Thursday, August 27, 2015

Monday Morning Meetings

(from the Yakima Mission blog)
We meet on Monday mornings at the Mission Office in Yakima to plan the coming week and discuss things like how to prepare for our first transfer week.  On the 28th we’ll have 14 Elders and Sisters completing their missions and 17 new ones joining us.  That will all happen in 2 1/2 days, involving 2 airports, lots of luggage, a lunch, a farewell dinner and testimony meeting, final interviews, 14 beds, then a nice breakfast before the trip to the airport where we’ll sadly say our goodbyes.
All this will be followed immediately that same afternoon by the in-coming group who will be welcomed (at a different airport) brought to the mission home, and fed an arrival dinner.  Then President Lewis will interview each so he can decide where to assign them in the morning.  Then we’ll send them to 17 beds where they probably won’t sleep much.  It’s an exciting time.  In the morning we’ll serve another delicious breakfast (waffles with homemade syrup, bacon, and an egg casserole) then take them to the Stake Center in Yakima where they’ll receive their new companion assignments, meet those companions, gather their luggage and head out to their new areas.  The companions they’ll join will come in to various meeting places throughout the mission to help transport everyone back to their areas, where they’ll be hard at work by late afternoon.  It’s a logistical feat to make this all happen without a mishap.  We’re excited to try!
Some where in all of this action will be some training for the new missionaries on mission policies, car use, housing, health, and hold a testimony meeting.  Our fabulous office staff will help with all of that.  It’s a team effort and oh so fun!  These volunteer office missionaries are incredible.  You’ll learn more about them soon.  They are hard at work every day, taking care of all of us.  They are the heart and soul behind the scenes.  We love them so much.

Fourth of July 2015

 Fourth of July 2015 with these great missionaries.

Washington wildfires rage

Washington wildfires rage; Obama declares state of emergency.





 Winds will continue to challenge firefighters across North Central Washington. President Obama has declared a state of emergency.

By Lewis Kamb, Sandi Doughton
Ángel González
Seattle Times staff reporters
They’ve deployed all available personnel and equipment, called in the National Guard, obtained an emergency declaration from the president, even appealed to common citizens for help on the front lines.
But state officials managing the battle against a hellstorm of wildfires burning out of control across Washington are still awaiting the biggest boon:
A break in the weather.
“With big fires like this, the unfortunate truth is it takes a change in weather or terrain to stop them,” Washington Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark said Friday. “That’s really the best you can do.”
Evacuation orders remained in effect in at least six towns and several rural areas and thousands of homes continue to be endangered, as exhausted firefighters at the mercy of the winds largely settled into defensive postures on Friday.
“I’m not going to get someone hurt or killed protecting stuff,” Todd Pechota, an Okanogan fire incident commander, said during a briefing Friday.
Already, three firefighters have been killed and four others injured, untold numbers of homes have been consumed and hundreds of residents have been displaced as fires now rage across nearly a half-million acres of Washington timber- and rangelands.
With 490,000 acres in Washington having burned or now burning — an area larger in size than the cities of Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles combined — 2015 now marks the worst fire season in state history.
Last year’s total of 413,143 acres burned had been the previous record, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.
President Obama declared an emergency Friday in the state and has ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts.
The president’s action, which authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster-relief efforts, means Washington will be eligible to recoup up to 75 percent of costs to respond to the wildfires.
The declaration also would provide direct assistance on the ground in affected communities — with food, debris removal, grief counselors and other resources, said Karina Shagren, a spokeswoman for the Washington Military Department.
With Washington now among the hardest hit of Western states dealing with unusually fierce wildfires this season, reinforcements are streaming in from other states.
Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming and Minnesota are among states that have sent or are sending crews and equipment to help battle blazes here, officials said.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Zone Conference with Elder Packer

Hey Mom!
Time definitely does fly when you are having fun! August is already almost over! I think the earths rotation has increase dramatically because the days just go so much quicker. It's seems like a blur sometimes!

This week has been loaded with a lot of great things. Elder Packer of the seventy visited us and it was an inspirational experience. He arrived in Pasco Washington on Sunday and was over there talking at a stake conference and then headed up to Yakima to prepare for the zone conferences Monday and Tuesday. Sunday night we collect what we call key indicators and we were up fairly late collecting those. The following morning we woke up at about 4:30 to get ready and leave for the Quincy building. We arrived safely and got everything set up and ready for Elder Packer and again everything played out very smoothly. We were able to hear some inspiring words from President Lewis in regards to having and applying faith in our missionary work. Following President Lewis, Sister Lewis addressed us. I've got to say Sister Lewis is the best presidents wife ever! Her trainings are doctrinally sound! She teaches with power and conviction! The missionaries love it and especially today as she trained us on teaching skills. I was able to learn a lot about how as truly listen with love and allow our investigators to express themselves the words will come to us and to trust your voice! Sometimes we are so worried about saying the right thing and making sure it is just perfect. The Lord asks us to speak OUR voice, not someone elses. That also goes back to being who we are and not someone else because there is only one you. So do you!

