"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, November 28, 2011


Well my awesome family,

You can tell what's on my mind today. I won't know anything until Saturday, but transfers have kind of been in the back of my mind this whole transfer, and I think I may be leaving, but who knows?

Well, this week was actually really good, which is kind of surprising because I thought Thanksgiving would be a really slow week. It was slow on Thanksgiving, and a little bit the day after, but it's amazing how much the Lord blesses you for just stepping out the door and working. The numbers just seemed to work themselves out, and we reached several of the goals we had for this week. Thanksgiving was a good day. We found out the day before that the lady we're staying with (Bobbi Estes, she's awesome and we love her) bought a bunch of stuff to have a thanksgiving lunch with us. So we woke up, and from like 7 to 12 we cooked. We cooked everything, the turkey, the stuffing, the potatoes, the rolls, it was awesome! At first, we felt very badly for staying in our house and not proselyting, but we realized that if we weren't there, she wouldn't have been able to cook because her hip is really bad and she's getting surgery next month so she wouldn't have been able to stand up and cook, and she wouldn't have had anyone to eat with for thanksgiving. It was great to be able to eat and cook with her and talk with her. She is awesome! Then that night we ate dinner with the Blanchards, and I couldn't eat like anything! I was stuffed from lunch, and I ate a few bites of corn and stuffing, and I was stuffed. They had invited a guy that works at Terry Bison Ranch (where their daughter works) to eat with them, and he is probably the most legitimate looking the truest bluest cowboy I've ever seen. He was wearing a brown leather vest, serious boots, wranglers, and had a sweet mustachio. He was awesome! We gave his info to the sisters in another ward because they cover where he lives.

So on Tuesday we had our first Thanksgiving dinner of the week with Brian and Jess. It was awesome, and we went in there knowing that we were going to be bold with them. We basically talked about Jesus Christ, and told them he would want them to get married soon. They agreed, and then we said, "Well Jesus Christ isn't here in this room right now, but we wear His name, and we are representatives of him. As such, we want you to know that we want, and He wants you to get married as soon as possible so you can enjoy the blessings of living a life dedicated to Him." It was awesome. They said they were planning on getting married pretty soon, so we'll see how that goes.

On Wednesday, I was on exchanges with Elder Quicaño and we tore it up. We saw a few less actives, and we went to Anthony's house to see him before he left on Friday for Australia for the next few weeks. Well, we talked about the Book of Mormon with him because he hasn't read any yet, and we asked him what he thought its purpose was. He gave an answer and then we told him that we'd look in the Book of Mormon to see what its purpose is: to come unto Christ. We asked him, "Do you want to come closer to Christ?" He said yes. Then we said, "Well, then the only logical next question would be, do you want to read the Book of Mormon?" He thought about it, and said yes. Then we had him promise to read up to 1 Nephi 19 before the next time we saw him, in a couple weeks, and he agreed and seemed happy to do so. It was great. That night, after Elder McKay got back from Leadership Training, we had an appointment with Neil and Jess, where we taught about the Book of Mormon and commitments, and they agreed to prepare to be baptized on January 21st. It's a ways off, but Neil can't get off work until a month from now, so it will be great.

Friday, we taught Tashanna, and Jess (Neil's wife) was there too (they're good friends). TaShanna committed to come to church on Sunday....and she did! She brought her 5 year old daughter with her and they stayed for all 3 hours. It was awesome. We also taught Jeff, the Olsen's 13 year old foster son, and he was very receptive to what we taught and said he wanted to be baptized. We'll be working with him this week too. Then that day we set up an appt with Kelsie for this week, so we haven't seen her in a while.

Saturday, we saw quite a few less actives, and we went street contacting downtown before the big Christmas parade. Yes Mom and Dad, that day was FREEZING! My toes felt like they'd fall off. But good thing for the monstrously thick long johns Mom got me (which I love). It was awesome though. I just felt so good talking to these people on the street, and we actually got two people to tell us to come back and talk with them, and one of them is in our area! It was so fun, and I really enjoyed my first experience with legitimate street contacting.

