"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, December 19, 2011


My amazing family!

Well this week was really crazy and really great! On the top of the list goes Jess and Brian. They got married on Saturday by Bishop Ross. We saw them on Sunday, and when Brian walked into the chapel for Sacrament Meeting, I asked him how everything had gone the day before (we didn't get to go to the wedding, it was super small), and he just couldn't stop smiling. It was awesome to see. We then had the baptism later that night, and man it was awesome! The word everyone kept using was amazing. There were a bunch of people there, and as it started, I just felt this warm peaceful feeling come over me like someone had thrown a blanket on top of me. It was amazing! I can't even describe how happy I was to see Brian and Jess in the waters of baptism, happy and full of the Spirit. I was asked to give a talk after the baptism, and I just talked about the peace that the Spirit brings. They have truly felt this peace come over them as they have made changes in their lives, and as they've given up things of the world for things of eternity. The ward bought them a framed photo of the Denver Temple, and I know their sights are set on it, and on becoming an eternal family. I'm so excited I'll still be in the mission when they are sealed, and I hope I can go.

The rest of this week was a little bit hectic and crazy, but no surprise. We went on exchanges twice. I went with the zone leaders twice so Elder McKay could do his exchanges with the other elders in our district. It was fun, and both Elder Rheingans and Elder deBruyn are great missionaries who really care and love the work. We also had the Christmas Devotional for all the missionaries in the North half of the mission which was great! I loved it, and Brother Keith Handy had an amazing presentation on the archealogical evidence of the Book of Mormon in Mexico and Central America that really strengthened my testimony. I've always loved the Book of Mormon, but I felt even more of a connection to it during his presentation--it made me appreciate my heritage even more.

As for our investigators, Katrina who was going to be baptized tomorrow is not anymore. She just isn't sure of her answer, and Elder McKay and I are pretty sure that her dad has a lot to do with her unnassuredness. Her dad is pretty against the LDS church because her mom is part of it. They are divorced, and I think he has a lot of nasty things to say about our church. Katrina is very swayed by her dad, and she doesn't want to be known as the mom-pleaser. We have prayed and fasted for her, and are meeting with her tonight. We are just going to rely on the Spirit and Trust in God that He has a greater plan that we are all part of. I hope she makes a decision and realizes she has had an answer. Our other investigators are doing well. Tashanna came to church this Sunday and she met with Bishop. He challenged her to find her own testimony and be baptized. I think Bishop is awesome, and he is a really missionary-oriented Bishop. I can't say how grateful I am to him for all he has done for our ward.

Another cool experience we had this week was with a potential investigator, Lamarr Sherrod. We tracted into him last week, and we stopped by this week to meet with him. He let us in, and we talked with him about his religious background which was going to a Baptist church sometimes with his mom and grandma. We established our expectations with him, and shared a little about our beliefs. We told him we didn't want to take much time with him, and that we would teach him more about what we believed in another appt. He just kept saying, "No, don't worry about it. I really NEED to make time for this, I need to get closer to God." And as we were leaving we told him that we would come by with the zone leaders (who cover the YSA branch which he chose to attend) for just a few minutes the next day and that we wouldn't take much time. Then he said, "Don't worry, it's not taking my time. It's time for me that I just can't deny it anymore. I need this in my life." It was awesome, and he'll become a great investigator for the zone leaders.

The problem Elder McKay and I are facing is getting our investigators to church. Granted, it is a difficult and busy time of the year for some people to find time, or to change churches and social circles, but we have really been searching for a way to help people see the importance of church attendance. It makes me appreciate even more the eight fundamentals that they teach missionaries in the MTC (pulled from PMG). They are truly inspired. "Revelation through church attendance" is a fitting fundamental. We encourage people to receive personal revelation--to pray and read and try to find an answer. We need them to also realize that revelation comes through church as well. I believe that if people came to church asking God a question in mind and expecting an answer, they will always receive that answer. There have been countless times people have said that talks in church or testimonies felt like the person was speaking directly to them. That is the Spirit answering these peoples' concerns, and Elder McKay and I are trying to help people find how spiritually enlightening church really is.

