Monday, December 26, 2016

Long Time No See

Hey guys!

I really loved talking to all of you guys too! That was definitely the best part of my day! It was also weird to see how much the kids have grown even if its only been 4 months. Which is another thing that's kinda weird because really it doesn't even feel like its been that long! So the weather was a little bit to adjust to. but that was mainly because you just sweat a lot more so that s been the biggest change but for the most part everything is going good whether wise. Apparently its supposed to cool down a little bit in January but well have to see about that!

Haha yeah you did mention that a couple of times! I honestly feel like 2 hours wasn't nearly enough to give you the whole story in Benin because really there's just so much going on! But I'm glad for the time that I got. Honestly I can't thank you guys enough for how much you guys give me even when I'm miles and miles away. I really appreciate all the effort that you guys put in for me! Also before the mission too even when I wasn't always very grateful for it. I'm thankful for you guys being my parents because really you guys are the greatest!

So for now my companion is the only one that's moving but sometimes they will switch out multiple people at a time. Also with Togo its not too common to move back and forth but this transfer there were a lot of people that were switched so I'll be seeing some missionaries I've never seen before so that will be kinda cool!

I'm also glad Vaughn is still getting spoiled! Anyway Thanks for all the things you've sent me! I don't have anything to specific but if you could keep some peanut butter coming that would be cool! I love you guys a ton and thanks for everything you do! See ya and have a great week!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Countdown

Hey Guys!

I'm glad to hear that you guys have had a good week! I always thought Mason was going to stay home until he's thirty so that kinda surprised me ;) but I'm happy for him! I hope they'll be super happy! I'm glad that you're a little bit more ahead of things this year! But even with that I know that you're still pretty busy. But that's why you're gifts are some of the best because of how much time that you put into them!

So at the snake temple there's really just the one type of snake that's not aggressive so that's really all that it is. Its also like a little tourist site where they explain a little bit the background of voodoo and what they believe in so it was actually pretty interesting!

So I believe the plans are still on! We have to still find a cam for the computer but other than that we should be all set. As a back up plan we'll probably just end up calling. It cost a little bit more but I would rather Skype but really we'll be in touch Sunday so I'll make sure we get to talk! Um I'm going to be trying to shoot for 5 o'clock our time so hopefully that will work for you guys over there!

 So this week nothing to special happened. Like I've said, I've started to teach a lot more and that's been a lot more fun and the branch is making some progress from it's apostate so that's really good! Were finding investigators and I just hope that they're willing to stay in the church! Anyway I'm going to wrap up. Since its Christmas I just want to say that I'm really grateful for what you guys have done for me. I would like to say that I was always perfect and perfectly grateful for what you guys have done for me but I know if I did, I would be lying. Even when I wasn't the most obedient thanks for always being there when I had a problem. Even if I never told you a problem specifically, just being with you guys really helped me out so thanks. I hope one day I'll be able to repay you for what you've done for me but, that's going to be pretty difficult. Thank you for all and I'll see you guys on Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2016


Hey Guys!

I'm glad you guys have a good week! It sounds pretty jammed packed with just about anything I could think of. I'm glad that mom is keeping busy like her usual self. It's good to be busy and really it makes time pass by so fast when you're working. Oh and there is no way I would let Prentice do even pretend surgery on me! I miss those kids sometimes! I'm not really looking forward to seeing Vaughn and Baby Miles. That'll be the weirdest thing for me I think.

So yeah what Craig said is true but really I'm thankful for it because it really helped my French. I can speak pretty well already and I'm just thankful for the position I was put in cause that really helped!

There's been a lot of times where I've thought to myself of 1st world problems and how in Africa that's kinda the least of my worries! But honestly things are really different but I'm just happy to be here. There is a lot of work to do but that means time will go by faster than I could've imagined and that's a good thing but at the same time a bad thing.

So this week we had a baptism of a kid named Fr Kenneth. Hes seriously one of my favorite investigators so far and I was so happy that we could baptize him. He is way nice and he seems really prepared so that's been a gift. We received his number as a contact just about 2 weeks ago so really it was just kind of a random event. So I'm rather happy cause really he is one of the coolest kids I've met. This week has actually been really good. I've been able so start teaching more cause my French is actually to a point where I'm not spacing words for more than 10 seconds so this week to me is when I actually feel like a missionary. Before, I would always bare a testimony and give a little bit of the lesson that I already practiced a ton but, last week I was able to give a whole lesson on the Book of Mormon and that was really rewarding.