Then Yesterday, we had Tashanna and Jeff at church which was awesome, and Todd Hufford blessed the sacrament for the first time! It was a great day. We also met with the Jumps, an awesome less active family. They have two preteen daughters-one of them has been baptized and one of them hasn't. Her dad, who lives somewhere else is pretty anti, so she has taken the lessons, but never really pursued it because she didn't want to make her dad mad. But yesterday, Elder McKay gave the spiritual thought with them, and he rocked it and basically invited her to take the lessons again and she was super interested. He was awesome, and his teaching is great. We told her that it didn't matter what we said, or what her mom said, or what her dad said, but this decision for a religious path was between her and God and who cares what anyone else says or thinks? She was very receptive, and decided to meet with us.

So this week has been a huge success, and I really enjoyed it. I'm a little nervous/anxious to hear about transfers, but who knows what will happen. The work is awesome, I love it, and I love to see people change. It's the most rewarding thing I've ever done, and the best thing I've ever done.


Elder Logan Bryan

Monday, November 21, 2011

Week of Miracles

Well, this week was amazing.

I'll start out by saying that we did have a lesson with Kelsie on Monday, and it went pretty well, but she's having knee surgery today, and we don't know when we'll get another lesson with her. But she's awesome, and we taught her the plan of salvation and asked if she thought what we taught is true, and she said that she believed that everything we talked about was true. It was great.

We're still meeting with Anthony, and we met with him 2 times this week and he's warmed up to us quite a bit. The last time we met with him, a couple of days ago, we went in, and we talked about the Book of Mormon. He hadn't read any, and he's kind of a video game bum. But, I was feeling kind of frustrated and then I just started talking because I felt like I needed to say something. I asked him, "Anthony, why do you think the first lesson we talked with you about baptism, and the last lesson we did, and now we are too? Why do you feel like you were led to let us in here, and we've been talking about it ever since?" He said he thought it was because we wanted him to be part of our church. I told him that was part of the reason, but the main reason was because we loved him. I told him "Anthony, we are representatives of Jesus Christ, and we want for you what He wants for you, and that is to be a part of this church and find more happiness than you ever thought was possible." Well, I think that hit him pretty hard, and it woke him up as to why we are going over there, and why we ask him to do things like read the Book of Mormon and go to church. It was a good lesson.

We met with Neil and Jessica on Wednesday, and we brought brother Cameron Clark with us--he's an awesome guy with a wife and 4 little daughters who served his mission in Cancún. Neil and Jessica's daughter, Shauna, is kind of crazy and last lesson we were feeling like she was a big distraction. But, since Bro. Clark is awesome, he played with Shauna and they blew bubbles in the kitchen while we were in the living room teaching. Neil asked some seriously awesome questions, and we taught them lesson 1. We had given them a Book of Mormon and Neil read the whole intro pages and a few more. We then asked them if they found what we were talking about to be true, would they be baptized? And the answer was YES!!! They're awesome.

Next, we met with a lady named TaShanna who was a tracting referral that we met a few weeks ago. We took Bro. Olsen with us (our Ward Mission Leader) and we taught her pretty basically and simply lesson 3, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I asked her specifically in the beginning if she would like to improve her relationship with God, and she said yes. Then I told her that was what we were here to do. She was in agreeance with everything we taught, and she really needs this in her life right now. She's a single mom of 2 daughters and she is going through her 2nd divorce. She could feel that the things we were talking about were true, and we asked her if she would be baptized, and she said she would!!!!

