Saturday, October 3, 2015

Week of April 26 - The power of fasting and prayer


This week has been pretty good. Our teaching pool is still really small. This week we were able to teach Evelyne again. We just taught her more about the commandments (lesson 4 in Preach My Gospel) and really emphasized fasting. She told us that she knows the Book of Mormon is true and she even told her husband that she wants to go to the temple! He is still the only stumbling block for that family. I fasted this month for the situation (the obstacle of the father's attitude) to somehow be dissolved.  At our next lesson she said that her son, who we had not taught, told his dad that his prejudice was unjustified because he had not even been to our church. The husband acknowledged his mistake and commented that he will come to church in the future to check it out. Her whole family came to church and she said that she really wants to be baptized and has felt ready for some time, She just wants her husband to at least accept her decision. 

Other than that one of our other investigators went to enrichment and loved it. Up to this point, she has not really had the desire to find out if the church is true - hopefully, this was a step in that direction. We are teaching another man (kind of). We go and drop in on him and just answer his questions at the door. Other than that, we just do finding. 

This week we have been trying something new. We have been just going around and cleaning peoples windows and telling them that we are the missionaries for the Church. Lots of people have been more willing to talk to us about what makes us do what we do and what our church believes. We haven't gotten any concrete teaches from it, but I feel that it is a lot more effective and people actually appreciate what we are doing a lot more. 

Happy birthday dad. Thanks mom for those magazines. The mission gives each companionship the ensign each month. I kind of wanted some more meaty discourses, My bad for not making it clear. thank you for your effort. 

Elder OTterson

Week of April 19 - Service opens doors.


This has been a pretty good week. This last Wednesday it was pretty sunny outside so we decided to go and wash peoples windows. We sure got a better response from the people than if we were knocking on their door to talk about what we believe. They were super pleased to have us do something for them and actually came out while we were doing it and asked us why. As a result, we were actually able to have some legit conversations instead of them just trying to get rid of us. 

Interesting thing happened to us this past week.  Some old guy told us that there were 23 billion people in the world and that only 7 billion worshiped Jesus Christ and that 18 billion worshiped Buddha. He also asked why he couldn't just go around the gates of heaven. Besides his math and numbers being WAY off, he sure is misaligned with what's important.  Man you meet some really ignorant people while serving. All is well. 

Elder Otterson

Week of April 12 - Time constraints in writing home and insights on conversion

I know some of my E-mails have been pretty slack, but on P-day, we usually do our studies and then go to the library to e-mail. The mission rule is only an hour on the internet, so that includes downloading chrome, which takes a couple of minutes, entering stats, and e-mailing president which I usually do before getting to your e-mails. This combined with the fact that I am not the best at making small talk conversations is where I point the slack e-mails home. I guess I can start giving a blow-by-blow report on my often pretty routine weeks though.

On Monday, our investigator was supposed to bring her family to family home evening at one of the member's houses. She texted us a little before and said that she wouldn't be able to make it because here husband was acting up meaning he didn't want the kids to go. Tuesday we tried to visit a lot of the less active people and invite them to General Conference, and then we taught this guy named Rob about the Book Of Mormon. He has a lot of questions about it but we haven't had a really formal lesson with him because he is always on his way out or similarly busy. On Wednesday we had Zone Meeting, which was good but took out a large chunk of time and then I got  massive, debilitating headache which is hard to get rid of on a bike. Thursday and Friday we tried to make contact with some people we had met previously and then did some "tracting" (door-to-door contacting). Friday, I started to get a sore throat which stunk majorly.

So then we had conference on Saturday and Sunday which was awesome. I left my notes, so next week I'll try to add what insights I got out of it. I was mainly looking for revelation as to how to change your heart in order to make conversion part of human nature and not so much a choice you have to make at all times. I don't know if that makes sense, but I learned that that question (of choice) is quite irrelevant unless it becomes a habitual one as you practice it over and over again.