Donc, je vais finir en francais parc que, comme, j'avais dit avant, c'est bon pratique pour mon francais. Je veux vous dire que je suis très reconnaissant pour tout ce que vous avez fait pour moi. Je suis tres impatient pour l'occasion de parler avec vous pendant Noel. Je souhaite que vous tous soyez en bon sante. Je vous aime beaucoup et Je vais vous voir ce Noel. Passez bonne semaine et je vais vous parler le Lundi prochain.

PS so for the time I'm not too sure. I'll have to talk to my companion a little bit more but it will be after 1 o'clock. At least here anyway Ill try to narrow that down more.
I've received one letter so far so I don't know if that's all.
We have a font at our church so that's where we do our baptisms.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Snake Temple

Whats up guys? :)

So I'm glad that you guys have enjoyed your extended fall break and I'm sorry that the snow had to come but I honestly I completely forgot that by now in Utah we usually have snow! That's one of the weirdest things to think about because usually I would just be hanging out with friends and getting ready for Christmas but I'm instead in Africa and honestly, I'm not sure I would want it another way! :) at least for this Christmas! We'll see how I feel next time around but really I'm doing good!

It sounds like you've guys have had a really good week and I hope your good days continue! I'm really glad that everyone is doing good and that everyone is happy! Um and one second, what happened to Courage in the first place? Cause the last time I heard he was on his mission? Also some disappointing news that I found out this week was that one of the Elders that came into the field with us ended up going home this week. I don't know for what reason but it was really sad to hear. It's really a sad thing to hear when missionaries go home especially when you've personally known them and seen who they are.

With that thought really I'm starting to figure that out more and more. Especially here because sometimes the missionaries here are literally asked to open up a new sector and basically establish a church in a specific town so if there's questions in the branch it truly is the missionaries who are there to make sure everything goes right. Really I've been able see how much is possible to help. I really wish that I could do everything I possibly could to help everyone but sadly I can't help every single person. No matter how much I might want to. There's so many little things that I've took for granted at home that some of these people haven't even experienced before and it really has given me a new perspective. Oh and now I'm not exactly picky in what I eat now ;) But anyway I've learned a lot and I hope that I'll continue to learn.

So just a quick story we went to a snake temple and there we could pick up and touch a whole bunch of snakes so I got some pretty decent pictures of that so I hope that you'll like them!

I hope you're all doing good and that you also will continue be like that! Thanks for everything that you've done and I did get the Christmas package and I haven't opened up the other half yet so Ill keep forcing myself not to! Anyway until next time!

Nice snake tie

Ring around the snake

Watch your step!

Point of No Return Monument

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thankful Week

Whats up?!

Im glad to hear that you guys had a good Thankgsgiving break and that everything is going well over there! Everything is going pretty well over here! Weve actually had some interesting stuff thats been happening between some of the members of the branch and so weve been kept pretty busy with that. I dont think that I would be allowed so say because its actually pretty sensitive stuff that I honestly thought I would never really come across in my life but its happened so thats kinda been a subject of our work lately but just know were getting things handled and the problem is starting to die down so thats been good!

And honestly 2 years doesnt seem really too long to me right now. I'm really enjoying what I'm doing and really the people are great and I'm just happy to be here safe and sound. Thanks for sending the package I hope I'll be able to get it soon and I'll do my best to wait for Christmas but that may be a little difficult ;) I'm glad mom was finally able to make an awesome pie! If there's one thing that I have noticed, is that really I'm pretty much down to eat whatever because really sometimes you run out of money and you just gotta find what ever is cheapest sometimes but really the food is good!

So for the food seasoning I think I'm good but if you could send like more drink mixes and stuff. That would be awesome cause that really tasted good! So the new missionary has started to adjust fairly well. He struggled quite a bit at the beginning because he really loved everything in America and litterally theres nothing here thats the same so that took him a while but hes getting into the swing of it.

As for my testimony and spiritual experiences. My testimony is really strong. To me everything in this church just makes sense to me and if God sent Jesus Christ to be his example then why wouldnt we follow everything he taught and set up while he was on the earth. For me everything just makes sense and as I'm teaching and learning I just keep finding more that just adds to it so its building. Sometimes spiritual experiences out in the field can be difficult but the most spiritual experiences I found are when someone has a problem and you are able to help them through the church. That's really one of the coolest things that I've seen and problems here are quite frequent so yeah! But really there are always spiritual experiences no matter how small they may be and really it's just a matter of paying attention.

