January 2013-January 2015

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Week 34

Hey, this fall has been amazing. The weather is super great right now - nice and cool. The ward is taking good care of us. We have a good number of meal appointments this week. Things are still going great between me and Elder Denton, we are doing super well together.  I can’t say the same for my district leader though.  I went on an exchange with him and we don’t get along very well.  So yeah Nolan’s baptism is on Saturday and we are so excited for that. I’m super excited for Nolan. Other than Nolan we aren’t teaching anyone. No one is keeping commitments but that’s ok because things are getting better here. Me and Elder Denton are doing great! I’m so excited for this transfer, its great!
  So the guy on the side of the road got antied hard core and he’s going to Mexico. By the way he’s a little nuts. He claims to be an apostle and believes in the trinity, which I don’t judge him, but he argued about it a lot. He called us two nights in a row at like 10 and preached to us for like an hour. Oh, and then another guy tried to convert me. He bashed with me and my district leader. So this week was interesting for sure but it just strengthened my testimony even more about the truthfulness of this gospel and I know how true it is. I love you so much and appreciate all you do for me. Love you all!  Have a great week!
Love, TJ

Monday, September 16, 2013

Week 33

Hey everyone! This week was great!  Things with Elder Denton are going really really well. We get along super well and it’s really fun. Its fun to tell people we are cousins and then they always ask if we’re first cousins and we’re like YEP!! so it’s really great. The work is going really well. Nolan is progressing really well and will be baptized on the 21st and we have a temple trip/zone conference tomorrow to see the new temple video so that will be fun. The weather here has been super hot but it’s been good. So how’s grandma doing? Hope she starts to feel better.
     So that’s really cool that Forrest got to listen to Elder Bednar because I got to meet his oldest son who lives in the Crestwood ward. So here is the story. We went to check up on a member to introduce Elder Denton to them (the Engleman’s) and they invited us to eat dinner with them.  They were having a bbq with Elder Bednar’s oldest son, so we got to eat with him and his family.  It was really fun! Well I love you so much! Hope you have a wonderful week.  Love you! Love Elder Sutherland

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Week 32

Hey all, so you will never guess who my new comp is. . .  drummroll please.....................
Its elder Denton!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yep, I’m not joking, he is my new comp. And yep, it’s going to be great! We were in transfers and Elder Denton is called to Rolling Hills and I was like HEY, that’s my cousin. So yeah, it’s pretty great. So this last week was really tough. We did set a baptismal date with Nolan though, so that’s good. It’s for September 21st and we are still in the process of getting Tim in contact with the other missionaries. But other than that it was kind of a stinky week. Elder Johnson was super area trunky, which means he wanted to be out of the area. So it was a rough week trying to motivate him to go to work but he did really well.
    I can’t believe Jeff is about to leave on his mission, but its cool because we are e-mailing each other, so its nice to hear how excited he is. But if you go to his farewell, tell him how proud I am of him and that he will be a great missionary. Well, I am doing great! I will probably have more next week. Love you so much!
Love, TJ

