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."
"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 :)
"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.
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.
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
"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.
"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.
Elder Bryce Church WA DC South Mission 5242 Lyngate CT Burke, VA 22015
What is a Mission?
"For those who don't know, an LDS mission is an opportunity to teach others about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and what we believe to be true. For two years missionaries study, serve, and proselyte for hours at a time. Everything they do is directed toward teaching and helping others. The ultimate goal of a mission is to help bring truth to any who have the desire to hear it." -Bryce