"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, February 27, 2012

Week 6 of my 5th Transfer in Buffalo Ridge

Well, my family. Let's face it. I'm going to stay here forever. 

So this week was rough, I was sick, and Elder Anderson made me go in early and sleep in.  It sucked.  I feel much better now.  Those antibiotics sure helped.

We have been teaching K'neesha (pronounce Kineesha) the Olsens' new foster daughter.  We challenged her for baptism on Friday, and after some spiritual resolving of concerns she accepted for the 17th of March.  Saturday there were two baptisms, not ours, and we had 3 investigators at one, and 1 at the other.  During the second baptism K'neesha said she was changing the baptismal date we had set with her.  When she told us she changed the date, it was a little disheartening, but then she said she'd explain.  She said she had talked to her mom and sister and grandma.  All of them are LDS.  She talked with them about getting baptized, and they said it would be great.  She then decided to do it for sure, and she is changing the date so her mom can be here.  She is moving it to the 20th.  It's soon, and we have to get moving on the lessons and such, but it will be great.  It's amazing to see miracles happen.  We're hoping we can jump those hurdles and be able to get her ready and help her strengthen her testimony so she will be prepared for this covenant.

Rita couldn't come to church this week because family was in town for her husband's birthday. Her hsuband is not interested in the least, but he's very supportive of her. We are meeting with them twice this week, and we're even thinking of moving her baptismal date up to the 17th. 

We talked to 2 people that we had taught once a while back and they both are having us over this week, so that's been a miracle as well.  I'm looking forward to the progress that our investigators are making, and I love how much the atonement of Jesus Christ works in peoples' lives.  It's amazing.  There must needs be an infinite and eternal sacrifice.  We can't do this on our own.  If I've learned anything on my mission, it's that of ourselves, we can't do anything. Nothing. The Lord has his arms outstretched to use us as instruments, to comfort us and love us.  Let's take the step toward Him that will truly set us free. 

Sorry it's a short one, but I will have more next week hopefully. 

Love you guys,
Elder Logan Bryan

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Week 5

My wonderful family,

Sounds like you guys are having tons of fun up in Brianhead.  That's awesome. We have had some crazy snow and ice and wind lately up here in the windy city of Cheyenne.  I am beginning to think that I should just write the first presidency and ask them to change my call letter to "you have been assigned to labor in the Buffalo Ridge Ward" haha.  That would be awesome. 

This week was pretty dang exciting.  Amy dropped of the face of the earth and we found out she was sick and so was her whole family--like always.  Then she texted us yesterday and said she couldn't meet this week because her husband was sick and so was her daughter. Needless to say, we sent back a very loving but bold message saying we needed to meet with her to prepare her for baptism. Ricky and Erik bailed on church and on our appointment, so that was extremely frustrating, and we saw them as we were getting lunch yesterday, and they quickly walked away from us so they wouldn't have to talk to us.  MAN!  WHat the heck?!  This is the most frustrating part of missionary work. 

Well the shining star of this week was Rita.  During our weekly planning, Elder Anderson and I were talking about how we can help Rita come to church because that was her main hang-up as far as the church went.  She was scared to commit to come to church because she knew if she came, she would have to keep coming.  Elder Anderson felt like it would be a good idea to give her a church tour.  I felt like that was a great idea, and so we set it up for Saturday where we would bring an older couple in the ward with us and they could fellowship as well as testify. It was probably the best church tour I've ever given. It was run of the mill until we got into the chapel, and we could just feel the peace overwhelm us.  Elder Anderson asked her if she could feel it, and she said she definitely could.  Then I felt like I should read the sacrament prayer as Elder Anderson was explaining the sacrament.  I did, and as I finished reading, I could see her wipe a tear from her eye.  It was great, and the members we brought with us added so much.  She committed to come to church on Sunday, and she did, and she thought it was an awesome experience!  On top of that, the members from the church tour signed up to feed us dinner yesterday, and they invited Rita and her husband over for dinner yesterday where we were able to talk about baptism, and find out she was very excited to be baptized.  It has been an amazing experience.  She's set to be baptized on March 24th, but I think she might even be ready before then.  She is what is getting us through these frustrating experiences.  I want so much for these people to accept and be blessed by the fulness of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, but they just choose not to.  The terrible, wonderful, two-edged sword of agency. 

I don't have much time today, but I love the gospel so much.  How amazing it is to know of the happiness and purpose that comes with a testimony of the Restoration, of Jesus Christ, and of the Plan of Salvation.  Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, the Rock of our Salvation, is my anchor.  His love and mercy fill my soul with such peace that I can't withhold.  It is because of this that I am on a mission.  A mission to proclaim the redeeming love of our Lord.  Amazing Grace, and truly it is.  Who else could love me so much that they would continually and forever forgive my weakness, accept my faults, and overlook my mortal shortcomings?  And on top of that, who could give the ultimate and lasting sacrifice that makes it so I am able to overcome all of these human flaws?  Only the perfect Prince of Peace whose loving lifeline is stretched to all who will but simply hold fast to it.  I love him.  And because I love Him, I find strength in each new day, a day to become better.  Live by His love.  Moroni 7:48. 