Friday, August 30, 2013

Week 31

Hey, what’s up? Yeah so transfers are next week so we will find out on Saturday. I can’t believe the transfer is over already. It feels like it just started. But yeah, Elder Johnson is hoping he gets transferred because he’s been here for like 6 months. I hope he stays because we get along so great. But I kind of think he will be transferred which is scary because I don’t know the area at all!  Well, it  sounds like you had a good week, I hope you all enjoyed the package I sent.
So this week was so amazing! Probably the best of my mission so far.  So on Tuesday we contacted this guy and started talking to him. He was kind of nuts.  Anyway we start talking to him and it starts raining just a bit, then it just starts pouring rain and we just talked for like 20 minutes in the rain. Then his wife came outside and told us to come in so we did. And we talked to him for like two hours - WAY TOO LONG BY THE WAY, but we just couldn’t get out. We tried like 10 times. It was bad. He started talking about like aliens and stuff. I'm pretty sure he was drunk and high - or just nuts. Either way  - I don’t know. Something about Adam and Eve coming from aliens. Anyway, random awesome story to look back on. It was super funny. So then we talked to Nolan’s dad about his baptism and he said that we could set a date for Nolan to be baptized when we go over because we were talking on the phone and he wanted Nolan to be there to get excited about it. So then we had a zone meeting on Friday and we had it on the basics like the book of Mormon, prayer and church, and following the spirit. So that night we went to an older guys house and I just wasn’t feeling like this is where we should be. So because I’m still learning the area I asked Elder Johnson how far away Ann lives and he said pretty far. And I was like, ok lets go see her, and he was like well ok. So we went over there and knocked on Ann’s door and talked about the Book of Mormon and church and she said she couldn’t come to church because she had like a conference or something she had to be at. So we invited her to come to the mission home fireside at 7 on Sunday and she said she could probably do that. Then we talked about baptism and set a baptismal date for September 21. So that was amazing. Then on Sunday we went to check up on Ann and she wasn’t home yet so we left and went some where else. Then I felt like we should go back and Elder Johnson didn’t really want to because it was out of our way, so I kind of argued my point some more. So then he thought about it for a few minutes and agreed to go. So we went to Ann’s and she wasn’t there. So I was bummed but we saw Sam and talked to him and told him to have Ann give us a call back and he said he would. So then we went to a less actives house and talked to her on her door step for a while and she really wasn’t interested in coming back. But we talked with her for longer than I thought we should but as we were leaving, I was going to grab my bike and this car stops in the middle of the road and starts talking to me. But I couldn’t hear him so I ran across the road and he asked if we were the Mormon missionaries and I was like yeah, and he asked if he could pull off the road and talk with us. And I was like YEAH! Of course! So he got off the road and we talked for like 15 minutes and he was really interested because the church he was going to had like 80 families and now it has like 20. And he was thinking that in the bible it says by the fruits ye shall know them, so he was thinking well I need something better. Then he was watching TV and saw something about Mormon missionaries and then saw us and he was like I have to talk to them! So yeah, that’s his side of the story. Anyway, at this point its like 5:50 and me and Elder Johnson are both like, hey do you want to come with us to this mission home fireside? They are really amazing. And he asked when and we said in an hour and he was like sure, got nothing else going on. So we were like sweet! So he went home and got changed and came and picked us up and drove us to the fireside and he loved it. It was great! Then we talked about the church the whole way home and he loved everything and basically believes everything already. And at the end of the night he was like, hey do you believe in laying on of hands? And we said well yeah and he bowed his head and said can you pray for me? So we gave him a blessing of comfort and counsel. And we also set a baptismal date with him BUT he’s not in our area so we have to refer him to the missionaries that cover that area. None the less it was an amazing week. I think everything lead up to us meeting him. All of the promptings that we were getting to follow the spirit and not get discouraged when we could see what the end result was going to be. I still don’t know the reasons for things but I do know that God loves us and will guide us as long as we are humble and will listen to what he is saying, and I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that this is the true church that Christ set up when he was on the earth, and I’m so thank full for the experiences I have had on my mission. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I LOVE MY MISSION SO MUCH!!  Thanks for all of your support and encouragement.  I love you so much! Have a great week.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Week 30

     Hey, how is everyone doing? How was getting ready for school? So yeah, Buffalo Wild Wings was great! We actually went twice this week with the member who took us. His name is Brother White, he’s a regular there. He goes like once a week and invites us sometimes. It’s great, he’s such a great guy. So we don’t have anything exciting planned for  p-day today other than the norm. We played basketball and that was amazing. Then we will probably shop and do laundry and stuff.
     So my week was great! I felt great all week and I feel great again today, probably because we played basketball today which was great. So this week was great. We had dinner with one of our investigators and shared a scripture with her, but first I have to back up. Ok, so a couple of weeks ago we were thinking we needed to go see a former investigator, but we didn’t do it. Then like that Monday we were walking home with our groceries and this truck comes in the parking lot and this lady is like hey, my name is Ann Holloway and I love the missionaries! They always used to come to my house. So we set up a time to come and teach her and she fed us dinner and we left her with Alma 32 to read and invited her and her friend Sam (he might be her boyfriend, we don’t really know yet but he lives in Bardstown my last area) Anyway, so we invited them to church and they came and loved it. They only stayed for sacrament, but hey it was great!  And we have a couple other investigators that we are working with: Nolan is a 9 year old boy but his dad has to get permission from his ex wife and that will probably take some time, and we have a few other people, but no one has a baptismal date yet. But Ann and Sam should have one hopefully this week. The zone baptismal date that we are all shooting for is September 21, not the 23.
    So I have a story for you. So one day (I can’t remember exactly when because they all run together) anyway we were tracting in this area and there’s a no soliciting sign posted (and a lot of people don’t understand what soliciting is.) Since we are not selling anything, we are not soliciting, so we can tract there.  But because people are awesome they don’t understand that. So anyway that’s my rant, sorry, back to the story. So we lock our bikes up and I see this old man so we go up to talk to him and he looks at our nametags and back up to me and says some unpleasant words to me and walks away. So I look at Elder Johnson and he just shrugs and starts laughing and we’re like, ok that was great, moving on. So we start tracting and he makes another lap and we wave politely at him and he starts yelling at us that we can’t be here because we are soliciting. (ha-ha no we’re not.) But I did not say that - I just wanted to, and then he tells us to leave and that he’s going to call the cops. So we’re like ok, what ever. So we leave that street - not the neighborhood but off a different section, and he follows us over there and calls the cops and yells at us a little more, so we just laugh and say have a nice day. And so we are really done with this guy so we decide to leave, and yeah the cops never showed up. Anyway we left and yeah it was great. So then we felt like we needed to go back because a few numbers stuck out to us that we should go back to and so we did. The first door we knock on a lady comes out and starts telling us we can’t be here and she’s calling the cops, and we’re like, ooooooooooooooooooooooh awesome! Not this again. So we knock the rest of the doors we came to knock and left. We didn’t find anyone so that was a bummer.  So yeah that’s my story for the week. It was intense.
     Well, that’s all I got for this week.  I just want you to know how much I love you. Thank you for all the help you have been throughout my mission, I love you so much.  I hope you all have a great week.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Week 29

