him."  I thought to myself, "Am I not only willing to go and do but am I willing to go and do now?"  This is a question I believe we all must answer in our life at some point.  I hope that we will strive to act willingly and "straightway" whenever the Master calls.

I love you! I hope you have a fun time down in Mexico! Try not to have to much fun ;)

Elder Connor M. Garriss

PS: Please thank Aunt Tanya for her lovely letter!  I really appreciated it!



"If you try, sometimes, you might just find, you get what you need!" - The Rolling Stones‏

October 20, 2014

This week has been a great week!  We had lots of physical activity (not that we don't normally on bike).  On Monday, we got to have Zone Sports day filled with Soccer and Ultimate Frisbee.  That was a blast as always! Tuesday, the Young Men invited us to play dodge ball with them and their nonmember friends for mutual as well as share a message at the end.  That was a lot of fun! I still have a decent arm haha.  Saturday night we were invited to play coed volleyball with the ward.  There weren't very many nonmembers as present but oh well, we still had a lot of fun.  And I got to see the Hansens from the Redmond 1st ward!!! Wahoo!!!

As for miracles, there were many this week.  On Tuesday, we decided to go visit Jing.  We hadn't seen or heard from her in about 2 weeks and we were worried about her so we stopped by.  Turns out she has had a pretty rough past couple of weeks.  I won't share too much because it's private but she expressed that she was pretty angry.  She was quite unhappy and at first didn't really want to listen to what we had to say.  So instead, we listened to her.  The Spirit was present and it was strong and after talking with her for about an hour and a half her entire demeanor and attitude changed.  She went from refusing to read, pray or even consider church, to committing to read 3 chapters from the Book of Mormon, praying twice daily, and coming to the Member and Missionary Fireside on Sunday!  She commented that she loved how she felt when she met with us.  We told her that was the Spirit.  We even set up a time to visit her again on Thursday.

Fast forward to Thursday.  We had a member invite her over for our discussion.  We taught Jing in the member's home and the Spirit was definitely there.  Jing and Sister Walton really connected.  We taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  At the end of the lesson, Jing looked at me and asked "Well, what do I have to do?"  Earlier that morning, Elder Egbert and I had discussed inviting her to be baptized so my response was to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized.  She accepted it.  We invited her to be baptized on November 22.  She accepted with the immediate response "How did you know?! That is the day that I become a full time employee."  Turns out, when she becomes a full time employee, she has more control over her schedule and can request time off of work (ie for her baptism!).  The Spirit was so strong.  I grew to see that the Spirit can reveal things to you that you would never know.  Often times, we don't even know why we have had that prompting or something revealed.  We did not know why we should invite her for that day but we felt strongly that we should.  We had discussed other days that seemed more reasonable but November 22 was the day we had been prompted for.  So we stuck to it.

Sunday, I had the opportunity to teach Gospel Principles.  I love to teach! I always learn something new.  I was teaching about "Developing our Talents".  This is something I have been praying to know.  What are my talents?  Talent is more than just being "good" at something.  I learned talents are something we work at.  It takes effort.  One can have a "natural talent" for sports, music, or even something like gaming.  But it is not until we exercise that desire to become better that we truly gain that talent.  If we simply know we have that ability then do not exercise it, we will lose that ability.  I gained some personal revelation on one of my talents.  I have always wanted to be a strong public speaker.  I confess, I am not there yet, but as I had the opportunity to teach to a classroom of adult-- many of which I would consider strong speakers and more intellectual than I-- the Spirit helped me see the progress I have made in the last 16 months. What a great blessing that has been for me.

I hope you have had a great week! I love you!

Elder Connor M. Garriss

"You love my Koreanglish" - President Choi‏

October 13, 2014

We had a pretty sweet week this week.  We had Zone Conference which is always a great experience.  We can learn so much.  That being said, I'm kinda tired of conferences haha I'm ready to have normal weeks of working! We got to do a lot of service this week!  We did lots of yard work with lots to come.  It was actually a really cool experience!

About 2 weeks ago, the Thuesons' invited us to teach their 8 year old daughter about baptism as she was preparing to be baptized.  This last week, we were over there helping them move a couch-- which was quite the job.  Had to get a hide-a-bed up from their first floor to their second floor by lifting it up over the balcony since it didn't fit up the stairs.  We helped with some of their yard work as well, and we will be continuing to do so this week.  Through the process of all of this service, they invited us to their daughter's baptism!  What a blessing! Then, we were surprised to be invited into the confirmation of their daughter.  That was truly a great experience and I am so thankful for their inviting the missionaries to be a part of it.  Long story short, invite the missionaries to do stuff (service, attend events, etc.) they really appreciate it!

We found a new family this week.  They were a referral from another set of Elders.  We are really excited to work with them.  Not much progress yet, but we found them!

On Saturday, the Muhlesteins' invited us over for their annual doughnut making!  They had a pretty big gathering at their home as they made their homemade doughnuts and apple fritters!  It was so good! And we got to meet some of their neighbors.