I hate being sick and this is the first time I have been so on the Mission which stinks really bad. It is getting better though and also our investigator watched all sessions of conference and loved it, but her husband really doesn't want the kids to participate which is lame.

Love ya. 

Elder O

Week of April 5 - Obedience and Diligence Yields Miracles

This has been a fun week. Our investigators are awesome and dedicated. Their little girl even sang in the Easter program! I am convinced that through obedience and diligence miracles will happen. I am super excited for conference this week. We had our investigators come and attend sacrament meeting, which was awesome. There were heaps of nonmembers and less active people who were there, and the spirit was super strong. The members are definitely more on board than before. Last one we had, only one non member was invited...Sad. I love the lord and serving Him. The Atonement is real. I love you all.

Elder Otterson

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Week of March 29 - The Church is Perfect, the Members and Missionaries Aren't

Hello Everyone.

Sounds like things are going well in Colorado. Transfers were pretty good. I got a new companion who is from New Zealand. His name is McPherson. He is a solid guy who has been out about 16 months. He is very confident and I feel more confident in myself when we go out and tract and teach. He just spent 7 months down in Tasmania. I still feel like I have lots to improve in, but I think that the hardest thing for this transfer will be to try and break some old habits without being too "holier than thou". Sadly our investigators have been hit with some opposition from the most likely of candidates, the father. Apparently, he has been feeding the boys anti-Mormon literature and stuff and is against Evelyne being taught in his home. They still are coming to church though and really love it so I have resorted to just praying hard. This is a first for me, but I imagine it is not going to be the last. It's just sad to see a family that is so keen and ready for the gospel be hindered by someone who should be looking out for their happiness. 

My new companion and I are really close friends. I feel like we can get some work done and get the members to enjoy our personalities more than the last couple of transfers.  I plan on us continuing to work hard, while still maintaining and being true to who I am (I have found that those who put on a false persona often drive me crazy). 

Adam's New Companion - Elder McPherson (Big and Small)

I am very much like David (Adam's cousin) in that I dislike hypocrites in the Church. They are everywhere. The only thing that matters is that you are true to your personal convictions. There are many missionaries who are hypocrites themselves. They preach about change and conversion when they don't even have the personal strength to go out and work. Many of them also have not let go of their old lives and still resent the rules and then break them, but teach others about changing their lives. It is a sad thing to see and sometimes I feel like I am a hypocrite whenever I do not work my hardest each day, or when I encourage the members to share the gospel, but sometimes feel apprehensive about sharing the gospel myself and also the fact that I did not do it back home. I have felt that most people do intend to do the right thing, but lack the conviction to do it. People are imperfect but as long as personally we our true to our beliefs, I feel that God is pleased with our decisions. Perfection is a process, and I am far from it. I know that I have changed incredibly while on my mission, but I recognize that I am not at the level I hoped to be at. I know that as we continue to put our trust in the Lord and then ACT, that is when we will have a change of heart. I would like to say that I have no disposition to do evil, but that would be an outright lie. Missionaries are not perfect, but they are doing what they believe is what the Lord expects of them and by doing so hope to have that change of heart. My heart has changed, but there is still a long way to go. 

Love Elder Otterson

Week of March 22 - A New Resolve: No Regrets


To be honest, this transfer I have not been the best that I could have been and I did not do all that was expected. These last couple of weeks I noticed myself falling back into old habits and I hated seeing that happen. My companion is leaving the area and the ward really loved him. Like even the stake president said that I had big shoes to fill and the ward believes he is like the best missionary to ever serve there. It is interesting to see how the wards like missionaries who are good guys, but the harder workers and more diligent ones are sometimes less revered. He was a great guy, and the ward members did love him there is no doubt, but I know that we could have done more good and we kind of let each other slip up a bit. I guess the whole experience has made me think about what kind of legacy I want to leave, and I believe that it is possible to be remembered both as a good missionary who loved the members and a hard working, obedient one as well (without compromising one to obtain the other). It reminded me of the talk by elder Holland where he says people fashion gods to suit them (Jeffrey Holland: The Cost and Blessings of Discipleship), and they generally choose to reject the true God who requires them to change and repent. This transfer I will have no regrets. I promise you and the Lord.