De toute facon, je vais finir en français parce que j'aime écrit en francais. C'est amusant et bon pratique. J'espere que vous allez avoir une bonne semaine! Et aussi que vous pouvez voir plus les benedictions que Dieu vous a donné et aussi qu'il va vous donner. et je veux le meme pour moi aussi. Parfois, c'est un peu difficile de voir tout qu'il a fait pour nous, mais, si nous prenons les temps de nous arrêter et regarder autour de nous. Je sais que vous allez voir les chose que vous n'avez jamais reconnu avant. Je vous souhaite une bonne semaine! Je suis impatient pour le prochaine fois. Merci pour tout ce que vous avez fait pour moi. Je n'serais pas ici sans vous. Merci pour tout. à tout alors!

Elder Ellison

Monday, November 14, 2016


Whats up guys? :)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMA!!! And I actually remembered during the week so don't think I forgot all about ya!

I finally got my package!!! It was the best thing ever!! You think I'm kidding but that was really awesome! Thanks for everything that you did for me! I really like that book also those Oreo cookies were like the best thing I've ever tasted, that was fantastic!

I'm glad you guys have had a good week! And yes that Hires makes me only a little bit jealous but hey I had grilled chicken with rice and a tomato based sauce so I think I won that battle ;) Oh hey good on the Jazz! They might actually be a good team this year but then again I could've just cursed it by saying that!

Alright so this week has actually been a pretty productive week and a little crazy! So first off it was out first transfer this week and it was pretty eventful! Elder Ranaivo is becoming a new Assistant to the President and we're also going to be receiving a new missionary from the United States! So I'll pretty much be his trainer because the person who he's training speaks the most rapid French I think that I have ever heard! So that will be an interesting formation! Also I've started using French words that resemble English words a lot more and that's been a really weird thing! Kinda like formation I would've just said training but in French its Formation so I've just started using that!

Also we had another baptism this past Sunday and it was 2 people Marie and Laurent and really they're pretty awesome! They don't speak really good French so its really kinda hard to talk to them but when you can they are really kind and funny! I really like them!

Anyway that's pretty much it for this week! Ill update you on the situation with the new American next week! Have a good week and I'll talk to you guys soon!

Laurent and Marie 
Happy Birthday Cake


Monday, November 7, 2016

Bon Anniversaire


Thanks guys! Its really is weird to think that I turned 19 in Benin Africa and that there's only 1 more birthday on my mission! I really appreciate that you have sent the package, but no I have not yet received it. I however did receive Brother Miles weekly painting and he sent that on the 11 and that just got to me last Friday so I'm sure the package will arrive soon enough! Please tell grandma and grandpa thanks! The one thing that I've bought here were a pair of Nike shoes that are probably not real but still are pretty cool and they were only 14 bucks! Also, our apartment just had a little party and we bought some cakes and they were actually super good! However one cake is more expensive than the shoes I bought but the lady who made them gave us a discount on the second one so that's awesome!

Dang a car caught on fire! That sounds like something that would happen here! I'm glad you guys have been having a good week! Its always nice to hear that my family having a good time!

So now with the homesickness I'm actually doing so much better! I just kinda missed having someone to just kinda talk to about pretty much anything! Because really there's only so much I can talk about in French. It's coming a lot faster and if someone is talking directly at me,I can understand probably about 90 percent of the time but if its like a big conversation that's kinda hard to follow. Things are starting to become easier to memorize so that's been good!

Alright Mama Sabine is pretty cool! Shes super nice and she lives with a pretty big family! Not all of them are her children but when you live with that many people they're pretty much your family. She sells candy and some other food for the most part but one thing that's super cool she has a lot of faith! Like any problem she has she believes that God is going to help her no matter what and that's actually really cool! She sometimes doesn't know all the doctrine so sometimes she'll say stuff and well have to explain it again but she really is awesome,

Food is pretty basic. Chicken, fish, rice, or a sauce is usually the case. I've made some scrambled eggs and I've made chocolate milk so that's awesome! I also want to make an egg salad sandwich because that's pretty simple. Um request wise just some different types of candy and maybe a jar of peanut butter! Oh and maybe a couple recipes too? Not anything crazy but variety would help. Oh and maybe the recipe for cookie dough? The eggs haven't affected me so far and if I get sick. It will totally be worth it! I've actually noticed I kinda gotten smaller but that's not because I don't eat enough, we just do so much walking and I try to do some exercises every morning but don't worry I'm not starving!

