Wednesday, November 30, 2011


FOR all the Guys: Cousins, Brock, Conner, Jon, Daegon, Kyle, Jake, Friends, Michael,

I'm going to share a revelation that I and one of my Zone leaders had while in the MTC.

Before reading onward, Go on Wikipedia and look up the basic premise for the Hyperbolic Time Chamber that's found in Dragonball Z. OK?


Revelation time.

The HTC and the MTC are one and the same.


Proof? The HTC and MTC are both places where you enter and train for what seems like years at a time, only to leave and find that you've only been inside for a few weeks or months. They are both places where days pass like weeks, and weeks pass like days. Time is distorted and warped inside the MTC.

"Time is an invention of man. When you're on the Lord's errand, time has no meaning." I probably made that up, but it's true nonetheless.

Here's another proof: In the HTC one of the people training remarks to his dad how much he hates the place, how he can't wait to get out, and so on and so forth. There are people who also do that in the MTC. However, when the person finally got out of the HTC, he was the most powerful character in the series, and in fact was the first one to ever go Super Sayan 2.

I testify that the MTC is the same. People go in weak and helpless, but we come out as elite members of the Lord's Army. Never forget how much potential you all have.

Elder DArcey

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Most Important Thing I've Learned on My Mission


And the answer is as follows:

Page One of the Handbook is very important. First couple weeks out here, I felt like the entire mission was operating out of sync with the handbook and all of the information that we learned at the MTC. It's taken me until just now to figure it all out.

And the answer is this: (See Missionary Handbook, page 1).

After a great deal of prayer, now I know that we're not doing anything crazy; instead, the mission president is "adjust[ing] some of these standards as local circumstances require." (See Missionary Handbook, Page 1).

Now that it's all behind me, let me go on with the letter:

This missionary is still doing great up here. Alaska is absurdly beautiful. Dad can never come up, because he would never go back down.


[denotes an abrupt, illogical, unexpected or absurd turn of plot or dialogue not normally associated with or appropriate to that preceding it.]

Alaska state facts:
Bird: willow ptarmigan
Mammal: Moose
Fish: King Salmon
Flower: Forget-me-not (check out President Uchdorf's talk in the November Ensign about the flower! it's awesome!
Motto: none official, but most used is "The Last Frontier" I'm telling you Star Trek mission! Where no one has gone before.

And now for something completely different: Answers given to questions asked.

Mom: Do you need any other warm clothing?

I'm doing good so far. I'll try to pick up the boots Dad ordered today while we're in Anchorage

Mom: What are you doing for sacrament bread?

I got GF bread from one of the members just a little while ago, as well as crackers.

Did you get any cd’s or packages from us yet?

I got the one package with the CD and the Reeses, plus DearElders occasionally, mostly from Derick. Thanks Much.

What kind of service or proselyting do you do?

Tracting has gotten harder since the temperature started going into the negatives. we're mostly working with part member families and less-actives. Baptisms are difficult, but they do happen. Our main service is whatever we find to help others. Thursdays we work at the nature center, and Fridays we volunteer at the Senior Center. Last week we helped a member with their Eagle scout project at the Food donation Center, and we frequently shovel walks, mostly our own. All these are designed to help us be a positive presence in the community.

What did you do for Thanksgiving?

We had dinner at the Relief Society's president's house. It was good. other than that it was missionary work as usual.

How are you eating? Paragraphs, not just one word answers.

I'm eating well. You know that there are 5 different types of salmon? All you in the lower 48 only get pink salmon, or the least tasty and least delicious. We up in Alaska get King Salmon or Red Salmon, which is like comparing... something really bad and not tasty to something really amazing and delicious. My mind just went blank. All of you can fill in your own answers.

The Abbots asked about you again. What should I tell them? Send them a postcard. Do you have a ward address list?

Tell them hi? I'm doing great up here and think about everyone at home all the time...ish

Tell us about your companion and your schedule of a typical day.