Elder Otterson

Week of March 15 - The Dilemma: Stats or Effectiveness

Man your story is so legit (Dad - I had told him the story of a powerful conversion story that I experienced on my mission in France of Sister Barbier; I also shared with him story of Le Havre and it being a really tough area that had been "condemned" prior to the WWII). I have really wanted to dust my shoes after some of the people's reactions to us going around and knocking on their doors. It has been a real eye opening experience to see the rudeness people have for absolutely no reason. I guess I have learned that no matter where I end up on the socio-economic spectrum, I do not ever want to be rude to others for any reason. 

It has been a really good week here. The lady that we have been teaching is super awesome. She has been doing everything required to receive an answer to her prayers and wants and desires to be baptised after she receives the confirming witness of its truthfulness. I know that the answer will come it is just the waiting that is hard, and in today's instant gratification society, I pray that it will not take too long. Her son came to church again and he really loves it so we asked him if he would want to learn and he said yes, so we will be teaching him this week. I hope that we can do our part to help them become converted. It is hard to balance out trying to get stats and trying to do what is important. For example, we our supposed to teach 20 lessons a week, but since we don't have investigators, we only teach like 7, and most of them our member lessons. Also we are supposed to get 20 new contacts a week which is super difficult even in the city where we barely got 20 each week and they are a lot more receptive and willing to change and do something different. We know member work is the key and most effective way to move the work here, so we stop in on members and follow up with their missionary efforts to keep it fresh in their minds. Those visits don't count anywhere on the stat sheet, but is a way better use of time. I don't know if you faced a similar dilemma and what you did to resolve it?

It is great to hear about all of the kids.  [Speaking of Aaron's wrestling] Keep encouraging Aaron. I think one of the biggest things that I wish you would have done was force me a little bit more when I was younger. I know that is probably just myself wishing I would have been willing to be pushed at a young age and that I would have been happy and content with that. Show Aaron you are actively involved by filming everything and attending all practices and signing him up for all tournaments and chaperoning him. I think that as long as you show you are committed to him, he will be committed himself.

Elder Otterson

Week of March 8 - Lots of Finding...

So far the work is going well. It took 60 hours, but we found someone to teach. I found a Zimbabwean family that are so prepared. We have been teaching the Mom and invited her to church and she came with here family and they loved it. We will start to teach the whole family and try and set some dates for them by the end of this month. Other than them, we are still doing a lot of finding, trying to find some others of God's elect. I have grown to love studying the scriptures and wish that I would have read more doctrinal books and such before. 

The ward is awesome, they just have a hard time doing missionary work themselves. It's been more of a challenge on a couple of fronts here: First, I was put into a ritzy area (harder to find humble, prepared people that are willing to change); secondly, this area has had some less diligent missionaries in the past. I have been trying to change that culture and have been able to see some changes as well. I imagine that it would be a lot like serving in the home ward back home. I do not envy them. I think that that the family we are teaching coming to church was the kick that this ward needed to get the ball rolling. Missionary work and success is contagious! 

Love Elder Otterson

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Week of March 1 - More Thoughts on Testimony, Knowledge, and Conversion

I plan on being the type of member who can be relied upon to do all things that people ask. Speaking about the priest quorum (the 16-18 age young men), the youth over here seem so much more enthusiastic about the church and even seem to be more closely bonded together for some reason.  That was not always what I experienced back home, which is really sad. I have been trying to pinpoint what the difference is and I just think it comes down to the general desire to know the truth and then act on it. I think here in Australia the kids have to really rely on their own testimonies at an earlier age since there aren't a ton of members (i.e., they need to be personally stronger to stand against the opposition). I think that the trick is to teach them (the youth) how to rely on themselves (at an early age) as opposed to just looking to others and the past as the basis of their testimonies. Elder Bednar said he absolutely doesn't like it when people bear their testimonies on something that happened years ago. He said that you should bear testimony on things that you learn/experience each week and even day by day.  Building (and bearing) one's testimony should be a constant, renewing process.