Later that night, we went tracting in this sketchy apartment complex, and the last door we knocked on of the night, a black lady named Jasmine opened the door, and said we could come back the next day. Well, we went back, and she was there, and she let us in and she said her brother in law Isaac was there and she wanted him to be there because he was looking for his religion path right now in his life. Well, we talked to them about their relationship with God, and then we taught lesson 1, the Restoration. We used some metaphors that we like using, and the whole time, Isaac's face was just mindblown. He said to us, "Man, it's crazy how y'all are like speakin in parables and stuff. You guys are really makin me think". After the first vision, we asked both of them if they would be baptized when they found it to be true and read the Book of Mormon, and both of them said YES!!!! Jasmine said she was excited to get the Book of Mormon and she was really going to read it, and she said, "I don't think ya'll gonna believe this, but I'mma come to church!" Well, she was sick Sunday, so she didn't come, but she'll come next week. It was awesome though.

I can't believe all these miracles have happened, and it makes me mad at myself for the times that I've even doubted the Lord just a little bit. He is a God of Mircles. And there is no doubt that is what happened this week. 5 people in Buffalo Ridge accepted the invitation to be baptized this week, and there is no shadow of doubt in my mind that the first 4 weeks of this transfer were in preparation for these people that are ready and willing to hear the message of the Restored Gospel. They are searchers of truth, and until now, they didn't know where to find it. (D&C 123:12)

We had a mission tour this week, which is basically when a general authority comes and talks to our mission and trains us on how to be better. Elder Richard J Maynes of the seventy came and talked to the south half of the mission on wednesday, and to us in the north half on Thursday. It was amazing. It really taught me that we are called to gather the elect, and that those who aren't searching for the truth may be there for us to plant some seeds, but shouldn't be occupying our full efforts or attention. He is an awesome man, and served as a mission president in Monterrey Mexico. I also got to see Elder Washburn there, and that was really cool. I am so grateful to him for the trainer that he was, and the example that he set for me. I love that guy.

Well my recommended scripture reading of the week (based on the title and content of this email) is Mormon 9. "Believe in God" "God has not ceased to be a God of Miracles". I love all of you, I love the work. There is no greater thing than seeing someone change their life and yield it to God--to see them "put off the natural man and become a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord". I am thankful for my many blessings especially at this time of the year. I am thankful for Christ the Lord, I am thankful for his mercy and love that has truly saved my life, I am thankful to my Father in Heaven for all that he is, and his great wisdom, love, and plan. I am thankful for you, for your prayers, and your testimonies. I love this gospel.

Elder Logan Bryan

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ask and ye shall Receive

Hola Familia,
This week was pretty good, but very busy and kind of hectic. We went on exchanges twice this week. The first time on Thursday I was with Elder Rheingans, and the second time which was on Saturday, I was with both Elder Goesch and Elder Rheingans. They're awesome guys, and great examples of great leaders. We have still been spending a lot of time finding and meeting with potentials.

This week we had one time when we really got an answer to prayers. We had been praying for a family to teach, and then the Zone Leaders encouraged us to fast for a family to teach, and then we taught a potential that we had found last week with her husband. They have two young kids, and they were really nice, and wanted to believe what we taught them. We asked the husband, Neil, if he felt like what we were teaching was true, and he said that he wanted to believe. They don't have a ton of faith right now, but we are going to try and help them recognize the Spirit very strongly so that they can feel like they know that the gospel is true. It was truly an answer to prayers to teach them, and I was very grateful the Lord blessed us with this tender mercy this week.

We had a lesson with Jess on Thursday when I was with Elder Rheingans, and we talked mostly about baptism, and how the gospel will change her life. Again, she knows she needs to be baptized and she has that as a goal in the future, but the only thing holding her back is getting married to Brian. We had talked about having a quick wedding where the Bishop would marry them, and they seemed fairly open to that. Jess said that after talking with both sets of parents, hers and Brian's, they were getting pressure to have a big wedding. We encouraged her to think still about the quick wedding and do a big celebration later, and she said she and Brian would talk about it. They were planning on meeting with Bishop Ross this Sunday to talk about their goals and how to get there, but they both were sick, and Bishop didn't make it to Church until the third hour. So it didn't happen, but we're really hoping that we can meet with her later this weekend. She was very grateful that we came over this week, and made a comment before we left that it felt nice to have us over since it had been a week and a half. She feels the Spirit, and is so ready for baptism.