I broke both of my brake cables this week.  Sucked! So I had to drop a bunch more money on bike equipment. #biking #16months

I think that's about it for the week.  We have Zone P-Day today! Which means soccer and frisbee as a zone! Wahoo!! Super stoked for that.  I hope you've had a great week and I would encourage you to open Preach My Gospel and search through it for one small section that stands out to you and read the whole thing (including the scripture study at the bottom).  It's a great learning tool.  I love you!

Elder Connor M. Garriss

 Elder Pfister goes home at the end of this transfer!! :( He has been a great influence on me and missionary work.

  My new rain coat #hellyhansen
Doughnut making with Bro Muhlestein!

 Elder Egbert @ the Library about 15 seconds ago


WE GOT TO WATCH MEET THE MORMONS!! And you have to go see it.

October 6, 2014

What a great week it has been to have been able to watch General Conference.  I hope you were able to see it and love it as much as I did.  It is a great blessing!

This week we spent a majority of the mornings cleaning our apartment.  Oh my.  When I got here it was a disaster.  So we did a major overhaul clean.  Much better now :)

But outside of that, both Elder Egbert and I are fighting colds again.  But more importantly...

WE GOT TO WATCH MEET THE MORMONS!!  And you have to go see it.  And take people with you!  It is a great movie!  I have grown a huge testimony as to the power this movie has and it is not even about our doctrine.  It is about our daily lives.  The people portrayed in this movie and extraordinary but also their daily life involves the same thing you would find in any of our lives as members of the church.  It is extremely well done.  You MUST go and see it.

Between that and watching General Conference, we didn't get have many teaching appointments.  Mostly tracting, and no great stories this week :( but just know I am loving it out here and everyday is a good day.  My favorite conference talks were probably Elder Bednar's talk to the nonmember as well as Jorg Klebingat speaking on increasing our spiritual confidence.  I think those 6 points he shared are crucial to becoming not only a powerful spiritual leader but also a compassionate and caring leader too.

I love you! Sorry I don't have any pictures again this week :( I must repent!

Elder Connor M. Garriss

PS.  Yes, I did buy a new jacket!  I meant to get a picture of it and show you but I forgot :( I got a sweet deal though!  Its a 300 dollar jacket (way better than my jacket and it is very fashionable, you know me haha) but the lady there did some searching and found a way for it to be 40% off.  So I got it for 180.  The Lord provides for his servants.

I'm really glad you guys enjoyed conference.  When President Eyring talked about his Mom I choked up a bit remembering all the things you've done for me in my life.  Thanks so much.  Without it, I don't think I would have amounted to much.

I love you! Thank you so much for all you do, all the support you show me, and for being my mom!  Go watch Meet the Mormons with someone this week! Or multiple people! I promise you, you'll love it!

Pine Lake, Sammamish

September 29, 2014

It was a wonderful post transfers week.  I spent the majority of my brainpower trying to memorize the names and faces of everyone I was meeting, member and investigator alike.  The ward seems pretty awesome! They love the missionaries and are so excited to help us or feed us or do whatever they can for us.  What a blessing!

We had a pretty sweet miracle this week!  We visited with one of our investigators, Jing, and we invited her to go on a church tour.  She was so excited! She has loved everything we talk about and wants to learn as much as she can about Jesus Christ.  At the church tour, she had so many questions we ended up being there for 2 hours.  She just had question after question and no worry about a time limit.  She was devoting all of her time and attention to learning about Christ.  Please keep her in your prayers.

Besides that, not that much else happened that was all that exciting.  We helped a family move from one part of the ward to another on Saturday.  I'm still on bike.  Pine Lake is on the Sammamish Plateau, so I'm back on the Plateau again!  I basically spent all of our down time meeting members. I forgot to take pictures this week.. Oops..  Next week!

Oh! I guess I could share something about Elder Egbert haha! Elder Egbert is from Wells, Nevada and he is a cattle rancher.  He's pretty awesome.  Just a #cowboy (even though he won't admit it but that's because he's not a wannabe/puffed up with pride).  We get along well.  This should be a really fun transfer together.

 I hope you've had a great week!

Elder Connor Garriss

Vazquez Family

This picture was sent on September 22, 2014
"Your son has help our family so much is very kind he miss u so much
from the Vazquez family"


September 23, 2014

This week was an amazing week! On Tuesday, Rosie and Roberto came to our English class.  This was a miracle because they have been so busy, but then the member who teaches the class canceled on us!   Well, miracle! We had invited a newer member of the ward, Brother Williams, to fellowship them and come to the class with us.  turns out, he taught English to non English speakers at the MTC for last couple of years while attending BYU!  What a blessing! He did an amazing job and then bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon and how reading the Book of Mormon will improve their English because God will help them.  It couldn't have gone better.

Saturday, Elder Gemperline and I helped the Novelty Hill sisters at their baptism by singing with them while their investigator-now-recent-convert was changing out of his wet baptismal clothing.  That was a fun experience.

On Sunday, we had the entire Michael family come to church.  That is the Samoan family we have been teaching.  They loved it! They were surrounded with the love of the ward.  It was an amazing experience for them.  Sadly, Rosie and Roberto weren't able to attend because they got sick.  But we did get to have Lourdes and EJ (the oldest 2 of the Michael family) come to the Member and Missionary fireside.  It was a great experience for them and we even invited them to be baptized which they accepted!  We are planning for the 18th of October!  It will be amazing!