This Christmas week is going to be one full of energy and the Spirit of Christ. I have been trying to understand more fully Christ and my relationship with Him. I know that He cares about me and He knows me by my name. I know that He understands everything I go through and He has gone through all of it Himself. I know that He is on my side, and He wants me to succeed. I also know that I have to be on HIS side as well. When times are tough, when I feel alone or feel like my peace has been destroyed, I know that like my favorite hymn says, "Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side." I know that after Sunday's phone call, I'm probably going to be homesick, and I'll probably feel pretty alone or sad. But I know that all I need to do is turn to Christ because He "was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows". With His stripes I can be healed; through His love, I can find peace. I love Him and I love the work.

Elder Logan Bryan

P.S. the pictures are of President Toombs dressed up as the grinch for the Christmas Devotional, and Elder McKay and I with Brian and Jess at the baptism. It's a little blurry, I should be getting another, better quality picture soon. Love you.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sweet Little Jesus Boy

Well Family,
This week was great. The title of the email is the title of the song Elder McKay and I performed for our ward party, and for the stake nativity exhibit this past weekend. He sang, and I played the piano. Shout out to Sister Gibson for helping me with my very limited piano abilities. It's a really cool song that I think was a Negro slave spiritual at one point. There are some weird chords that I played. We'll have to do it for the recorder, and then I'll send that home. Elder McKay is an awesome singer. He really brings the Spirit in with his singing, and I am grateful to have been able to help him perform this song.

We saw a lot of blessings, as we have seen this whole past transfer as well. We have been working hard on finding a balance between finding and teaching. It seems that the most effective way to find is to have a specific time planned out each day to find. I think what Elder Maynes talked about was very true. When we start working and teaching, we can't forget finding. He said that eventually we would have to start cancelling appointments to make room for finding. It's very true, and I think Elder McKay and I will be implementing that soon. We have tried to make room for finding each day, and it seems that every time we go out and tract, someone is willing to let us into their homes to teach them. One day this week we decided to finish up a street that we had tracted most of, and the first door that we knocked on was a lady who told us she had just recently gone through cancer treatment and she wanted us to come back and talk to her and her kids and get more information about what we believe. As we walked away from the door after having set up a time to come back, her kids asked her who we were, and she told them, "They're men who do God's work. They're either Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons, but we'll find out." It was really cool to hear that. Then the next door we knocked on, the one right above hers, was a lady who had a baby 3 days before, and she invited us back, and we set up an appointment, but she cancelled on us via text (much nicer than just not showing up). It seems like we're constantly being led to people who are prepared, courteous, and willing to open their hearts to the gospel. I don't think it's any coincidence that this tracting success is happening this time of the year. I feel like more and more peoples' hearts open up during this time of giving and kindness. I'm so thankful for Christ and how we celebrate His birth this time of the year.

Brian and Jess are getting married on Saturday, and she's getting baptized on Sunday. Earlier this week, Jess's mom was giving her a lot of grief for jumping into this marriage, and doing it so fast. It really affected Jess, and she was crying one night about it. She even second-guessed the decision she had made, and one day Brian called us very desperately trying to get us to help Jess out and give her some encouragement. We went over the next day, and we had texted her the day before giving her some scriptures to read and some confidence-boosting encouragement. We saw them again yesterday, and Jess said that the day after we went over there, everything just worked itself out. I'm so excited for them. Bishop Ross is marrying them on Saturday, and then we're having a dinner after the wedding that Elder McKay and I are invited to. It's just awesome to have been able to see all this happen from step 1.

