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".

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

"General George S Patton says..." (June 9 - Redmond 3rd)

June 9, 2014

Goooooooooooood Morning!

The last week has been a pretty good week! We were able to get a lot done! We had a few amazing miracles. We had a Special Zone Meeting on Tuesday and we set a goal as a companionship to get 7 new investigators before Sunday. We prayed hard for miracles and went out to work. The first couple of days we didn't see any new investigators but on Friday we found 4 new investigators! Some of whom have family we haven't met yet! We were so excited! Then on Saturday, we went out with zeal to find the remaining. Tracting wasn't very effective that night, but around 7:30ish we visited a former investigator family that we didn't understand why they were dropped. Before knocking on the door, we prayed again for a miracle and we got one. The family invited us in and we taught a fantastic Restoration! We were able to put the father on date for baptism and he commit to read the Book of Mormon with his Wife every night! We have a church tour set for Tuesday as well! They have a 10 year old and a 4 year old too! It was overall just an amazing miracle! 

On Sunday, one of our investigators, Jacob (The russian investigator), came to church again but this time his entire family was able to come (Mom and Sister). It was absolutely amazing! This week was just full of miracles. 

The Assistants to to the President called us on Saturday morning to and specifically challeneged Elder Kearley and I to baptize 6 people this month.  They believe there are 6 people prepared to be baptized, and quite frankly, so do we.  There is just so much potential here in the Redmond 3rd ward.  It is fantastic!

Its been awhile since I shared something I have learned but I have been thinking a lot recently about making decisions.  So I'd like to share my insights. As you already know, I am indecisive and I hate making decisions.  I always ask for other people's opinions in the hopes they can make a decision for me.  In the event that anyone else struggles with this concept as I do, I offer a few words of my own experience.  I studied what the apostles and prophet has said on this occasion and how it relates to our own happiness.  I have come to the conclusion that my happiness increases as I make decisions and move forward.  Yes, there are times that I am wrong, but fear of being wrong should not be something that holds me back from making a decision.  Indecision is a decision in itself.  Often I find myself saying "I'll do it when I figure out the best way." To that General George S Patton says "A good plan violently excuted right now is worth a hundred perfect plans put off until next week."  To the times that my "good plan" turns out to be a "not-so-good plan" Benjamin Disraeli offers "action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action" (emphasis added).  Reflecting on these thoughts, have brought me to the conclusion that I can act boldy and confidently.  Indecision is a deceitful way to lure us away from moving forward in our own physical, intellectual and spiritual progression.

As always, I express my love for you and I hope that all is going well.  I love hearing from you all!

Elder Connor M. Garriss

 My camera did something weird but it looked cool

 The Mikels have a parrot, we had a staring contest

The picture on the WSM Mom's FB was of Elder Kearley and I filling balloons with flour to make stress balls.  Well, this morning, Elder Kearley may have been a little overstressed...



"We get to teach Native Mandarin Chinese", (June 2, 2014-Redmond 3rd)

June 2, 2014

Alrighty then! Let's start where I left off last week!

Monday after we finished our p-day activities (emailing, shopping, basketball, the good stuff) my companion had a few Baptismal Interviews so I got to hang out at the Stake Center with the Zone Leaders while Elder Kearley did interviews.  Fun stuff.  Anyway...

We had an amazing lesson this week with our investigator, Jacob! He is from Russia and has been living here for 2 years now.  He's 17 and like the week before I got here he just showed up at church! It was such a miracle! We've been teaching him and he is just soaking it up and loving to hear the gospel message.  Accepted a baptismal date for June 21st and is striving to read and pray everyday about the Book of Mormon! He is absolutely golden!  I am so privileged to have the opportunity to teach him.  He came to church on Sunday as well and we had another lesson then brought him to the New Member Fireside (the fireside where the Recent Converts share their testimonies, really powerful) and he loved it.  We get to meet with him again on Wednesday! It is just the best experience.  If you are ever given the opportunity to go to a teaching appointment with the Missionaries, do it! You'll love feeling the Spirit and getting to see the Spirit touch the lives of others.

Redmond 3rd ward also started some English Second Language classes this last week! That is pretty cool.  We are helping to run them.  We get to teach Native Mandarin Chinese speakers more English as well as help them learn about American Culture.  We have actually had a lot of them ask us tons of questions about the church and about us as missionaries.  It has been pretty cool! We are really excited to continue working with them for the next 5 weeks!

That's about all that's exciting enough to share haha.  We had dinner at the Campbell's house yesterday.  They are a way fun family! I love them! I'm sure you'll hear more about them in the future.  They love us and Elder Kearley is super close with them because he baptized their foster daughter.  Anyway, I hope you are having a wonderful day!  I love you!

Elder Connor M. Garriss
Elder Kearley with a stuffed animal Sloth on his back eating a cookie.  Nuff said.