Sadly, we weren't able to meet with Randy this week because of some pre-existing plans he had to do, but he got back today and will begin to meet with us again.

Well, this week started with sad news.  Elder Gemperline and I both got transferred.  They whitewashed Redmond 1st.  We were very unhappy but it turns out Elder Kearley and his new companion (who are Zone Leaders) got transferred to Redmond 1st.  So I know the area is in great hands but I am so disappointed to not see Randy, Rosie, Jason, and the Michael Family's baptisms which will happen this transfer in October.  I guess it was just not meant for me to attend those.  I have been transferred to the Pine Lake ward with Elder Egbert.  He is very excited about the work and it seems that the ward is pretty supportive!

Please continue to pray for my previous investigators but I know I will be able to do good work here.

I hope you have had a great week!  Love you!

Elder Garriss

The Michael Family.  I will miss them greatly!

Elder Gemperline plays the French Horn!

September 15, 2014

What a great week we've had this week!  We had made a goal last week during our zone meeting to involve members more in the work and we have seen the miracles that have come from that.  We were able to have 11 member present lessons this week! To put this in perspective, we have been having 1-2 member present lessons a week for the last 3 months or longer.  Members have really made all the difference to missionary work!

Because of the members and their involvement, we were able to see Randy at church and participating.  Not only that, we were able to see Rosie, Roberto, and all 3 of their kids also at church and participating!  The members really embraced them into the ward and they all felt great.  Rosie and Roberto plan to continue coming and even invited many of the members to come and visit them at their house!!

While tracting, we ran into a woman named "Bobby" and she knew almost nothing about God but believes in him and desires to learn more.  We set up a church tour with her for that weekend and we were able to involve multiple members in her tour and we sang "I am a Child of God" to her in the chapel where she felt the spirit so strong she said she just wanted to cry because of how happy she was.  We commit her to church next week.

A woman we have been teaching, Paulette, who is a French Horn private teacher really connected with a member we brought with us whom we had no idea loved the French horn and classical music!  He and Elder Gemperline were able to connect with her on a musical level and transition to teaching her the Restoration.  She commit to reading the Book of Mormon and wants to continue her learning!

We have seen all sorts of miracles this week, big and small as we have been working with the members to progress the work of the Lord here in the Redmond 1st ward.  We have seen such a huge difference.  I hope you have been having a fantastic week as well!  Please keep praying for Randy, Rosie and Roberto and Family, as well as the Michael Family.  These families are progressing so much and have a true desire to be baptized!

I hope you have had a wonderful week!  I love you!

Elder Connor M. Garriss

  Bikes really cause some "wear and tear" after 16 months! I ripped 2 pairs of pants this week... And all I did was squat! This pair was unfixable...
 Alexis Whitmore, Randy, and Myself!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Elder Gemperline was able to utilize his talents this week (Sept 8, 2014-Redmond 1st)

"This is a strong spider web! Or is it a hair? Yup.. its a hair.." - Elder Gemperline ‏

This past week has been a phenomenal week!  We were able to see lots of miracles, such as...
We met with Randy, the investigator I have been referring to as a "young man", yesterday.  He was unable to come to church and we hadn't met with him for about a week and a half.  We were a little worried since it had been so long but he had called us each time to reschedule and didn't just leave us hanging.  We met with him and despite a number of interruptions (due to teaching him at a public library) we were able to invite the Spirit and felt strongly prompted to invite him to be baptized.  He has committed to prepare to be baptized on October 11th!!  What a miracle! We will be meeting with him again this week.  Please keep him in your prayers!
We had a very wet day on Tuesday.  It rained like a monsoon (which we got caught riding in) and had some pretty hefty winds, but despite all of that, we were able to meet with Rosie (our Hispanic investigator) and she had plenty of questions for us.  We haven't been able to consistently teach her due to an unexpected visit from her family, but the fact that we were able to keep in contact and she is still pondering the things we have talked to her about and is coming to us with questions is a miracle.
We received a referral this week for a family of 7 to be taught!! The family consists of a single mother with 6 kids, 4 of which are over the age of 8.  What a great blessing for us!  This family is super solid and the ward they were being taught in was very sad to see them go but their Ward Mission Leader is making the best efforts in making this a smooth transition for the family.  He plans to bring them to church next Sunday despite the hour long drive it will be for him to get from the ward he lives in to this ward.  This family absolutely loves the missionaries and have been attending for a while already.  They are truly being prepared.
Last but not least, Elder Gemperline was able to utilize his talents this week.  We visited a potential we had a return appointment with who is a French Horn teacher.  Elder Gemperline is an amazing French Horn player seeing as he got a scholarship to BYU to play French Horn.  He brought his mouth piece with him to this return appointment and he was able to play the French Horn with her and then we shared a message after she had really warmed up to us.
Overall, this week was really a miracle filled week.  I could really see the blessings of the Lord in our work and I am very excited to continue working with those who we have found this last week as well as those whom we have been working with.  Thank you so much for your prayers.  Keep prayin'! I know its helping.  Love y'all!
Elder Connor Marshall Garriss

 Elder Hodsen
 Elder Gemperline french hornin' it up!