Some other good news is that tonight we're meeting with a lady named Kelsie Davison who the Zone Leaders had taught the first lesson to a couple months ago. She kind of dropped off the face of the earth for a while, and then they gave us her teaching record and we contacted her a couple of weeks ago. She was gone the last two weeks, but a lady in the ward invited Kelsie and her family over for FHE tonight. Kelsie, from what the teaching record says, was very receptive to the Spirit, and she said she wanted to be baptized and learn more about the gospel. We are planning on teaching her the Plan of Salvation tonight with emphasis on divine potential as a child of God, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I think these things will really bring in the Spirit, and she will be receptive to being baptized on a certain date. I'm really excited for this lesson.

Well things have been going pretty good here in Buffalo Ridge, definitely different than last transfer, but I guess that's just how the work goes. We are trying very hard, but there's always room to try harder. I have been trying a lot more to develop patience and let things roll of my back. I have also been praying for charity, because I have come to the realization that what it says in Moroni is so true "if ye have not charity, ye are nothing". I try to develop love for those around me, and it's not always the easiest, but I am really trying to humble myself and let love take place in my heart. It's not always easy to do this, especially when people are taking lightly the things we hold to be sacred and true. But it's what Christ did, and I know I need to become more like him. I am working on creating a routine for my personal study so that I get in memorization, the Book of Mormon, and Preach My Gospel all in the hour that I'm given. I've been trying to be more in Preach My Gospel, and every time I read it, I feel very uplifted and edified. I have felt the Spirit really strongly this week, but I've also felt the workings of the adversary in my life. I know that's an eternal principle, though. Just like Joseph Smith in the Grove, and just like Moses after speaking with God, Satan always tries his hardest when we are trying our hardest. It's kind of annoying really. But we have so much power over Satan that it is incredible if we just do the right thing and keep the commandments. I love missionary work. The Holy Ghost is a comforter, a warner, a peacegiver. In 3 Nephi 19 it says the people prayed for that which they desired most: they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given to them. The Holy Ghost is the answer to all of our problems. There are times we may feel terrible, dark, alone, full of despair, ready to give up. Like Nephi says in 2 Nephi 4: "Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin! Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul" We need not wait any longer in sin or despair or sadness. The Holy Ghost is the way to give place no more for Satan. Pray for its presence, and it shall be given unto you. Look to God, and live. I love you all, I love this work.

Elder Logan Bryan

Monday, November 7, 2011

It Doesn't Come until...AFTER the Trial of your Faith

Well my wonderful, awesome family that I love,

As you can tell from the title of this email, it's been a trying week. We haven't seen much success--well, I shouldn't say that. The success we've had seems like it's Heavenly Father helping us reach our goals (as far as numbers go), but we don't have many people that we're working with. I know Dad said the teaching pool there is 4 people. Well up until this week, ours was 1. We have been tracting insane amounts of time, and we get a lot of potential investigators, but when we say we'll come back at a certain time, they're never there. And I guess I shouldn't expect them to be--if two guys knocked on my door and asked to come back, I probably wouldn't make it a priority to be home either. But there have been two contacts that have been there when we came back. They both (according to the qualifications) became new investigators of ours:

Anthony is an interesting guy who is 27 years old and who we'll probably end up handing over to the Zone Leaders who work in the YSA branch. Our first lesson with him, Elder McKay asked a bunch of questions and really tried to resolve concerns about baptism and get a commitment. Anthony said he felt a really aggressive and ferocious presence from Elder McKay during that, and he almost told us to get out of his apartment! It was kind of ridiculous. Elder McKay wasn't being ferocious at all, but Anthony says he's real sensitive to presences and spirits and apparitions, and that he's met the man who baptized him into the Catholic church and he felt that man was a man of God. We tried to talk about authority, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears, or I guess maybe ears that were getting eaten by a ferocious aggressive presence coming from Elder McKay ;) It was funny, to say the least.