The Packers both talked very powerfully on the importance of family and family history work. As they shared some personal stories as examples the spirit filled the room. The then proceeded to teach us about the spirit of Elijah and how it is felt very powerful among all that have families. Gearing that towards missionary work was awesome. They asked us to ask our investigators about their families allowing them to feel the spirit of Elijah testify of the divinity of the family. As the packers pinpointed that spirit that we were able to feel it was incredible. It brought a whole new light upon not only family history work but the power of family evident in everyone's lives. Pinpointing that same spirit in lessons or meetings with investigators will bring forth blessings into their lives. Allowing them to recognize the spirit more and more in the future. 

This week we are seeing Ray Carranza enter the waters of baptism! Tomorrow is his interview and final lesson before he will be ready to be baptized and we pumped! He has been, what we call, a golden investigator. Came to church with a white shirt and tie for the first 3 times and is our miracle of August. I will send pictures and more info about people next week! Love you and take care! 
E. Archibald

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Exchanges, 'one last door'

Hey Mom!
That is so exciting! It seems like there is always something awesome happening back home. From babies and their delivery time to welcoming someone new into our humble abode it's just great! I'm sure you are enjoying the extra woman in the house. You have been so out numbered over the years. I'm actually not sure how you feel on the matter haha. That's awesome thought!

Busy busy busy! This week was Zone Training Meeting week. All the zones/stakes full of missionaries got together in the zones and had a meeting. We were able to join our zone and it turned out great! There was a training given by a new sister missionary that talked about teaching by the spirit. It was so powerful! Elder Smith and I were surprised to hear that coming from her already. She delivered the message so clean and clear. The spirit just filled the room and everyone was edified. As we continue to see missionaries come out they are just more and more prepared. They are ready to share the gospel because they personally have gained that testimony and knowledge beforehand. This is really the work of the Lord.

For the rest of the week we were in and out of different towns going on exchanges. We started with Wenatchee. Elder Jensen and Elder Rosenkrantz. Two great leaders of the Wenatchee zone. Elder Jensen and I were able to go out together and talk with many great people. Right at the end of the night we had one of those last door experiences. Where missionaries knock door after door and nothing comes. We say to ourselves, "alright, one more door." After we knocked a young guy answered. Throughout the conversation we focus on sharing the message of the restoration but as we started to share something stopped us dead in our words and instantly went to the plan of salvation. His attention peaked as we testified of the purpose of life and our heavenly fathers plan for each of us. We truly are blessed to have a knowledge and a confirmation of where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. At the end of our conversation he only committed to read the pamphlet but I know that the message that we shared struck a chord in his heart. These are the moments that are fulfilling. That puts us at rest at the end of a long day. The moments where you can feel the spirit testifying and you have done all that you can. That is all that the Lord asks of us. Is to give all that we can and he will do the rest. Being on a mission has taught me that principle more than anything else. I'm sure you have noticed that, for I mention it probably more than any other principle. I know that the Lord is very involved within our lives. He is very aware of what we need and is waiting to please that need. All he asks is that we have faith in Him. Believing that he is Jesus Christ, He performed many miracles and that through him all things are possible. 

Quick update on whats going on in the mission right now. We are preparing to have Elder Packer, of the seventy, come and visit us. He sounds like such a great guy as we coorelate and work out the plans for the meeting. It is going to be an awesome experience to work closely with him. Have a great week and I will report next week on how everything went. Most likely i will be writing wednesday next week. Love you!
E. Archibald

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New goals and promised blessings--Ray and Anna

Hey Family!
This week has been great! Pretty busy like usual but so much fun. Real quick before i get into the letter, Thank you so much for the package and packet. I LOVE IT!! Beside the point of making me a little trunky but that was only temporary i swear! Thank you Samantha for the package and amazing kids that you have. Thomas and Sophie, I love you and keep being awesome.

To start the week off we were getting prepared for trainer trainee meeting with all the new missionaries and their trainers. Along with that meeting we also were able to have what we call a Doctrine of Christ training. Mainly the 5 basic principles of Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end and how they relate to our missionary purpose and life. It was awesome to be able to spend some time with them. There is a power about new missionaries. The meetings ended up going great but there was a minor set back. Because of the lack of shut eye the previous night i was a little forgetful. As we arrived at the Quincy church building i realized i had left my suit coat back home an hour and a half away. So we were in trouble. Luckily Elder Budica, a great elder serving in the area was of adequate size. So we called in reinforcements and it worked. So an hour later I'm conducting this meeting in a suit that is maybe a size or two too small. haha it was pretty embarrassing but luckily i was able to pull it off. It really just motivated me to start working out more so it worked out. haha 