I'll touch on just the miracles (Sept 1, 2014-Redmond 1st)

"This carpet is WILD!" - Elder Gemperline ‏

We had a pretty good week this week!  We had a great dinner at the Harris' last Monday which is a blast as always! We were able to teach a few people this week as well and I'll touch on just the miracles.
We had a lesson with Randy scheduled for Wednesday at 11 at the Library.  We showed up expecting Randy to be early seeing as his pattern so far has been to be early.  He wasn't there.  We waited longer... and he never showed up.  We called him and his phone consistently went to voice mail.  He doesn't have an address and if we couldn't contact him by phone, that would mean we lost our most promising investigator.  Depressed, we left the library and headed toward home, lunch on our minds. We accidentally took the longest way, consistently missing the turns we needed to take to get home faster.  We finally caught the turn we needed after waiting for a traffic to clear and, here is Randy walking with his Girlfriend.  We biked up to him and he apologized for missing our appointment.  His phone had broke and he had a doctor's appointment, so we rescheduled for that evening at 5:30 back at the library.  We found Randy on a street we never travel, taking the longest way home to our apartment.  The Lord had truly blessed us. Randy came to church on Sunday but left before we could schedule another appointment.
Sunday was a great day to be at church.  The talks were fantastic! We taught the Youth for their 5th Sunday combined lesson and surprised them with Roleplaying sharing the Gospel, teaching lessons, studying Preach my Gospel and having fun.  There was much laughing and learning in that 3rd hour.
Searching through our Area Book, we found a former whom we decided to go visit.  Seemed like a good investigator and we couldn't quite understand why they had dropped the previous missionaries.  We visited them.  Turns out, they were investigators from Elder Gemperline's old ward that he served in about 8 - 12 months ago.  They recognized him and we were able to teach a short message and they became new investigators once again.

Each week, whether we have the best week or not, we can see the Lord's hand in our work.  It is a great blessing to serve!  I hope you've had a great week as well.  I love you!
Elder Connor M. Garriss

Note from Mom:

I love hearing about your reminds me of a quote by Albert Einstein
"There are two ways to live your life...
     One is as though nothing is a miracle,
The other is as though everything is a miracle"

I am glad you are choosing to look at the positive things in your life :)

I love you,


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Miracles are all around us. We simply must choose to see them. (August 25, 2014-Redmond 1st)

It's been another fantastic week here in Redmond!  Soo.. I just watched a guy get arrested in the library.  Always an adventure here! hahaha anyway...

Last week was a great week.  We were able to get together as a zone for p-day and play soccer for 2 hours.  I was sore for about 4 days but totally worth it!  We also got to have dinner with the Taylor's who are a very young couple in the ward.  They are way fun!

This week was really just filled with miracles.  We received a referral from Brother Whitmore on Tuesday night.  He said he had given this young man a copy of the Book of Mormon and invited him to church on Sunday.  We gave the kid a call and set up a church tour for Saturday at noon.  Fast-forward to Saturday.  We were working on service at the bike park behind the church.  We walked up to the church around 11:50 to get changed, unlock the building, turn on lights and get prepared for the tour.  We got there and he was already there!  I've never had an investigators show up to a church tour on time, and especially not 15 minutes early!  He surprised us for sure. We unlocked the building and instead of changing into our proselyting clothes and making him wait longer than he already has, we just gave it to him on the spot in our service clothes.  Maybe not the most professional appearance but we have to be prepared at any time regardless of our clothes to move the work forward.  He was taking everything in and we re-invited him to church on Sunday.  Sunday rolls around (keep in mind we have 9 am church) and we walk into church about 10 mins early. Not only is he there, but he's been there for 20 minutes already!  He had a chance to meet the bishop as well.  He stayed for all 3 hours.  At the end of church, he explained he really enjoyed it but he needed to go and get some rest.  He hadn't gone to bed until 4:30 in the morning but he knew he had committed to church and that he would be there.  He plans on coming next week and we are meeting with him on Wednesday.

It's Friday.  We're on exchanges, I'm with Elder Wood (our District Leader).  We go out to find a potential in our area book with virtually no information on her.  Just a name and address.  We knock on the door and low and behold it's who we're looking for!  We were able to talk to her for 30 minutes about the gospel and in the process we learned of her search for what she truly believes.  We invited her for a church tour next week and she accepted.

Sunday.  We show up to church.  I've already explained the excitement and surprise of our earlier miracle but we walk into church to see a youth of our ward with 3 non member friends at church with him.  2 of which I had already eaten dinner with 3 weeks ago.  We were able to greet them and by the end of church we asked if they were planning on attending again and coming to mutual.  They indicated that they were.

Miracles are all around us.  We simply must choose to see them. We learn that "it is by faith [in Christ] that miracles are wrought" and that when we exercise our faith, we see the miracles of the Lord (Moroni 7:37).

I love you! I hope you have a fantastic week!