I really like that thought about joy. Also a big thing that goes with that is hope. Hope is one of the biggest reasons why sometimes we can do things or overcome trials that other wise would be really difficult. That's one of the many benedictions ( I used that word automatically cause its blessings in french ) of the church and that's one of the reasons I came on my mission. I'm glad things are going well and I hope you all have a great week! Love you! Talk to you next week!

Monday, October 31, 2016

First Baptism


Alright so I'm glad that you're all doing good! I'm sure its kinda weird adjusting to an empty house. Oh yeah Chelsey told me all about her Birthday and I'm glad things are going well! And those costumes are pretty awesome! So I would chat with you a little more but you have asked a lot of questions and I feel its important to answer all of them. Oh and also I haven't received the package yet but I asked around and my companion told me to ask you guys what like mail company did you use to send it? I'm probably going to ask around a pretty soon because i don't know if he completely knows how it works. Also there's no addresses in Benin so its kinda hard to tell you where I live. Its somewhere in Porto Novo kinda next to a big green water tower. Also down the streets there's a statue type thing made of bronze and a round about. That's pretty much all I can tell you. Were near a white mosque if that helps.

Alright so for Christmas I think that I'm doing pretty good but thanks though!

I have one who speaks pretty good English but even still its not the greatest. I'm teaching my companion a little bit of English and the other Elder doesn't speak it at all besides yes!

Alright so how I'm doing? I'm doing pretty good right now! At the start of this week I was actually super homesick, one time to the point where like I actually felt sick. Also I have lost some weight but in a good way! I've started doing some push-ups and stuff like that but yeah!

Average day. Wake up at 6 have a prayer and sing a hymn with everyone in the apartment get ready for the day. Study up until about 10 for the most part come in at 12 eat then study or take a nap. Sometimes its super hot so we don't go back out till 4 but usually we end up back out there at 3 or so. Then we usually come in at around 6:30 or 7:00 because by that time its dark. So we really don't have much time because the days aren't very long and they don't want us out after dark. With all the time in the evening we have dinner, study a little or just relax. And that's the day!

So yeah she did get baptized! Her name is Mamma Sabine and shes really funny! Her memory is a little difficult so she had to really study to pass the baptismal questions but she has a super strong faith in God and its good!

Anyway I love you guys and I hope you have a fantastic week!

Mamma Sabine - First baptism

Nice day for a walk.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Bonjour toute le monde!

I wish that I could reply to you all personally but I only have so much time and the internet connection here isn't the best but I'll try to fit in as much detail as I can into these emails!

Alright, so our arrival into Benin was a little crazy. Originally we were supposed to go to Chicago, catch a connecting flight to Paris, then in Paris catch one to go to Benin. Didn't quite work like that. So we missed our flight to Chicago because the plane was having problems so we were going to take a direct flight from Salt Lake to Paris and we almost missed that one because we didn't have a plane. It was a wreck anyway we got on and we landed in Paris and barely made our flight to Cotonou! We spent 38 total hours either in an airport or on an airplane it was a mess. But now I'm here!!

This place is insanity and I love it!! There is so much going on all the time and all of it crazy! Some of the people here are the nicest people I've ever met and they're so patient with my terrible French! That's the other thing, I wasn't trained for accents like this. It's so hard to make out their accents and some speak rapidly! I can understand the American missionaries but some of the others its a little difficult,

My companion is pretty much the best that there is! He is so cool and is so patient with me all the time! He's pretty much a stud!

Another thing I want to say is that the traffic here... is complete and utter madness. There are no rules and its just pretty much every man for himself! Also I've never seen so many motorcycles in my life, it's ridiculous. You can take a motorcycle but its strictly forbidden by our president because if you get hit while riding one, your dead.

Oh and the church here in my Branch isn't very big cause it just opened up like 5 months ago, oh and my branch is in the capital city of Porto Novo and its awesome! Every one just loves the gospel and really wants to help it grow. They're always willing to lend a hand and its awesome!

Alright i gotta get going but I love you all and I just want to say thanks to everyone for your support! If you want to forward this email go on ahead because I don't have everyone's emails that I would like.  So if I'm missing people please forward it! That would be great thank you all!
I love all of you! Have a good week!

Is that a goat down there?