Our other investigators are doing well, we still have a lot of work with a lot of them to prepare them for their baptismal dates--we may have to push some back because of church attendance. There are eight investigators that we have right now with a baptismal date. Jess, Katrina, TaShanna and her daughter Abby (which we'll push back a little bit), Teresa, Kelsie, Neil, and Jess. We had a lesson with Teresa this week, and we talked a little more about the plan of salvation and where her dad is right now. She just needs the peace and comfort of the gospel. We talked about baptism with her, and she got really teary at one point and said, "Would God be ok with me getting baptized again?" She just wants to do what is right, and we talked about the priesthood authority with her, and she committed to be baptized on 1/14. Her mom who grew up LDS is very excited for her, and wants to meet us. She is just prepared for the gospel. We haven't met with Rebecca again, yet, but we will this week. We had a lesson with Kelsie this week and we talked about baptism with her also, and she was totally open to it and committed to be baptized on 1/21. We hope to be able to start teaching her husband as well. We are just being so blessed.

We in particular are concerned, and praying for Katrina. She had a baptismal date of 12/20 and yesterday she texted us saying she didn't understand what we were talking about regarding baptism and she wasn't ready. We texted back telling her she had a lot of faith in God, and she just needed to keep the faith up, and He will answer her. That comforted her, and she said she would keep reading and praying. Elder McKay and I are going to fast tomorrow for her to get this answer. I am constantly amazed at the blessings that God gives to us. It really makes me wonder why I ever doubt. At times before I've been a little hesitant to pour my heart out into the work and just step outside and work. But why? Every time we just go to work and do what God asks us to, He blesses us. It's the simplest formula or equation out there. I can't believe I ever doubt that if I work, He will bless me. Time and time again, He has proved to be completely faithful, and I just continue to try to be faithful to Him. I love missionary work. It's amazing and so rewarding. I feel closer to the Spirit more now than ever before. I've been studying Christ lately, and especially His atonement. I am completely amazed at how little the Bible shares of the atonement, and how much the Book of Mormon brings to light about Christ's infinite sacrifice for us. It's just another testimony to me of how inspired and divine the Book of Mormon is. It really is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. We put on a little fireside at the Wilzbach's last night, and I was in charge of the Book of Mormon christmas part. I shared some thoughts about how the signs given at Christ's birth were a star and light in the night. Interesting how both signs were light. At Christ's death there was darkness in the land. How can people expect there to be light when the "light of the world" was crucified? How could they not expect there to be signs of light when the "light of the world" was born into the world? Now that Christ is no longer on the earth, we are called to be the light of the world. "A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid". During this time of the year and throughout all our lives, we are responsible to be representatives of Christ, and do what he did. We cannot hide what we do. We need to be reflections of Him whose wonderful life we try to emulate. The wonderful message of Christ's birth is the redeeming message of His life, His sacrifice, and His triumph over death and sin. We simply need to try to live our lives for the "Light and Life of the world" who saved them. I love Him.

Elder Logan Bryan

Monday, December 5, 2011

Looking Back on my Time in B-Ridge, and Looking Forward to my Time in B-Ridge

Hola Familia,

As you may be able to tell from the title, I am still in Cheyenne! One lady the other day in the ward called us the frozen chosen. I thought that was funny. Well this morning it was -7 degrees outside. Yes, that is NEGATIVE seven degrees. So we walked outside to the zone leaders' truck and the inside of my nose began to freeze. Apparently that is when you know it's pretty dang cold. So we've been with one of my zone leaders, Elder Rheingans, for the last 6 days because our other zone leader, Elder Goesch, was made the new assistant. They're both awesome. Zone leaders have trucks, so we've had a nice warm Chevy Colorado for the last few days, and the best news about transfers was........WE'RE GETTING A CAR!!!! We'll probably be getting it next week, and it's going to be the car the zone leaders drove before it got insane hail damage before I got here. It's a Chevy Colorado as well. I'm still going to be with Elder McKay too, we'll have a ton of fun over this Christmas season.