Elder Garriss

Pic: "This is me being a sister" - Elder Gemperline.  He decorated a notebook with 2 stickers.
Sunday Dinner
Sent from Cathi Williams
It was a pleasure for all of us! He ate healthy helpings of spinach salad and roasted carrots :)
And thanks for Elder Garriss -- we LOVE our elders!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"If that's the day God told you, then we'll shoot for it!" (August 18, 2014-Redmond 1st)

August 18, 2014

This past week has been a pretty crazy week!  We saw a good amount of success together.  Among the success we were able to see were miracles. 
We were able to meet with one of our Progressing Investigators.  She has been reading and coming to church on and off.  We were able to bring a member and taught her about the Gift of the Holy Ghost and its importance to our lives.  We then invited her to be baptized.  She said yes!!  We set the date for August 23rd -- which later really hit us on how close it was -- but she after a little hostile defensiveness, she accepted with the statement "If that's the day God told you, then we'll shoot for it!" What a miracle!  Sadly, she was unable to come to church due to a hip issue this week and with some medical appointments coming up this week as well, she will not be able to meet with us and therefore not make her baptismal date.  But that is not a failure.  She understands the Lord's expectations for her now!  Before, baptism had been but an idea.  She was planning to get baptized "someday".  We brought that someday to reality through this invitation and prompting of the Lord.  This was a needed experience for her and I know she'll take those steps soon now.
August 18, 2014
Another miracle we were able to see this week comes from that story I shared last week about the miracle of being invited in for dinner during tracting.  Well, the fruits of that labor were shown this week!  The Redmond 3rd ward Elders street contacting into one of the boys that was at that dinner and he remember Elder Kelly and I and the fun that he had while we were there and decided he wanted to learn more.  The 3rd Ward Elders put him on date for the 13th of September and referred him over to us to teach!! We are very excited for this great opportunity!
Among those miracles, there are many more.  We've had a fantastic week together and it has been highly enjoyable.  Elder Gemperline is a fantastic companion and a hard worker.  This transfer will be a blast!
Shifting gears a bit, I would like to give a shout out blast to the Girls Camp girls who wrote me those inspiring letters!  It was such a great surprise for me to have received those and I really appreciate the encouragement.  It brought a smile to my face! :D
I miss y'all and I love you! I hope your week is great!
Elder Connor M. Garriss
Source of the Quote of the Week

Girls Camp Letters

Elder Gemperline and myself!

We had a pretty cool miracle happen too. (August 12,2014-Redmond 1st)

August 12, 2014

Today was transfers.  I got a new companion! His name is Elder Gemperline.  I'm pretty excited to work with him here in Redmond 1st.  It'll be a good transfer.

As for last week, it was a great week.  We got to go play some soccer on P-day with a member which was pretty fun!  On Tuesday, we found a new investigator part member family! They had been looking at the temple last Sunday, and some members invited them to church so they went and then we got a referral to go see them!  We were really excited.  We even gave them a church tour on Friday so they would be prepared to come to church.
We had a pretty cool miracle happen too.  On Wednesday we were tracting and I happened to be complaining about how ineffective tracting was.  Well, a few doors later, we were invited in to have dinner with this family and their teenager and her friends.  It ended up being a great experience.  It was a little awkward at first for the teenagers but as they talked with us we all got a little more comfortable and then they started to ask us questions.  By the end, they were kinda bummed when we had to leave.  What a great experience!
Those were the cool experiences that stood out this week.  Elder Kelly got transferred away :( but I am excited to be with Elder Gemperline! It should be great fun.

Elder Connor Garriss

The Redmond 1st Crew! We all served there.  
From Left to Right: Elder Rowley, Elder Kelly, Me, Elder Beals
 2 of my favorite missionaries! And now, they're companions!
Elder Kelly (right) and Elder Brooks (left)!

Beer-sheba. Is that Bath-sheba's redneck sister?" - Elder Garriss (Me)‏ August 4, 2014-Redmond 1st

August 4, 2014

Do you know how many people come to the library to play Facebook games?  A lot.  They're not even that cool, just sayin'.  Anyway, you would probably rather hear about my week.

Last p-day we played basketball at the church with a few of the youth for about 2 hours.  It was great! I love any opportunity I get to play sports.  We also got to go over to the Livingston's for FHE and they're a blast!  I love that family.

We had District Meeting this week, and President Choi decided to come and visit ours.  On the way, I managed to get mud on my suit pants  because we rode our bikes.  He called me out on it.  0 for 2 on District Meetings now (last week we had President Wood -- 2nd counselor in mission presidency-- come to our District Meeting and we thought it started at 11, not 10:30 and were late.).  Classic.  Then the maintenance came and fixed the mold issue we had. Turned out the water heater line had a leak in it and needed a new tube.  Got it fixed.

We were able to have a great lesson with Virginia this week!  She loves to talk.  Then we hit up a referral we got.  This man is prepared! He's seeking happiness and noticed how the Mormons around him were all happy and he has everything he needs but isn't happy.  We're really excited for him.

We got to launch Water Balloons out of a 3 person slingshot with the teachers because our 15 year old investigator went to mutual and the teachers invited us to be there with him.  That was pretty fun, not gonna lie.  I don't think shooting water balloons out of a 3 person slingshot will ever get old.

We taught a few more lessons but nothing really out of the ordinary haha.  We had a great dinner at the Hansen's last night -- another super awesome family.  He served his mission in England so it was fun to hear some of those stories.  Oh! We started the morning off helping a member install the last few solar panels on the roof of his house starting at 6:15 this morning.  That was pretty sweet.  Anyway, I love you!  Hope you have a great week!