His Companion Elder Hypote

View from the apartment

Dinner time

Elder Hypote

Elder Hypote

Monday, October 10, 2016

From the Mission President

Good Morning,

We would like to inform you of the arrival of your wonderful son in the mission field October 4th, 2016. He will be serving in Benin in an area called Porto-Novo with a great companion named Elder Hypote from The Ivory Coast. His next preparation day, the day he will be able to write home, is Monday, so you should be hearing from him soon. We also attached a picture of your son with my wife and I. He is looking great and is happy to finally be here, and you can be proud of the service your son is doing at this time for the Lord. May God bless you.


President and Sister Morin.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Bonjour mes parents!

I know! It's coming so fast and it's really crazy! I'm super excited though! I just hope I can fit everything in my bags and stuff! And yeah I'm definitely recovered pretty much all the way and thank you guys for your packages and the doughnuts they're so awesome! Oh yeah I'll have to look into that. I'll try and get it before I depart!

Is there a certain time that you want me to call? Cause if so, it would be pretty easy to do that! The phone was a great idea so thanks for that!

Thanks for sharing that experience! Chelsey talked to me about that too and that sounds quite honestly like an amazing talk! I'm so excited to be in the MTC for all of general conference, because I probably won't fall asleep during it ;) While I've been in the MTC I've seriously learned so much that I never knew about and it's really been an amazing experience for me and I can't wait to take what I've learned to Africa. I'm so excited to be able to share it with all of them and hopefully it's going to be awesome, even though I know that it will be!

I'll make sure to tell you about all my experiences with Africa next week! I'll also start probably using my group e-mail a little more often. If I haven't shared enough with you guys that will probably be where you can find more! I'm sorry this e-mail is a little shorter! A lot of people e-mailed me this week and I'm trying to get a reply to all of them! Hope you guys are doing good! I love you guys!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Like the rain?

I got to admit seeing the rain was pretty nice too. I have some pictures of me and my companion in it but they didn't turn out all that well but it's whatever.

Yeah chasing around the girls is more fun than watching old men play baseball ;) 
Don't tell Jeff that I called him an old man.... Cause he's not and he could still kick my butt so... just keep that on the DL :) Chelsey sent me a bunch of photos of her baby and he's pretty much the cutest thing I have seen! I miss that chubulubs and he looks like he's doing good. Chelsey said that he's starting to crawl as well so that's pretty crazy!

I just thought I should let you guys know that I've actually been sick for the past week. It started out as a pretty mild cold but it got pretty bad so I went to the doctor the first time and they just got me some medicine for a cold. That didn't help much so I went back a couple days after and it turns out I have a sinus infection and an ear infection' I got all the medicine I need so I should be good in a couple of days. :)  I thought I should just let you guys know that! I also have lost like 5 pounds while I'm here because of it so I guess that's fun but it's all good!

Thanks for that scripture! It's been really awesome to be able to find a ton of cool scriptures and that's been really fun to discover more and more about the gospel! About your story, I feel like that's a good reminder to keep that in mind. I feel like I'm pretty decent at knowing that he's the one that does everything but at the same time that is a wonderful reminder, so thanks for that experience.

We're supposed to get our travel plans today and I couldn't be more excited! It's crazy to think that it has already been 5 weeks in the MTC and I am just so pumped to be going to Africa! We have continued talking to our teacher about some of his experiences and every little thing just gets me more and more excited. He gave us some good advice too, that instead of being nitpicky about all the different things in Africa that we should just love all of it and that's what I plan on doing! The thing I'm most excited for is playing little kids in soccer who are going to school me because that's all they know how to do so I'm really excited.

Everything is going well and I cannot wait for what Africa will teach me. Some of me wishes to go right now. Je sais que Il y a beaucoup des choses que je vais apprendre avec mes temps dans Afrique at je ne peux pas etre content pour cet occasion. Je suis tres contempt pour mon mission et aussi etre un missionaire. Je vous rate beaucoup mais, je sais que c'est tres important pour moi etre ici. J'aime cet occasion et le beaucoup des chose que J'ai apris

Friday, September 16, 2016


Hey guys!

Yeah it's kinda crazy how fast time is going by and it really is pretty fantastic. I seriously can't wait for Africa! I've heard so much and I'm just so excited to go and serve the people there. From what I've heard it's pretty awesome! Of course there will be some down sides but hopefully I can focus well enough on the good that it'll will go well!

