Thursday, July 5, 2012

the last one

After two long years, Elder Church is finally home!

Here's a little video of the arrival:
Courtesy of Bishop and Sister Lowe :)

Thanks to everyone for reading and supporting Bryce! He loves you all.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Conversion Story

Bryce baptized a Korean couple right before his last two transfers. They were mentioned here. Hannah, the woman below, wrote her conversion story on her blog and sent a copy to us:

"12/11/2011 Sunday afternoon. It was the first day me and my family met Elder Church and Elder Bay from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - Tall Cedars Ward.  I was looking for a church to attend for my kids and also for myself, so when they knocked on our front door, there was no reason I would not let them in.

     When I attended De Anza College in Cupertino, CA several months after I was immigrated to the US, there was Stevens Creek Ward right across from it, so I always saw missionaries walk around campus and talk to people. Of course I had a chance to talk with them as well. There were two main reasons that I couldn't make it at that time even though I wanted to give it a try.  The first reason was because I was a little scared and afraid to go and talk to church members in English, and the second reason was because I was originally Catholic and very involved in church activities as a piano/organ accompanist for Sunday mass and choir when I was in Korea, so I just didn't want to give up my religion soon after I came to the US. Anyhow, in short, I was not ready at that time.

     16 years passed by since then, and it's been a long time since I met missionaries again.  They invited us to an upcoming Christmas party on 12/17.  This time again I wanted to go, but I was afraid that I didn't know any of church members except Elder Church, Elder Bay, and one church member who came along with them. Haha, I kept thinking and thinking about whether I would go or not. Finally, we started our first step and went and we really had fun. After that, we attended sacrament meeting on Sunday, too.

     Since then the Elders came to our home every week mostly Saturdays and taught us the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the beginning, I was worried that what if they were constantly talking about their belief and faith and gave us pressure for us to do the same way because my husband, Dave studied science and engineering all the way to his pH.D., and was a little skeptical about religion.  However, they really respected us and didn't give any pressure at all (mutual respect). We liked their approach when they talked to and taught us, so we could open our mind sincerely.  The Elders stopped by one weekday to give us a little booklet to read ahead and came back Saturday to discuss on that. We are very thankful for their consistency and efforts. Without them, we could have really missed the most important thing throughout our life. We were very impressed that the Elders and church members try hard to follow and live with the word of wisdom.

     One month before baptism, Elder Bay suggested us to get baptized. I looked at Dave first to see his reaction, and I was quite surprised that he said Yes ahead of me. :) We prepared our baptism for one month and got baptized at Ashburn stake on 2/17. Elder Bay baptized Dave, and Elder Church baptized me. We had confirmation on 2/19 Sunday at Tall Cedars Ward. My baptism and confirmation were truly great blessings and touching.  Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit were with me during the whole ordinances. I can't describe in words all the feelings I had on those days.

     The Elders gave my kids their favorite Pokemon cards for Christmas present, and on my birthday, Elder Church gave me the baptism picture with frame. One week, my son, Ethan was sick, and couldn't make sacrament meeting on Sunday, and the Elders came on Monday to check everything was OK with us. We are very grateful for their teaching, baptism, confirmation, and all the other things they had done for us . We also appreciate that brothers and sisters welcomed us and invited us to dinner, dropped off cookies at the doorstep, visiting, phone calls, notes and lots more! We truly felt the warmest love from our Heavenly Father through the Elders and church members.

     Yes, I will continue my journey to the Celestial Kingdom of our Heavenly Father by attending church, keep praying, listening to the Spirit, and reading The Book of Mormon."

-Hannah Lee

Monday, April 23, 2012

Last Transfer

"When people ask me about going home I always say I am excited first, because that is the truth but then I say that I will miss the dickens out of this place and the people. Then i say a thank you prayer that I went state-side because i'll be able to visit and shoot, some of them might even end up at BYU especially in the singles ward so my mission life and normal life may mesh together more that I thought.