Elder Logan Bryan

Monday, February 13, 2012

Why Do We Doubt??

Well my wonderful family,

Like my title says, why do we ever doubt the Lord's mercy and blessings to us? After a long and hard first few weeks training Elder Anderson, we are finally seeing some of the fruits of our labors.  This week we met with Ricky and Erik Garnica on Wednesday night.  They were at home and they let us in, and we talked for a while with them and their other brother and their mom.  Then we talked to them about reading the Book of Mormon.  They said they had read some of it, and they liked what they read.  We asked them how they felt when they read it, and both Erik and Ricky both said that they felt like what they were reading is true.  We talked to them about baptism, and they said they wanted to be baptized and continue learning what we have to teach.  It was amazing!  We talked about them being baptized on the 25th of this month, and then they said they wanted to see how a baptism works first, so we set a date of March 3rd for them to be baptized!  Erik said the closing prayer and in his prayer he said: "Heavenly Father, will you please give me and Ricky an answer if the Book of Mormon is true? I really think it is true, and I'm hoping you give me an answer that it is..." It was so incredible!

Then, this week, we also met with Amy Robinson!!!  For the first time since January 3rd!  We brought the Laws (young couple ward missionaries) with us, and they hit it off super well.  We taught about baptism with her and asked what she thought about it.  She wants to be baptized really badly.  She said this is what she wants for herself, and she really wants this for her kids as well.  We talked about the requirements for baptism, and she said that she thinks she'll be ready by March 10th to be baptized!  She already knows it's true, and she is so ready to be baptized.  To top it off, she has been saying for a month that she wanted to come to church, but this Sunday, she actually did!  It was awesome.

Also, we met with Rita twice this week because she was sick last Sunday when we were set to meet with her.  The first time we met with her this week, we taught about the plan of salvation, and we talked about baptism with her.  She said she would work toward being baptized on the 24th of March!  But it was still a tentative thing, and she didn't really commit.  When she would talk about her involvement in the church and things, she would say that she was looking into our church, and seeing what we were all about.  Then, we taught her yesterday, and I asked her, "Rita, where do you think this path is taking you?  Where do you see yourself after having met with us and learned from us?"  Then she said to us, "I want to become involved in your church, I want to be part of it."  Elder Anderson then asked, "Do you have any concerns about what we've been teaching, or our church?"  And she said no.  We asked her why she was hesitant toward coming to church, and she told us she feels like if she comes to church, she's going to have to keep coming to church, and she's a little afraid about such commitment. Then we testified of God's aid for us when we do what He commands, and I think she will progress and come to church this week.  She is very golden, and I love being able to teach someone who just soaks everything in that we teach.  It's amazing.

My motivation has changed since I've been on my mission.  I came out to fulfill and obey what God had asked me to do, and to change myself.  Now, I am here to help others feel the joy and peace that come through our Savior Jesus Christ. Our motivation should be centered on the atonement, and bringing others the happiness that comes from its merits, grace, and mercy.  I think as missionaries, having the moral authority that has come to us as we have repented and felt the cleansing power of the atonement, we should be able to claim our motivation as the atonement.  Like Alma says in Alma 36, I want to be able to say:  "I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste".  That's what it's all about.  Yet, no matter how much I study the doctrine of the atonement, repentance, and the love Jesus Christ had for me, I still make mistakes.  I still mess up sometimes, and I still have a hard time forgiving myself.  It is a constant battle to be doing the right thing, but how could it ever be anything else?  As humans and children of God we are constantly moving--either toward God or away from Him.  I think where a lot of people have a skewed opinion is when they think they are at a standstill.  If we aren't constantly doing things to remember our covenants and keep them, and continue to repent and become better, we aren't at a standstill, we are moving further and further away from God.  Never let that happen.  It's a simple formula, but it is never easy.  It was never intended to be. To be with God and pass the ultimate test of mortality, we can't play hooky and shy away from the times that our courage, valiance, and comfort are put to the test. C.S. Lewis said, "God cannot give us a happiness apart from Him; it doesn't exist."  Own up to the trying toils of the test of life.  I testify that Christ will be there to lean on as we stumble and trip through the mortal path to immortality. Complacence is the beginning of the downward spiral; we have to DO something. If we use our faith in Him to lead us to act, we cannot fail.  I love Him with all of my heart.  He is my Savior, my Light, my Prince of Peace. 