In regards to the "truth of all things" I just look at some people in the past that have been given loads of knowledge such as the Brother of Jared, Nephi, John the Beloved, Ezekiel, Moses, and Abraham. These men had truth and knowledge shown unto them, and it was something that was undeniable. Modern prophets, too, have been able to have experiences where there is no longer opportunity to question what is truth - it is a sure knowledge. I don't expect to necessarily have miraculous experiences, but I want a testimony that cannot be questioned or shaken. I have heard stories of people who have had their calling and election made sure in this life and I guess that I kind of desire to get to that level of trust between me and God. Elder Bednar kind of said something in regards to this. He said that that knowledge will come as we continue to (seek and) receive revelation every single day actively and then we will learn line upon line of the absolute truth of those things. In relation to Alma's discourse on faith, in Hebrews we learn that you start with an assurance, then Alma says it goes to a belief, then to hope, and finally to a pure knowledge. I just want to be able to say that I don't have to rely on faith anymore in regards to the simple truths of the gospel, but that I will have graduated to having a sure knowledge of those truths. 

In Joseph Smith's discourses, he says that there are three baptisms - one of water, fire, and the Holy Ghost. I believe that equates to the initial desire to exercise faith and the preparatory cleansing, the continuation of exercising faith until you are purified, and then you are ready to be sanctified and receive that pure witness by the Holy ghost. He also said that there is "another Comforter" besides the Holy Ghost which he described as the testimony received through the Savior himself and not through the Holy Ghost. I want to eventually get to that level of conversion.

Week of Feb. 22, 2015 - Thoughts of Gaining a Testimony, Pure Knowledge, and Conversion

(In response to Adam's dad's questions related to conversion vs. testimony)

Conversion is a process.  In the end, once you have made a sacrifice to the Lord and it is acceptable to Him, you should be entitled/promised to receive a confirmation of that truth until it becomes a pure knowledge (line upon line).  I guess that is more or less where I am at - I have learned a lot and know many things to be true, but there is a lot more I need to do in order to get to the point of being ready and worthy of such a gift (a pure knowledge of things, where faith is no longer needed...for that bit of truth). 

Even though I have been blessed to have many spiritual experiences, I don't think that they caused a true change of heart due to the fact that I wasn't really looking for one. I guess what really has made me seek for that true conversion and not being satisfied with simply having a testimony of things is realizing that my life hinges on knowing this truth. I was challenged by people a couple of times early on in my mission and I didn't feel that my testimony was adequate enough (where I only hoped and believed that something was true but wasn't absolutely sure of it). I have felt the truth of the Gospel many times throughout my life and while on my mission I have felt it many more times, but they mean a lot more now that I can anchor my testimony on them and realize that I have to anchor it to them for my spiritual survival. I don't think that it has to or should take being forced to question things in order to seek after them intently, but it is definitely a catalyst. 

[In speaking about how to influence the youth to make the choice to serve a mission]...I have no idea how you are supposed to do it, but somehow you need to drive the kids to understand that a testimony is as important as you know it to be. That can be difficult, as youth don't tend to listen or to care too much about those things at that stage in their lives. Elder Badnar is coming this Saturday to the mission and speaking to us and he gave all the missionaries some talks to read and one of them which is super good is "learning in Faith" which he gave at a CES fireside in 2006. In it, he asserts that learning is not only an act of faith, but more importantly that learning is an act of agency. If you don't want to be taught, you can't be. It is amazing that God respects our agency even when it comes to learning spiritual truths. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Feb. 16, 2015 - Thoughts on Preparing for a Mission

Sorry I do not have much time this week as the computers are acting slowly.