So, the news of the week. Jess and Brian. Oh man. They're getting married on the 17th!!!! WOOOOOO!! And then she's getting baptized the next day, the 18th! So we had been fasting for a miracle with these guys, and then Bishop called us a couple weeks ago and said the seventy that was coming for stake conference (this past weekend) wanted to visit an investigator close to baptism in the stake, and President Whitehead (the stake president) chose Jess. So they visited her this Saturday, and Brian had already been planning on proposing to her that night. We didn't know this, and we texted him to see if they were planning on going to the adult session of stake conference, and he said they would try, and to wish him luck because that night was the proposal night, and to tell Bishop Ross because he got plenty of chastising that day! It was hilarious, and when I got the text, I yelled and went crazy! Then we had an appointment with them yesterday and we set Jess for a baptismal date of the next day when all the family would be in town. We're invited to the wedding, and I'm going to take lots of pictures. I think Elder Washburn might get permission to come up for it, who knows? I got to call him today and tell him the news. It was great to talk to him.

Katrina Grant. She's the daughter of Sister Jump in the ward, and she was taught the missionary lessons once before. We went in yesterday and talked about the baptismal interview questions and she said she could answer most of them, she just needed to know if it was true. We committed her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, but most importantly we set her with a date to both receive and answer and be baptized on...the 20th of this month! It was an amazing lesson and everything just worked out perfectly it was awesome. Elder McKay is really good about remembering our purpose and talking about baptism with people. It's awesome.

We also picked up 2 new investigators this week. The first is named Teresa. We tracted into her. Actually, kind of. Elder Mckay and I tracted into a guy who really smelled terrible in the beginning of the transfer, and then the other week, he felt like we should visit this guy, and I was totally against it actually. The guy smelled absolutely horrid and disgusting, and he wasn't interested at all, he was like a wikken or something. Well, finally we just went over to the apartments he lived in, and we forgot which top apartment he lived in so we knocked on one, and it was Teresa. She has really been going through a hard time in her life, and she is ready to hear the gospel. In our appointment with her, she said her mom grew up LDS and then married her dad, but she was never taught any of what her mom believed. She told her mom we talked with her on her doorstep and her mom was super excited for her. She needs the gospel right now, and I think she will progress awesomely.

The second is named Rebecca. We tracted into her. She is also going through a hard time. She accepted everything we taught her this week, and I'm really excited to see how she progresses also. She committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. It was really a great week.

I have thought a lot this week about remembrance. We hear it so often in the church, every Sunday in fact. We also read it so often in the Book of Mormon. I know with all of my soul, that there is power in remembrance. Remembrance leads us to self-reflection, and also to reflection on our blessings. It gives us a broader view of the hand of the Lord in our lives. I cannot believe or comprehend the love that my Father in Heaven has for me. He has blessed me with so much, so many incredible blessings have filled my life from the moment I was born. Most importantly, though, he has blessed me with the gospel. Sometimes, it is hard to see how we will get through life. Sometimes it is hard to wake up knowing the same struggles that plagued our minds when we went to bed are going to be there when we open our eyes. Never give up. Remember the times that God has blessed you. Remember His mercy and love to you and your fathers and your brothers and sisters. Most importantly remember that in a garden and on a hill halfway across the world and almost 2,000 years ago, the only perfect person that ever walked the earth suffered, bled, and died--for you. His infinite sacrifice was for me personally and was for you personally. Take a moment and reflect on his tears and his pain for you, all because he loves you perfectly completely lies beyond the realm of any visage of mortal comprehension. "Greater love hath no man". He lives. He loves. And during this significant time of year, I am drawn to remember the words he said to Paul that apply to me and to you: "My grace is sufficient for thee. For my strength is made perfect in weakness." I would invite you to remember the power of the Only Begotten Son of the Father. Only an innocent baby when he was born, yes; but "how great the wisdom and the love" of our Savior who lived for everyone but himself, and marked the path for us to walk. I love Him. I love you.

Elder Logan Bryan