Elder Garriss

FHE with Cathi Williams Family

"Vivian got baptized!" (July 28-Redmond 1st)

July 28, 2014

It's been a good week!  Got up, did missionary work, went to bed.  Rinse and repeat.

Elder Connor Garriss

Just kidding, I'll write more than that!  We were able to teach a good amount this week but nothing really worth mentioning happened.  We both crashed our bikes this week, we found mold in our apartment behind the water heater, and had a few awkward encounters.  Overall, not too bad.  We did have a miracle happen.  A former investigator named Kamari moved back to our area to live with his Grandma (Wanda) who is a member.  Kamari loves the church and has been a ton so we are really hoping to be able to work with him over the next week and baptize him either this weekend or next weekend.  It will be a miracle!  Please pray for him.

The other fantastic news I have is that Vivian got baptized! This isn't news for Redmond 1st, but if you remember me talking about Vivian back in Redmond 3rd, its the same one! She got baptized this week and Elder Kearley and I found her together.  It was so cool to see her at church on Sunday and she told me she got baptized.

Other than that, not much else went on this week.  I hope you had a good week!

Elder Connor Garriss (For real this time)

Vivian, Elder Kearley and Me at church after her baptism and confirmation.

"Elder, do you have the keys?" - Elder Kelly‏ (July 21- Redmond 1st)

July 21, 2014

It's been a pretty good week.  We were able to teach a lot this week although we haven;t found a new investigator in 3 weeks and we only have 1 investigator who doesn't want to meet with us but enjoys church.  So all things considered, we were very happy to simply teach lessons!  We're praying for new investigators.

Our Ward Council has been keeping us busy which we are grateful for! We have been doing a lot of less active member visits and member visits.  It has been a great opportunity to get to know the members.  This week Redmond 3rd will actually be baptizing a few of the people Elder Kearley and I found together!  I'm really excited for them.  

We had a Zone Conference this week.  I love Zone Conference but at the same time, its long haha 8 am to 4 pm with a 1 hour break for lunch.  Great instruction was had though.  We learned about how we are to start teaching PMG Lesson 5 to investigators before and after baptism instead of just after as well as we are to lead new member lessons.  That was a change in PMG from before according to the First Presidency.  We also discussed helping those we teach to attend church.

Elder Kelly's Birthday was on Friday! Woohoo! We didn't really do anything special since it was a normal proselyting day haha but its important to mention!

Saturday was probably the longest day ever and where the above quote came from.  So we helped the Spanish Elders move one of their members from one apart to another which both apartments happened to be in our area so we were glad to help.  Most of our plans fell through in the evening but we were able to see one of the new move ins to the ward!  They're a nice family.  We got home at 9 pm (right on time) to find out, we didn't have the keys.  Commence back track of the entire day from the time we got home backward to the time we left to go tracting.  Around 10 pm (we had alerted the Zone Leaders of our situation at 9) we returned home with no keys.  Elder Kelly was able to shimmy up the balcony and go in through our back screen door that wasn't locked and let us in the front door.  We have the housing coordinators making a new set of keys for us now but let's just say, that was quite frustrating..

Other than that, I can't complain about the week.  We got to teach.  We got to be taught. And we were able to work hard.  I love you! I hope you're having a good week!

Elder Connor M. Garriss

First ever "green" smoothie! (July 20, 2014-Redmond 1st)

Hello Garriss Family,

We are so happy to have Elder Garriss back in Redmond 1st Ward. We served him his first ever "green" smoothie! Hope you are doing great!

Amy Whitmore 

"It's elementary, my dear Watson" (July 14-Redmond 1st)

July 14, 2014

Again, not too exciting of a week.  Elder Kelly had some bike issues this week, hence the above quote.  We got in touch with some of the less active members of the ward this week that I had been working with a year ago when I was first here.  Its been weird to come back and start working with people who I worked with a year ago.  Anyway.  We started an ESL class in this ward, this time with the focus of Brazilian/Spanish instead of Chinese since we have a member of the ward who is very missionary minded and is from Brazil.  She has been doing a fantastic job teaching the class.
None of our investigators came to church this week so not really any updates there.
Overall, it was a pretty hot week.  We got to go check out the Redmond Derby Days again (I saw it last year).  It was pretty cool.  All the bike races.  Holy cow they fly on those bikes.  We contemplated entering on our mtn bikes just for kicks haha.  Strap like a title of liberty to my back and ride!
We spent some time getting to know the members better.  A lot of the ward has turned over and so there are plenty of new members for me to meet and members that Elder Kelly hasn't met yet.  We were instructed by our Zone Leaders who was instructed from the Stake President that we needed to start teaching the members stuff using PMG and helping them to start studying it daily (Elder Ballard, April gen conf.).  We're excited to do so.  The members we have met with so far have been pretty excited to start reading it and overall the reception is good!  If you aren't studying PMG, I suggest you start!
Overall, a pretty good week.  Nothing too exciting to share but still productive.  I love you!
Elder Connor M. Garriss

 Elder Kelly's crash.  Like I said, bike issues this week.
We saved this little guy! *Batman Voice* I'm a bat!