I'll respond to your question about your talk (Dad sent him an email asking about his experience in preparing for his mission and if there was anything he would have done differently) and hopefully I'll be able to read and answer your email about the witness.

I guess as I look back on the decisions I made leading up to the mission and what I now realize is that Elder cook is 100% right (Elder Cook reference below). In the end, school and work and other things like sports don't matter at all in this day and age. The most important thing that people should focus on is learning and living the gospel because that is where true joy and happiness lie. I guess my advice would be to focus on God and His church with all your energy and the other things will fall into place. It is not bad to do sports and hang with friends, but there is definitely more that would be worthwhile (i.e., the need to prioritize - refer to Elder Oak's talk "Good, Better, Best" --> Good, Better, Best  ). I was not as behind as the young man in the story, but I was not to the level that is expected of the Lord.

I guess the only way to encourage this type of learning is to have the leaders stress the importance of gaining that conversion. I'm sorry - it probably isn't much to work with: - ), but maybe a start.

Paragraph from Elder Cook: 

Elder Quentin L. Cook's Oct 2014 General Conference talk "Choose Wisely" -  Particularly this passage:

"I recently met a fine teenage young man. His goals were to go on a mission, obtain an education, marry in the temple, and have a faithful happy family. I was very pleased with his goals. But during further conversation, it became evident that his conduct and the choices he was making were not consistent with his goals. I felt he genuinely wanted to go on a mission and was avoiding serious transgressions that would prohibit a mission, but his day-to-day conduct was not preparing him for the physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual challenges he would face.7 He had not learned to work hard. He was not serious about school or seminary. He attended church, but he had not read the Book of Mormon. He was spending a large amount of time on video games and social media. He seemed to think that showing up for his mission would be sufficient. Young men, please recommit to worthy conduct and serious preparation to be emissaries of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

Feb. 9, 2015 - Thoughts on Service and Consecration

It is good to hear from home. Today the internet was actually reasonably fast for some reason. I  prayed for it to be so before we left the flat so I guess it is just a blessing from the Lord. That is good to hear about the (Legacy HS) wrestling team. I don't know why I enjoy hearing about those types of things so much. Like it absolutely has no affect on me out here, but I guess I just enjoy the glimpses of my old mates.

I have been thinking that I want my kids to learn commitment. I feel like somewhere along the way all of us just got too lazy and lost sight of the blessings of hard work. I don't know why we all turned out that way. I wish I had been able to see a glimpse of the blessings and benefits of working hard. It's good to hear about Aaron and wrestling. I really pray that he enjoys wrestling and wants to succeed more than anything and will commit to working as hard as he can.

That is an amazing story about Jordan (this is Adam's cousin that had a dislocated elbow injury last week during the Utah state wrestling qualifier tournament). That would have been gruesome to witness. I hate watching others go into intense pain. I remember at one wrestling camp, this kid broke his arm and just started screaming. It just sent chills throughout my whole body. I will definitely pray for him.

With regards to the making and keeping covenants (as it applies to serving in callings with all of your heart) - I totally agree. I have really been doing a lot of thinking on my shortcomings to all of the things that the Lord expects of us as disciples and followers of Him. I have made it a goal for when I get back after my mission to be that brother who the Lord can count on no matter what. I know that I did not do my duty during my high school years to magnify my priesthood and to be a faithful member of His church. I think though that the biggest issue for most people is that they really don't love the Lord (they may profess it, but they don't really feel it to the point of ACTION). They don't consecrate everything to him. I definitely felt back home that I had done enough. That isn't good though. It is not enough to do enough, you must give everything and at some point the Lord will accept your sacrifice and your calling and election will be made sure. Serving a mission has given me the opportunity to see wards (a geographical area of membership...similar to a Catholic parish) from a different perspective and you can definitely see which members are consecrated and which ones are just doing what is the expectation. 