Hey family, what’s up?   I feel amazing today!  Probably because I got to play basketball. It was so much fun! Oh yeah, and a member is taking us to lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings so that should be great.

So my next transfer is on the first Tuesday in September, so not for a while. The weather is getting cooler. I love it! It’s nice while riding our bikes.  So things here are getting better. The work is a little slow right now but we are trying to turn things around. So the zone has set a goal that every companionship will baptize on the 23rd of September. So that will be neat for the zone to all baptize together. We have a few people we are working with: Nolan is a 9 year old boy whose parents are both members but the dad’s ex-wife is not a member, so he will have to ask her for permission to be baptized. We also have a less active we are working with. Her husband is not a member so we are going to try to work with him. So things are looking up. I am so excited for this area - its great! The members are amazing as well. So yeah, everything is going well. Things are going great!  I am loving my mission and loving life! I am feeling great! I think the medication is starting to work. I love you so much and hope you have a great week.  Let me know if there is anything I can do for you. Thank you so much for all your prayers and support.  Love you tons!

T.J. dirt biking it up.

Elder Sutherland and Elder Johnson

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Week 28

     Sorry,  I guess I was confusing. ,The kid in the picture was my MINE MTC comp.  - not my actual MTC comp. The mine MTC where we got two youth and showed them what being a missionary is like. That was him, my actual MTC comp was actually with Chazz for a transfer.
     Hey dad, sorry, I thought I answered those questions in the email I sent to mom, sorry about that. So transfers went well.  My comp is great, his name is Elder Johnson and he is from St. George. He has been out for 14 months. Our area is Rolling Hills. Its in Lyndon. Its the rich part of Louisville - very wealthy. The houses are massive and Anchorage is in my area - its where Papa Johns lives. The area is great and the members are amazing. They feed us well except for this week because we forgot to bring our dinner calendar. So yeah, we don’t have any dinner appointments for this week, but the ward is great. We got a referral from the Storms, a family in the ward. Their daughter’s friend is interested.  Her name is Sabrina. We taught the restoration and it was amazing. We hopefully have a lesson with her this week. And then there is Nolan. He is a 9 year old boy whose dad is a member but his mom is not. They are divorced, so the dad will have to get permission from the mom to baptize him. So yeah the work is going well.
     So the bike track was a lot of fun last Monday.  My biking is getting better -  I didn’t fall off this week so that was good.  So yeah, I had a cut on my hand from flipping over my bike but its all right now.  I liked the pics Forrest and Bailee drew for me about not dying on my bike, they were great!
 I’m feeling pretty good this week. I still feel anxiety but I think that’s normal for missionaries. The depression is getting better. I think the anxiety has picked up a bit -  that or ADD cuz I am having a hard time focusing. I’m kinda all over the place, but I don’t know I should be fine… So yeah I think that’s all, if I missed a question just ask it again. Like I said I can’t focus all that well so my mind is kind of everywhere so I hope I got every thing.  Oh yeah, we have to catch the bus to go get groceries and we almost missed our bus on the way back to the apartment because the Wal-Mart is a long ways away. We have a Walgreen’s but its not the same. Anyway I think that’s it. I love you so much! Have a great week.