"Soo... Is there.. uh.. anything you'd like to talk about?" (July 7-Redmond 1st)

July 7, 2014

Well, it has been an odd week.  Let's just say it is really weird to go back to an area you served in.  Some people remember me, some don't but it's weird to already know the area.  It was a bit hectic as I have been getting my stuff in degrees from the other apartment since I didn't have much time to pack last week.  The final bit is coming today haha.

Anyway, I'll start by explaining to above quote as the story is absolutely hilarious! (To me at least.  Just humor me.)  Elder Kelly and I had set a goal together to talk to every person we could because we had no set appointments and we needed to really work on some finding.  In the process, Elder Kelly began talking to a man on the street.  He introduced himself, and asked how the man was doing.  The man responded "okay".  Then Elder Kelly asked if he had talked with missionaries before.  No answer.  So, Elder Kelly explained what we do as missionaries and began to talk about the Restoration of the church, asking questions along the way.  The man never said anything, nor did he tell us to leave or that he wasn't interested.  Just silence.  Elder Kelly ran out of things to say and just asks the guy, "soo... is there.. uh.. anything you'd like to talk about?" to which the man said no and continued walking.  Seriously the funniest thing ever! We about died laughing!

We had the 4th of July Breakfast again this year.  Same thing as last years haha but it was more fun this time seeing as I know both of the wards that attended having now served in both wards.  

Overall, not a lot of exciting news to share actually.  I'm looking over my journal and it was mostly attempting to visit people and having no success seeing as everyone was busy or gone over the 4th of July weekend.  I hope to share something a little more fun next week!  Anyway, I love you! Have a good one!

Elder Connor M. Garriss

Pure Delight
 The Elders
by Matt Campbell

"Hey Elders, we have a last minute change..." (July 1-Redmond 3rd)

July 1, 2014
"President Choi has received revelation that Elder Kearley is to no become
a Zone Leader but is to stay a District Leader in Redmond 3rd and not be
transferred.  Elder Garriss, you are being transferred in Zone."

That was my morning!  Last night, we were informed that Elder Kearley was
being transferred in Zone (about to become Zone Leader) and as he finished
packing this morning we received a call following the quote from above.
So, needless to say, surprise! I've been transferred.  Which I was
extremely sad about because I absolutely loved the Redmond 3rd ward and the
investigators that we were working with.  I was hoping to stay there for a
long time.  That being said, I know its inspired and I really didn't go
very far.  In fact, I only moved about a mile geographically and 1 year in
reverse.  I'm back in the Redmond 1st ward, the ward I started in.  My new
companion is Elder Kelly (I've known him since the Seattle zone) and I'm
super stoked to work with him!  This is going to be a great transfer!

As for the previous week, we have had some fun times!  On Friday, we had a
BBQ for the ESL class that we had been teaching! It was joint with a baby
shower from one of the previous ESL students.  It was a lot of fun and a
great finding and teaching opportunity.  Also, one of our investigators was
able to get lots of fellowship from this activity.  In fact, Elder
Kearley's new companion is native Chinese speaking and Elder Kearley (in
the phone call this morning from the Assistants) was instructed to continue
working with the many Chinese investigators we had.  I think there may be a
branch starting or at least R3 may become a chinese "group".  Anyway, it
was fantastic!

And then we had some fun with spray paint! We decided to go tag the Plan of
Salvation on a wall in Downtown Redmond (don't worry it was completely
legal and the wall is intended for this purpose)!  It was a lot of fun and
is on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter thanks to the Redmond 3rd ward members.
Hopefully, it gets visibility!

Overall, a fun week! I am indeed quite bittersweet at the moment, but I'll
get over it.  Besides, I'll go back and see Redmond 3rd in a year :)

I love you!  I hope you have a good week!

Elder Connor M. Garriss

 The Last District Meeting of the Transfer! District Picture!
 The "tagged" Plan of Salvation #art
Elder Kearley, Myself, Elder Beals and Elder Kelly -- #taggers
 'Nuff said.
 The Campbells, Elder Kearley and Myself.  I'm going to miss them!
(I'll still see them on Sundays).

"This week was filled with miracles" (June 24-Redmond 3rd)

June 24, 2014

Glorious Glorious Temple Day!! Wahoo!!
So before I talk about the temple, I'll tell you about my week.  And I will even include the circumstances for today's quote of the week!
So this week, Elder Kearley and I were having a discussion and I quoted an apostle giving a talk to BYU students in which he said "You cannot slice cheese so fine that it does not have two sides."  I thought there was great wisdom to that quote and that it was an absolute truth.  He contemplated for one moment and well, Elder Kearley has proved me otherwise.
Anyway, this week was an amazing week!  Started it off with eating at a sushi buffet last Monday after emailing.  That was the best sushi I have ever had and it was all you can eat.  Needless to say, I ate a lot.  Relatively cheap too!