Good but crazy week.  I am still in Rappahannock but I lost my Elder Walker. He was awesome. A good worker and very real. I would have liked to stay with him a little longer. But Thursday it changed and my new companion is Elder Freeman. From Meadow UT. And we also got a brand new 2012 corolla. haha. I'm driving a nicer car now than I will probably for the next 15 years after I get home. Elder Freeman is great. He's always in a good mood and will help me stay in line and finish strong so that's great with me. But here I am! Still strange that I'm in my last transfer.

We have been setting up a table at Mary Washington University a few times a week with a sign that says "What is a Mormon?" Then another with pics of Christ to clarify that we are Christians. We talk to people going by and hand out cards. We started meeting with a nigerian named Paul by doing that. He came to church too!  It says he doesn't think its for him but he'll still give it a shot. So that's fun.  

Well I've almost made it and my hair is still here. Many thank you prayers :)
I love you!

Elder Church"


"The other night I went on an exchange and we tracted into someone who said she had been praying for direction. Her house was just recently burned down.  She was inside it and barely escaped.  She started crying when we shared Moroni 10 4-5. She kept saying "thank you Jesus." She is in her 50's and black. Yolanda. We invited her to be baptized (after teaching restoration, authority, etc.) She said she would. We invited her to be baptized on April 7th. She said she would. She said she knew we were sent from God and would do whatever we asked her to do. That was a powerful experience. I have never tracted into someone, set them on date, and actually seen them get baptized. This would be a first, but she was sincere so I'm sure it will work out.  Obviously we said a thank you prayer. I love tracting.

Someone asked me the next day what I'm going to miss about my mission.  I just said "when else am I going to get to find someone who has been praying for truth, help them find the path to salvation, then help someone believe in Jesus Christ the next day?" Pretty cool.

We have been going on blitzes with other areas a lot. Its been really fun.  On one Saturday, we found a Ghanaian guy! You don't ever see them down this far south. I love teaching them, because they say things like, "I feel that you are true messengers of God, and I want to listen to what you say." Then after he said.  "I know you are speaking the truth. I will come to your church. If I like it, i will get baptized." Wow.

22 month mark. Weird.
love you!  Elder Church"

All Over the World

"I was just thinking about all the people I've met from all over the world. So I made a list of countries that people were from that I taught and helped get baptized. It represents just a tiny percentage of the number of countries of total people I taught but still kind of cool.  

African American
And of course, American"

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


"I was transferred down south to Fredericksburg!! We call it "the burg." The biggest stake geographically in the mission by far.  All the way south! I came from all the way north. The people are so nice! We live right by Mary Washington University.  We are the only companionship in the mission who covers a singles ward without another ward coupled with it. It is the Rappahannock singles branch. We cover the whole stake. This isn’t a typical BYU ward. I’ll ask them here and there, "so, you going to school right now?" "No."  "Oh, so you are just working then?"  "Well.....not really."  "Oh, ok...ya"  Then suddenly I am overcome with thirst and head hastily to the drinking fountain. 

A lot of the branch seems to be stuck here.  I don't blame them though, probably just a victim of circumstance. A lot of them do work and some go to Mary Washington. There are some fun people though! And there have been a bunch of baptisms lately. Half of the ward is converts so it is on fire with missionary work. We have 2 people on date for March. Taylor is 21, half black, my height and a pretty cool guy. He’s on for the 31st; conference Saturday. It's fun teaching people you can relate to.  Testimony meeting yesterday almost every testimony was on missionary work,  just naturally!  A girl who got confirmed yesterday brought her sister and told us she wanted us to teach her.  She told us this.....from the pulpit during her testimony! haha. So we are teaching her Tuesday.  

Yesterday we had break the fast, and we even munched and mingled.  How the heck do I mingle again?!

So it is a lot of fun. FHE tonight then institute Wednesday. It will be a lot less tracting and a lot more hang out and referrals. I can deal with that.

Elder Walker is my new companion. He's chill and we get along really well. It has been great! I live in a stinky missionary apartment again....dang. Everything is dirty down here compared to Ashburn. I guess I've had a pretty pampered mission so far.
love you!

Elder Church"

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pictures from the last few weeks

Elder West and the Nerf Gun
Eating at Carolina Brothers. Popular BBQ place.
Emailing you!
Golfing in Arlington
And lastly: Fernandos baptism! Awesome guy and such a good service.