I have also been doing a lot of thinking on this with regards to gaining that sure witness of all things. Throughout the scriptures, the prophets describe the visions that they have had, and also in the April conference, Boyd k Packer, gave a talk called the witness where he described when he received that witness for himself. I desire to receive that witness, but know that my sacrifice up to this point of my life is far from sufficient to be able to be worthy enough to even ask for one. I guess I was just wondering if you have had similar thoughts or feelings and what gave you comfort or direction in you service? 


Elder Otterson

February 2nd Letter - Lots and Lots of Tracting!

That is great news to hear about Jonah turning a new leaf.  I'm proud of him.  Living the gospel is hard though, I'll pray for him. That is nice to see.

The computers here are really slow, and I don't know why but sometimes I will only see letters from one of you or none of you (mom and dad).  But the next week I will see last week's letter as well as this week's...strange. Also, sometimes it doesn't update my inbox, so I will open the e-mail up and it will still show only last week's letters - so I'm not aware of any new mail. I don't know what is going on. I really do appreciate the letters and they do mean a lot and are nice to see every week. I apologize that I don't have many things to say each week. Maybe I just feel like most of the things that happen to me are kind of boring and no one really wants to hear that stuff in a "Missionary Letter". 

So, a little more about Mornington (my new assignment area).  The area is awesome! It is apparently one of the richest set of subdivisions in Victoria. Hugh Jackman has a house just in Mt. Eliza on the other side of the road that separates our area from the next one just north of us. According to missionary lore, the leader missionaries (Assistants to the President) received a call a couple of months ago from Hugh Jackman's wife's sister that she needed a blessing and they went to his house and administered one. This was a couple of months ago but that is pretty legit. The ward is awesome and they are super kind and feed us pretty much everyday which is super nice. I have been doing a lot of tracting (door-to-door contacting), trying to get new investigators in this area, but my companion and I are really bad with door approaches. Most of the people open the door, see our badges, and then close the door.  The stake has just implemented a family mission plan which is super cool and hopefully they will be more mission focused and help us out. At testimony meeting, a couple of the members said that we are some of the best missionaries that they have been blessed with (as for as ability goes), which was very nice to hear.

We had an investigator that a recently baptized member had brought to church last week. We had set up an appointment and taught him and he said he felt the Spirit and felt that what we said was true. We invited him to watch a baptism just in passing and he said he would see what happens. His friend urged him to come with him to the baptism and then wanted us to teach him again right after. We taught him, and the Spirit was definitely there, but we extended the baptismal challenge and he said he needed some time. We said okay but his friend bore testimony over and over and over again about the importance of being baptized into the church. Being a new member and being excited about his own conversion, it is sometimes difficult to temper that exuberance. The investigator was taken to church again by the new convert and after the meeting we asked how he felt and he said the whole thing was negative. It's just an example of how member-missionary work is such a delicate balancing act - knowing when and how to invite, and then letting the Spirit do the rest...and not being overbearing.  I have no idea what happened but that and tracting was the only thing that happened this week. 

My companion sings in the ward and at firesides all the time, which is great. But companionship study is always interesting because I am tone deaf and can't really sing with him. I feel so bad every time.


Elder Otterson

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tough Work in Mornington


Man that is sweet - Ashton looks bigger or's a little weird (remarking on the photo that he was sent regarding his youngest brother Ashton's win at his Cub Scout Pinewood Derby - photo attached below for reference). That is cool that he won.  Looks like he did not have time paint it (as a side-note, it was red on the sides and gold on top - Iron Man's just difficult to see with the angle that he's holding it at).

Australia day was this weekend and we had a ward activity up at Arthur's Seat national park ( It was pretty awesome and I had an opportunity to play cricket, which was a bit interesting. 

That is awesome for Ryan Deakin and Matt Hebel (referring to the fact that they took 1st and 3rd, respectively, at the very tough Top of the Rockies wresting tournament last weekend).  Great to hear that Aaron had a good wrestle-off in Arizona as well - I know he will do well.  He hasn't written to me in a couple of weeks, but I look forward to hearing about how he's doing in the sport and at school.