Oh that's all good! Just keep trying eventually you'll get it :) It does take time and it's a little frustrating but it's fun to speak in a different language. It is kinda frustrating because every once in a while I'll forget the easiest words in French. I still don't know how to form all the sentences that I would like. That's a little frustrating but I'm sure in a few months I'll be speaking it like it's nothing! Quite honestly I actually feel like French in school helped a lot because it gave me a pretty good knowledge on basic sentence structure. How to ask questions and the conjugations for most verbs. It's actually been pretty helpful. :) Whoever told you that obviously didn't pay too much attention in French class.

It looks like Jeff is training Vaughn pretty well then! It's good to hear Mason is staying good and busy! Elyse is pretty awesome and I'm glad the kids are taking a liking to her. It's so nice to hear about all the goofy things that all the kids do. I miss being around them and just observing all the funny things that they do!

It's good to hear about that regional conference. In fact we had Elder Ballard come and talk to us just this past Sunday. Then we had Elder Cook come and talk to us. So we've had 3 Apostles right in a row! It's been super cool and Elder Cook has had my favorite talk so far! I think I may have already said this in my letter home but I'm not exactly sure. Brother Callor should be on my mission right now! There is honestly no way that that man couldn't touch the hearts of all the people in Africa. It's good to hear that he's doing well and still doing typical brother Callor stuff :)

So far being a zone leader has been fun! It's not all great though. Hearing about struggling Elders in the zone and not really knowing what to do about them is kinda saddening. But it's nice to try and be involved in helping them stay and just trying to get them so excited to go out and serve.That's kinda what comes with being a zone leader. One thing that's pretty awesome about being a zone leader is talking to all the new missionaries that come in! We just kinda tell them some pretty basic stuff but then we get to take them on a tour. We talk to them about where they're from and that is just really awesome!

No worries momma, I love to hear about everything it's a nice change of pace from all the missionary work that we do so it's fine by me! Thank you guys for everything!

P.S. I have some pictures but I can't get them right now because the computer I have doesn't have a SD card reader. I forgot my reader in my bag but I'll send you guys some later! Oh and something that would be appreciated is if you guys could send me my black davis tryout shirt! The one I like so much! If you could that would be awesome cause it would be kinda nice to have on workout days because it's getting colder. Anyway thanks for everything! I love hearing from you guys. It really just makes my week that much better! Adieu, j'espère que vous avez une bonne semaine! :)

Friday, September 9, 2016

Blast from the past

Alright so here goes my e-mail! So far things have just been getting better and better! My French is getting a ton better but I'm still speaking in broken French which is to be expected. I'm starting to be able to understand a lot better. That's been what I've been looking to do since the moment I got here so it's going well. I'm ok if I don't know how to speak that well. I would rather be able to understand everything, so yeah it's a progressing.

Maybe mom could send me a sleeping bag just for the MTC ;) it's starting to get pretty cold around night time and morning now. I won't have to deal with it too much longer! It's still crazy to think that I've already been at the MTC for almost 3 weeks and it's already almost over! I can't tell you guys how excited I am to go to Africa!! Our teacher went there and has told us some things and it sounds like the coolest thing! Every little thing I hear about Benin and Togo just get's me more excited to go!

I'm glad grandma and grandpa got to be apart of that because that sounds pretty awesome! :) Oh and thank brother Myles for sending me his letter will you! It's amazing to see how good he is. Honestly, when I saw the letter, I knew what it was and was so excited! He's pretty amazing!

It's good to hear that Mason is bringing Elyse around more! I thought that she was pretty cool when she came so I'm glad you guys are seeing more of her! I guess I won't be able to spend all day with Mason playing too much 2K anymore. If I get back and she's still around. ;) I miss playing 2k with Mason and quoting The Office! I also miss all of you guys. You guys have all helped me so much. I wish I could put it into words but really I can't! So just know that I appreciate you guys a ton! And thanks for the popcorn and doughnuts :) those were the best packages.

Alright so I guess for my closing paragraph I just want to let you guys know that while I'm in the MTC for the next 3 weeks my companion and I are zone leaders now. I don't really know what to expect yet but my companion is super excited about it and is willing to work so it should be a good time :) Anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know that and I don't really have anymore than that cause it's been a pretty standard week. Not to concern you guys or nothing but I got flipped over a kid playing basketball. It hurt for like 2 seconds and was a little sore the next day. Nothing serious so no need to worry! I'm being a lot more careful though.