Nicole and Ben were there when we went back to their apartment, and they reluctantly invited us in. We got a little background from them and they met eachother at Bible College, and they are very familiar with the Bible. Nicole has a little bit of a knowledge of our faith, but I'm pretty sure it was skewed and most of what she was taught were weird deep doctrinal things. Anyway, she has read some of the Book of Mormon before, but she said she found times when it disagreed with the Bible, so she didn't agree with it. Her husband, Ben, is a very outspoken, abrasive guy. He wasn't afraid to tell us we were completely wrong, and at one point after he asked or responded in a biting way, he said, "I'm just trying to teach you guys something". Well, after a very long time in their apartment, we managed to scrape out the rudiments of lesson 1, the restoration. We tried to ask them to read the Book of Mormon, and Ben said if anything, our conversation has urged him to read more of the Bible, and then if he finds something that tells him to read the Book of Mormon, he will. Well as we closed our lesson, Ben said he was impressed that we didn't lose our cool, because he said he was pretty close a couple of times. It was kind of an interesting lesson, but I do have to thank Heavenly Father because they said we could come back this week, so Anthony and them are our 3 new investigators for this past week.

Things are looking up though. While tracting we asked for a referral from a lady who wasn't interested, and she gave us the name of a lady who is going through a divorce right now. We knocked on her door, and she was super nice to us, and we have an appointment with her tomorrow. I have a really good feeling about her. Her name is something like DeShauna or TaShawna or something like that. We also have an awesome guy named Ron who works security on F.E. Warren Air Force Base (almost everyone here works there) who is ultra nice to us, and who said he's going to call us in the next couple of days to set an appointment up. We are working hard, and I know we'll start to see a lot of our hard work pay off in the next couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to meeting with these two this week, and the ward is trying to work on getting us more people to teach. Line upon line, I know the work will come. It's just a little discouraging day after day working and tracting for hours with no apparent success. But I have to remind myself that sowing seeds is bringing people closer to Christ as well.

On a funnier note, on Friday we moved probably the heaviest piano in the world. It is an upright grand built in 1910 and definitely weighs at least that many pounds. Then that night we got a call from the people we were supposed to do service with the next day, and they asked us to do it Friday night. So we helped them haul and stack 5 tons of hay. It was a workout day. Then we went over to their house the next day and helped them killl their two 50 lb (or so) turkeys. They were huge! Brother Friis had to shoot them in the head before Elder McKay and I chopped their necks because their necks were so stinking big! It was kind of fun though.

A scripture that has really helped me this week is 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. I know that I am weak. Plain and simple, I am a very weak person who has many infirmities and weaknesses. But, our weaknesses make us humble. Humility makes us strong because when we are humble, we turn to Christ, our Savior, and in turn, he lifts us up and carries our burdens. Like Paul says, "I take pleasure in infirmities...for when I am weak, then am I strong." I have found out through study that each of our weaknesses is a step away from charity. As we repent and change and allow Christ to pick up our slack, we become more charitable. Each thing we repent of, each weakness we make strong is a step toward charity. Charity never faileth. God doesn't call people to fail. He calls us in our weakness so that we can turn to him and be humble and allow ourselves to be made strong, be made charitable, and it is then that we cannot and will not fail. Without charity we are nothing. Look to God and live. I know I have many things to work on, and I do not have enough charity. But we must "pray for this love". As we do so, we can accomplish anything that God asks us to do--anything. I have a strong and burning testimony of that.

I love you all, and I miss you greatly. I pray for you always.

Elder Logan Bryan