IMG_0553For the remainder of the week we spent time preparing and planning for MLC. This MLC (Mission Leadership Council) was a little different than usual. Because we are so new and our new Presidnet, President Lewis, is new and inspired we set new standards and decided what this mission wanted to become. Listing strengths and weaknesses, desires and actions, etc. It was a great opportunity to allow all of the mission leadership to have a part in building this mission from the ground up. Afterward we were able to hear from a few of them and we heard nothing but great things. The incredible thing that really came from this past MLC was the new goals for the mission. We set goals that would stretch each companionship to baptize at least 1 person per month. We all accepted and sustained this goal with a promise that if we are committed, miracles will come. The next morning something crazy happened. Elder Smith and I knew that we had no one on date for this month and so we were a little worried but determined. So we get a text that this guy named Ray was meeting with the YSA elders at this time and to show up for a hand off lesson. We show up and as the lesson starts he asks us what time his baptism will be on the 29th. He wants to invite a friend and he needs to let him know when to be there. Elder Smith and I are just smiling ear to ear and dumbfounded. Ray fell into our laps and just wants to be baptized. The lesson ended up going great and then later that week he attended church with a white shirt and a tie. The Lord definitely provides if we are sincere and are determined to act.  
(From the Washington Yakima Mission blog) Today was an Historic Day in the Yakima Mission.  We held our first Mission Leadership Council (MLC).   We’ve been looking forward to and preparing for this meeting since our arrival.  Our missionary leaders from all over the mission traveled here this morning (some coming from more than 2 hours away).  We met from 10:00 until 5:30 this evening, discussing our Yakima Mission Vision and Identity, hearing reports from each area, and setting goals for the coming month.  We talked about our Standards of Excellence, Mission Policies and Practices, and then President Lewis, the Assistants and I taught.
Our Yakima Mission is divided into 9 Zones, or areas.  Each Zone has a Zone Leader companionship who leads the missionaries in their area.  We also have 3 Sister Training Leader companionships (STLs).  These Sisters work with all of the Sister missionaries in their areas, training, helping, teaching and cheering them on.  These missionaries are the leadership of our Yakima Mission.  It was thrilling to be with them, to hear their voices, their excitement about the work, and their vision for our new mission.
The spirit of camaraderie and love in the room was amazing.  These are good, kind, obedient and  consecrated missionaries.  They are here for the right reasons and they love the Gospel of Jesus Christ and are happy and grateful to share what they know.  Several times today I felt moved to tears as I listened to them share their feelings and commitment to serve and bless others.  It really was a remarkable day.

Anna Dankin was another woman that has great faith. We met her for the first time and it was great. Incredibly enough she also just wants to be baptized. Right when we got there she told all  to HOLD UP! My missionaries are here! For the next 30 mins we listened to her tell us her story and why she wanted to be baptized. She said, " I've been reading the Book of Mormon for 4 to 5 years, I know it's true and that by living the commandments god has placed before us I can truly be happy and thats what i desire". We weren't sure if she knew how true her words were and as we testified of those same truths you could feel the spirit so strongly. It is always amazing to see someone desire to change and finding that through Christ it is made easier. To top off the week both, Ray and Anna made it to church!

The week has been great and we are excited for another. The weeks just fly by! Uh oh....
E. Archibald

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Transfer weeks are CRAZY

Hey Mom!
Sorry this week is transfer week and it has been completely crazy! Its so exciting though! We have been running and running. Just to give a you a little idea of how everything goes on transfer week it starts monday evening. We have all the departing missionaries arrive at the mission home around 4 and from 4 on until that night they are interviewed by President Lewis and play games like badmitten and boccee ball. It was alot of fun! Alot of the missionaries going home were good friends of mine even though we only knew one another for about a transfer. Also, my trainer Elder Doyle went home and was here in this mission. It was awesome to see him off when he got to see me come in to the mission. As the night wrapped up we drove a missionary to the Tri-Cities down close to pasco around 10. It was alot of fun! The following morning the departing missionaries packed up their luggage into the trailer and we were off back to the tri-cities to help them fly out. It's always an interesting experience taking missionaries to the airport especially when time is just ticking down! Luckily while we were there dropping off the missionaries we were able to see some old time friends Elder Stringham and Elder Burton. They were there as well dropping off their departing missionaries. It was great to see the both of them and see what has happened in the Kennewick Mission.

Following the airport we made our way back to Yakima and met all the new missionaries that had flown in earlier that morning into the Yakima Airport. This transfer was a little extra hectic because of the transition into the new airport. Everything has been going smoothly so far so that's great! So for the next couple days we have had trainer trainee meeting, a transfer meeting, new missionary orientation, and transfers. It's been so much fun!

A fun little fact about our driving for the month. We have driven 160 hours total for the month. haha it's pretty crazy. This upcoming week has alot to offer as we prepare. We are excited to be working with a lot of the new missionaries. It's refreshing to feel of their spirits and desire to do missionary work. Fresh feet is always a plus to have around!

Letter is short.. Sorry! I will write more on P-day. 
Love ,
E. Archibald

This picture was taken on pioneer day. The yakima 3rd ward put on a BBQ and we were able to attend and listen to a little enactment of an old trapper Jim Bridger. It was alot of fun. These two girls sitting infront of us were so bright and such fun kids.