Elder Logan Bryan

Monday, February 6, 2012


Hello my wonderful family!

Yes, this week we got snow. Not as much as we thought, but I'm thankful we have 4 wheel drive. Hope your week was great. Our week was pretty good. Elder Anderson is doing great, and he's learning quickly. I have definitely learned a ton from being with Elder Anderson. He is a great worker, and he wants to get things done. I definitely have grown from being around his simple but powerful testimony. This week, I went on an exchange with Elder Montague, my zone leader, which was a great learning experience, and he is a great leader with a powerful testimony (and the obedience to back it). I have enjoyed being able to learn from him and his great example. I also went on an exchange with some missionaries in my district. It was good, and if nothing else, I learned to love these Elders a lot more than I did--which is comforting because I thought I would have a hard time with that.

This week has been another intersting, but good week for us. It's always disappointing to see people cancel appointments and not keep commitments. We had our last lesson with Neil and Jess Avery this week. They weren't wanting to read or come to church anymore, so I asked them "Why do you still have us over?"  They said it was because they like us.  I told them that as Logan Bryan, back home, I would love hanging out with them, but as Elder Bryan--a representative of Christ--I have a purpose I need to fulfill, and I have better things I could be doing. They totally understood that we need to invite other people to come closer to Christ (and that they weren't getting any closer), but it was so hard dropping people you've come to love that aren't progressing.  Another thing I've learned from them is that as a missionary, it is so much easier to love people. In the world outside of my mission, I would have never even thought of going into their home or getting to know them.  I love how much the love of Christ rubs of on me when I'm engaged in His work.  Rita was sick this week, but we're teaching her tomorrow.  We're hoping to set her for baptism in mid-March.  I fasted for her progression yesterday, and I know she is ready to accept the gospel, so we just need to have faith, and the miracles will come. Amy Robinson said she was going to come to church yesterday, but then we stopped by (after she didn't show) and she said she slept through her alarm.  We are going to have to push her baptism back because she hasn't come to church at all in the time we've been teaching her--the last time we taught her was on January 3rd.  Myra (the latina from Indiana) couldn't meet this week, I don't know how comfortable she is in having us over, but I hope she can work things out--she's soooo golden.  It's hard when the elect are right there and we can't do anything about it.  We're praying for new people to teach and to find more of God's elect children.  Elder Anderson was looking at the finding ideas during our weekly planning session, and I asked him what he felt like we should implement that we haven't  been. He said he felt like we should start up a scripture study class.  It was brilliant!  I was blown away, and I didn't even remember having thought about doing that before.  So we've been organizing and recruiting through the members people to come to our class. We'll start the class in a week or two, and we will be holding it on Thursday evenings at 7.  It will be about 30-45 minutes long, and we have already had several people from the ward commit to coming.  I think it is a great activity for members to be able to invite their friends to, that isn't as big of a commitment as church is.  We both feel that it will increase the finding efforts in our area.

We had dinner with Brian and Jess Thomas this week, and I love them so much. If I never get to see anyone else be baptized, simply because of them, I am happy.  They are going to be leaders in the church.  Last Sunday, after church, they just went home and read the scriptures. They read 60 pages in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants last Sunday!!????  I love them, and Brian should be getting the Melchizedek Priesthood in a few weeks.  It's just amazing to see their progression.  He loves reading the scriptures with Jess because he'll remember things that he learned in Seminary.  He's a living example of the promise of the Spirit bringing all things to our remembrance.  Now that he qualifies for the Spirit, he is remembering the wonderful things he learned as a seminary student.  They're amazing.

Well, we're trying to work hard and study well.  I've been studying about desire and motivation recently, and I have come to realize how much of a difference those two things make.  Elder McKay and I talked once about where desire comes from.  I showed him a scripture in Mosiah 28 where it talks of the sons of Mosiah having the desire to share the gospel with every creature.  In the next verse it says, "And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them...".  I have come to realize and have grown in testimony that one of the fruits of the Spirit of God is desire.  The Holy Ghost can give us more desire.  It is simple, but so undeniably true.  We have to seek earnestly for the best gifts of the Spirit, and right now, I think one of the best gifts I can ask for is increased desire to do the will of God.  The other thing is motivation.  I have always thought a lot about Christ on my mission, and I know that He is the center of everything we do. His atonement should be our number one motivation.  Like it says in Preach My Gospel, when our knowledge and testimony of the atonement increases, so does our desire to share the gospel.  I know what we do is God's work.  It is never easy, but it is so completely worthwhile and life-changing that I wouldn't ever want it to be easy.  I love it.  Thanks for all your prayers and your thoughts and your love.  

I love you all so much,
Elder Logan Bryan