"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."
-- Alma 26:12

Monday, August 8, 2011

First Area--Buffalo Ridge, Cheyenne, Wyoming!

Hey Family. Well, sorry I didn't get to talk to you last week. It's been good. President Toombs interviewed me and I shared the stuff from elder Martino, and he said that he promised at some point I would get to use Spanish, whether I had a Spanish speaking comp or area or whatever. He told me I'd be in Buffalo Ridge Area, Cheyenne WY. Bike area haha. I got my trainer on Tuesday, his name is Elder Washburn and he is a great guy.

The mission field is so much different than the MTC, I miss the constant spirit that was in the MTC. It is more lonely out here, just me and my trainer, and I miss you all so much I can't even describe it. In the mornings when studying or getting ready or stuff, Satan works on me a lot to get me down and to make me feel like 2 years is impossible or to miss you guys to the point of physical sickness or whatever. It's hard. But when we get to the real work, those depressed feelings of inadequacy or incapability go away. It's weird, but it makes sense. Tomorrow we go back down to Loveland, CO for another new mish training sesh with President. Hopefully it will be awesome. Our area Buffalo Ridge is cool, but kind of big and hilly for bicycles. Elder Washburn on Saturday told me that since Tuesday, we had ridden probably 80 miles on bike. Kind of crazy. I'm eating really well too, so that's good. E Washburn is really health conscious so it's easier for me to be as well. The members here are great, but I'm almost sure that the less actives in the ward outweigh the members by a longshot. That's almost all we do, is visit less actives. E Washburn said that when he got to the area the bishop (Bishop Ross, who we had dinner at last night and he's an awesome guy) said that if he visited less actives faithfully, the work would boom. Well, this week we visited a ton, and we had no visits with investigators--kind of different than Kenna's mission haha. We have one investigator, but he's been out of town until sometime this week, so we'll contact him sometime this week. We have 4 appointments this week with potential investigators which is really good because I don't think that happens very often. The family we are staying with are named the Wilzbachs. They have a 1.2 million dollar home, but it's kind of weird because both e washburn and I feel like we can't touch anything. It's good though because if the wilzbachs hadn't housed us, than we wouldn't have been in the ward. That's the deal with our mission, if a ward can't house us, they don't get missionaries. One of the days this week was super hard. We went tracting and got rejected majorly, and appointments fell through, and it seemed like everything we were doing was getting shot down by Satan. At the very end of the day, like 9:00, we were going to go home, but I told E Washburn that crazy stuff happens when we work til the end. Well, we went to visit one last Less Active (LA) and she had moved, but this guy on the porch of the apartment above kept asking us questions, and then we got into like a 20 minute discussion of the gospel. His name is Chris, and he has had a rough life, but he told us to come back any time this week and talk to him more. It was a tender mercy.

The work here is slow, Wyoming people are kind of set in their ways, but it will progress, I know it. My first night in the area, a family named the Browns made me a green dinner, everything was green because I am a greenie. And then my first lesson was pranked. I'm sending a cd with the movie file on it (yes they filmed the lesson, if you can even call it that). It was funny though. They went to so much effort to make it believable.

Man I miss you guys like crazy, it's like nothing I've ever felt before. I don't feel at home here, there is no real extended family like I felt like I had in the MTC. It's lonely and I know that Satan works hard on the Lord's missionaries. Every family I go and visit reminds me of you guys and how much I miss you and love you. It's hard, but I know that it will be worth it. I am trying to be as obedient as I can, and I know that with that and faith, God works miracles. Read D&C 68, it's got a promise in their about what speaking through the Spirit can be. It is scripture, and although I haven't felt super inspired since being here in WY, I haven't even taught a real lesson, I know that when the Spirit speaks through the Lord's instruments, the Lord is speaking himself. It's a crazy, humbling thought. But, I know that the work will progress. As Joseph Smith said, no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. I love you like crazy, I love my mission president, I know that with time I will love my area and the people in it. I'm grateful to be training under Elder Washburn, he's got his head on straight and is a good, obedient, hard-working missionary. He says that people say a mission is the best two years of your life. Elder washburn says, "I like to say it's the best two years FOR my life." It's true.

In closing, I love you all more than I could ever express. I know that the Lord will help me through the hard times, and that as Dad liked to tell me, he doesn't lessen the burden, he strengthens the back. I can already tell that as I am in theLord's service, the influence of Satan can be great. However, when I really throw my heart and soul--and attitude (that's one of the most important things)--into serving the Lord, Satan's influence retreats and the Lord helps those who are on His errand. I can't even describe how much the letters and quotes and talks you've sent me have helped me. I hear your voices as I read your words, and I love you even more. This isn't easy for any of us, but it is worth it.

I will love you forever and always,

Elder Logan Bryan

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