Work is hard here. I apparently am in the ritzy part of Australia where everyone vacations for the summer. When I got here there were no investigators at all so we have been tracting (finding people, typically door-to-door) for most of the time. I put in 16 hours this week, which is a lot of hours. 

Last week I didn't write a letter because there wasn't a lot to talk about unfortunately.  The computers are really slow here.  It takes 30 minutes to log in, so I'm sorry - no pictures.

I love all of you

Put 100 percent into the Lord!

Elder Otterson

Adam's youngest brother Ashton - wins the 2015 Pinewood Derby!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

First Report from the Mornington Ward

Hi everyone.

So this week has been a little bit more productive. We have really been striving to go tracting for two hours everyday, but the area is pretty big and sometimes we are bad about calculating travel time into the actual door knocking. The members are super great here and the youth are super cool. They recently took a trip to the beach and did a slip and slide. They made a video that is on YouTube. I don't know what it is called, but it should be like "world's best slip and slide" or something like that. 

The ward I serve in is the Mornington ward if that means anything. The second counselor in the stake presidency served a mission in Colorado North mission in 1995. His name is Hope but he said he served in Boulder and Northglen, which is pretty cool (small world). I guess the biggest thing that I've learned is that even though it sometimes doesn't feel like you are accomplishing much (with less effective methods - e.g., tracting), you are still doing what the Lord has asked you to do. I guess that even though we don't have an active investigators right now, as long as we are going out and doing what we are commanded to do, we will be able to plant seeds and hopefully down the road something will happen. 

The members are really good about feeding us, so that's pretty great. On Wednesday night it started to rain while we were at missionary correlation at the church, which is like 20 minutes from the flat. We wanted to get back by 9, so we put on some trash bags we made into ponchos and headed home. that must have looked so funny! On Thursday it was raining again, but we got on our bikes and got to work. Hopefully someone sees how crazy dedicated we are and will let us in: - ) 

I'm sorry to hear about Ryan Deakin's loss - that stinks! I know he will be better. It seems like Huff does well during the season and then at state he blows chunks; whereas Ryan seems to just get better. No doubt Ryan will be the man. 

Miss you all, but time goes by too quickly!

Elder Otterson

PS - we just got a couple of pictures from when Adam first arrived in Melbourne.  The photos have been added to the posting from his first report from Australia.

Monday, January 5, 2015

1st Transfer - Mornington


So this week was pretty crazy. I got transferred out of the city and am now in the Mornington ward. The area I serve in is on the peninsula on the right hand side of Port Phillip. So there are beaches galore. I was also introduced to the highly ineffective practice of tracting (i.e., door-to-door in neighborhoods). It is easy to see how so many missionaries become disobedient and stop working. I am just so grateful that I had the trainer I did and also that I was able to be raised/trained in the city where it is fast-paced. 

Most people we talk to on the doorsteps are pretty content with where they are and do not like to listen to us when we come knocking. It is hard to get a real conversation going as they are really stand-offish. It is okay, though, and recently while tracting I have been focusing on just testifying of the Book of Mormon while holding it and giving a really brief testimony. That way they will hopefully feel the Spirit, We can give them the Book of Mormon, and we don't make them too irritated. I don't understand why people get so angry when we come by their homes. We are super friendly, not in their face, and only take 5 minutes out of their day, yet they always seem like we are such a nuisance. Oh well, the work must go on. 

The ward here is super friendly and strong. The members are good about feeding us, and are fun to talk too. Mostly, we just spend the days updating the ward list based on our visits of less active members of the church. It is crazy how many people get baptized and then leave the church. It is sad really. 

The computers here are super slow so I'm sorry I could not send a longer e-mail. Hopefully all is well back home. Next week I expect to have more to talk about and more people to teach. Oh yeah...and biking is not all that fun either. With that being said, we are trying to do all that we can to move the work forward and use our time in the best way possible.
Elder Otterson