Anyway I hope you guys are doing good and will continue to do good! It's really nice to hear from you and thank you for all the packages and letters! You guys are the best! :)

Friday, September 2, 2016


So things are going pretty good this week, there has been one rough day but other than that all the other ones have been good! I'm glad that you guys are all doing well! Hopefully your sewing projects are going well Momma! What is it that you are making exactly? Good for Grandma and Grandpa! I'm sure that it'll be really cool to be there for them! I definitely want to hear all about it!

Thank you guys sooo much!! Those packages are just awesome to receive and the bag and shoes are actually way nice! The shoes don't really hurt my feet anymore so that's good! ( I guess God is looking out for me in all ways right about now huh? :) ) Maggie's mom is pretty awesome and that was a great confidence boost when I was able to get those and see the messages that she has written. Oh, and I just want to thank you guys so much for the letters as well! I've gotten them and I'm trying to find a time when I can write you guys back but there's not a lot of spare time, just know that I am trying!

That is so great to hear about the passport! I've actually been kind of worrying about that but I'm glad you guys got it all sorted out!

French is coming along pretty good! It helps that my companion likes to study too. It's pretty easy to learn when they're are two of you wanting to learn French, so that's been a blessing! Oh, and the feminine and masculine part are all over french but eventually you get the hang of it! I'm also glad to be hearing that you guys are learning at least a little bit cause it would be kinda cool to talk to you guys in some french when i got back :)

I have to tell you guys something amazing that happened to me concerning prayer. Last week during a devotional we had, I just kind of asked a yes or no question in a prayer and I just kinda said if I could get an answer that would be great. Anyway I closed it and decided to wait patiently for an answer. However, I didn't have to wait that long. So after I prayed I just kind of got back to listening to the devotional and then all of the sudden I got this weird tingling on the back of my head that I had never felt before. I stopped listening and said a quick prayer asking if that was an answer. As soon as I got back to listening to the devotional, the next thing that the guy talking said, in a very loud voice, was "absolutely yes!". I heard that and I just sat there in shock for a minute. I really didn't believe what I had just heard and experienced but it happened! That seriously just happened and I believe that was an answer. It was very different for me to hear and experience something like that. It's still pretty hard to believe! Which kinda brings me to another realization that God doesn't answer us all in the same way. He has very distinct ways of communicating directly with us and there was no way I could ever deny that experience.

Anyway I'm running a little short on time so I gotta get back to it. I can't wait to talk to you guys soon and I just want to say how grateful I am for all of your guys' support it's been awesome!

Best Bud, Elder Josh Van Dremmelen

Friday, August 26, 2016

Hey Guys!

So I landed in the MTC just a couple days ago and really everything has gone smoothly! For those of you who don't know, instead of the Ghana MTC, I came to the Provo one, just so all of you know. Honestly the first day really goes by so fast. There is barely any time to catch anything. For me, the second day came to a crawl. It's so weird to be calling everyone around me Elders and calling myself one as well.

A memorable thing that we did was we had "non-members", who really are probably just actors, come and as a group of 40 missionaries we tried to teach them a lesson and let them know that we cared about them. It was actually a great teaching experience but I'm glad I don't have to work with 40 missionaries because some of the things people said just really didn't apply to the situation at all. It really helped me know that everyone has different needs and a method that may work on one person definitely doesn't work on the other.

Alright so my companion's name is Elder Peterson and so far has been a great companion! He is dedicated, kind, and just overall a good person to have around. My whole branch is actually pretty awesome. So they split us up by the language we're learning and probably 80% of the missionaries in my branch are going to the same mission as me! So we're all pretty excited and slightly nervous to be going over there but everyone is looking forward to it. So far all of the people I've met have been fantastic and have yet to meet someone that I don't like. It really has been a huge learning experience.

We went to the temple and that was a huge momentum boost just because it added some variety to the day. We spend a lot of the day in our classroom or studying to try and meet the needs of our "investigator" ( really it's a profile of someone that we're just trying to create a lesson for ). That's actually one of the things I'm looking forward to is actually getting out there and teaching people that actually need help. That's one of the main reasons I can't wait to go to Benin is to help those who are in need.

For those who may be wondering the food at the MTC tastes pretty good but tends to clog the plumbing up a little bit if you catch my drift. ;) I'm really excited to be here and I can't wait to hear from all of you!

Benin Missionaries

My Companion Elder Peterson
It's Real!