We had the opportunity to do a few hours of yard work service this week for a woman of the ward.  That was fun!  Just you wait, I have actually gained some yard working skills.  It was a fun project and I was happy to have the opportunity.  There is just something special about helping and serving others.
So this week was filled with miracles.  We were tracting with Spencer Niederhousern and we came across a Chinese woman who had moved here only a few months ago from China.  She had no knowledge of Jesus Christ and barely any notion of God.  We had the humbling opportunity to bare simple testimony and teach simply who Christ was and invite her to learn more.  She accepted.  We gave her a pamphlet about the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our number and the address to the church on the back.  Fast forward to Sunday, we were surprised to see her and her baby boy walk into the church! She had felt a desire to come even though we had barely mentioned church and had not explained the importance of it yet.  It was such a miracle!
Another story.  We met an Indian woman last week and taught her briefly about the Restoration and gave her a Book of Mormon.  We commit her to simply read the introduction and pray.  We stopped by the past week and to our surprise (we seem to have been lacking faith this week I am noticing) she had read the introduction and felt the Spirit!  We invited her to take a tour of the church and asked when a good time would be.  She felt that "now" was a good time.  So we gave her the address of the church and proceeded to bike with all of our energy and vigor to the church while frantically making phone calls to arrange for a member to be there.  We were able to get a Young Man to come with us and gave her a church tour.  We commit her to read the Book of Mormon daily, come to church, and prepare for baptism on the 6th of July.  Sunday she came to church.
The Chinese family we found 2 weeks ago (I believe I mentioned them -- it was yet another miracle) came to church as well.  We had a busy Sunday.  We were continuously surprised to watch God's hand in our work.  It was truly a miracle.
Which brings me to today's temple trip.  It was a fantastic opportunity.  I love to go to the temple.  It has been awhile since I have been so it felt all the better to attend.  We had the great opportunity to do temple work for the Ancestors of President and Sister Choi!  That was such a unique experience.  I learned something while I was there.  For me, I never realized the comfort the temple covenants bring.  It was not until today that I began to understand the importance of the covenants we make there as well as the comfort that it brings.  I have always known the temple was "good".  It has always been a "good" experience, or a "good" place to be.  I had always given a vague "good" to questions about the temple but today I began to understand, if only the tip of an eternal iceberg of truths, about the covenants we make there.  Obviously, I cannot share details of those covenants but I can share my impressions there.  The covenants we make in the temple are a great source of knowledge and strength.  I previously had heard that but did not understand.  They bring forth great comfort when we understand the meaning behind those covenants.  If you have not been recently, I would encourage you to go soon and often.  If you have not been, I would encourage you prepare and to go.  Our lives are blessed beyond our comprehension as we attend the House of the Lord.

I love you very much! I keep you in my prayers. To Zion to Zion!

Elder Connor M. Garriss

 The Sushi Buffet.  Good stuff.  Ignore my terrible attempt of a "smolder".
 Elder Jones is in my Zone again! I love this Elder.  Yes, I did buy suspenders.

"For each of us, there is something we can improve" (June 17-Redmond 3rd)

June 17, 2014

Let's start off by explaining why I'm emailing on Tuesday.  Temple trips are this week and next week which means its Tuesday P-day today and next week (and funny enough the next week after that too since it'll be transfers again).  I get to go to the temple next Monday!! WHOOO!!  Anyway, back to this week.
Last Sunday, (not 2 days ago) I forgot to mention, Achievement Unlocked: First Flat Tire.  And this week, I found a bike hole in my rear tire.  I guess I'll have to buy a new tire today.  I have put some serious miles on my bike haha. Which brings me to bike experience number two for the week! I was riding my bike in a parking lot on our way to Subway.  I got distracted looking at something (or someone) and managed to hit a curb and flip my bike.  That was embarrassing haha and Elder Kearley just laughed at me (After he asked me if I was okay of course)! Anyway...
We had a pretty sweet church tour with the Chinese Family we found! They weren't able to make it to church (bummer) because of a work fiasco but it was a good experience and they plan to come next week! They're an awesome family who and are a miracle family.  Pray for them to progress!
We had the area 70 give us a special Zone Conference this week too.  Basically got chastised about murmuring and not working hard enough.  It was probably needed and its always good to remember "Those whom the Lord loves, he rebukes and chastens"!
ESL class was pretty awesome! As you saw, we taught the Chinese Class how to order at subway by making them Subway sandwiches haha! I have to say, I make a mean Subway sandwich hahaha.
We got to do some service by helping out the city.  They are making a pretty sweet bike trail/jumps (like a straight up bike park).  It was pretty sick.  Being on bike might finally pay off ;)
Friday we had interviews with President Choi.  What a blessing! It is always a great opportunity to have an interview with him.  He counseled me to really improve and perfect my morning routine.  As you can attest, I'm slow and hate mornings but I have been improving this week!  Soon, I will "like" waking up haha!
On a more serious note, the counsel from President Choi, while being simple, holds a key to becoming great.  That key being self mastery, willpower, and motivation.  For each of us, there is something we can improve.  Mine starts in my morning schedule, but for others, it may not be so. Willpower is so important for us to develop.  The ability to do that which your mind is set upon. Often, it is said "you can do anything you set your mind to" and I believe there is truth to that statement.  Let me add a small conditional -- "if you have the willpower you can do anything you set your mind to."  And to develop that willpower, it starts in the small everyday things that we desire to do, but fail to do so.  So let us set our minds to a higher plane and do!
I love you! I hope all is well at home.

Elder Connor M. Garriss