My companion is cool. He's been out 20 months and has been all over. I've told you all this before. I'm not Sister Darcey with her amazing people reading and describing skills.

I'll just send you one of my planners instead of typing it out. Don't lose it; missionaries keep these planners for the rest of their lives.


The work progresses. I liken it to moving a mountain. Sometimes we just say "move" and we have faith that it will move of it's own accord. More often, we say "move", then start shoveling, having faith that we'll be sustained as we move it ourselves.

That's my thought for this week. So, Everyone, Pray for miracles, then go out and start working. The Lord will bless you as you strive. For those of you already striving, just keep moving. Mosiah 4 says that it doesn't matter how fast you run, so long as you keep running. There's no prize in getting there first, and there's no prize for not finishing. Work as you're able and just keep at it.

Elder Darcey

Monday, November 21, 2011

Just passed my One Month Mission & Four Year Baptism Anniversary

[photos courtesy of the internet not Elder D.]

Greetings from the Frozen Chosen up in the one Real mission.

I'm doing just great. I'm eating well, nobody's tried to kill me, and the only wild animals I've seen (alive) are ravens.

This week has been awesome. first off, I heard my immediate family was in 39 degree weather this week. Good Job! Up here, We've been in the negatives all week. Quite literally, the temperature has not yet gone above 0. I recently remarked in my journal that I'm beginning to think anything above -10 is warm, and I actually mean it. It's not just me either; the rest of the State is just like that. There are a couple "weirdos" who think it's too cold, but the rest of us are fine with the cold.

The sun went down at 3:30 today. It came up at 11, so I don't need sunglasses for more than a few hours each day.

But enough about the weather and the darkness. We've done a lot this week, but it's a toss up which is the most interesting. I'll tell you both, and you all decide.

First: We chopped wood in -20 degree weather. It was too cold for us to see our breath, but we had icicles in our hair, noses and eyebrows/lashes. I would have taken pictures, but my camera wasn't working, and neither were my fingers. People of the Lover 48, I have felt true cold, and it only gets better from here. My gloves are working fine, as is my hat. the wood mauls just sucked the heat out of our hands.

Second, I contact called a group of Jamaicans--in Jamaica. One of our members in the road has MS, and is basically house ridden. He's an AMAZING guy, but that's not the point. the point is that he's been getting dozens of calls a week from a huge group of Jamaican scammers; the type who call repeatedly and say: "You've just won 3.5 million dollars, but you need to send X amount of money to Y place."

The funny thing is that they think we're stupid, so right after we threaten to call the authorities and hang up, they call again--with the exact same story. They really are either crazy or just stupid. But anyway, I joked right after our member had just hung up that he should refer the Jamaicans to the missionaries and on cue the phone began ringing, The member hands me the phone and says "Have at it."

I answer, and can already hear the other person start their spiel when I interrupt with mine. "Hello, this is the Missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This is Elder Darcey, how can I help you?"
They hung up and they haven't called back since. Obviously they weren't ready for religion.

The people here in Alaska are so incredible. They come from everywhere, have had every sort of life, and yet have all ended up here in the magnificent place.

Somewhat shorter email this week--sorry. I have not yet received the warm clothes, but I'm a size ten in shoes, so hopefully they fit. I would like to add Milk Duds and headphones to my Christmas list to send me. I'm doing well and staying warm despite the negatives. Hope you're all well.

I'm praying for Aidan and everyone.

Elder Darcey

Monday, November 14, 2011

The World Is Ending -- I Have Proof -- I'm Wearing Jeans!

Greetings from the North. A week has passed, and it feels like a year, and a week and an hour, all at the same time.

First, a question for all of you: If you had a son serving a mission in Oklahoma, would you worry about a storm in Utah threatening him? No? Well then, CHILL! Don't worry about me. I'm in Chugiac, Bear Mountain ward, just above Anchorage. Nome is probably 600 miles away. Besides, all the missionaries in Nome were pulled before the storm hit anyway. That's revelation for you. Church headquarters told President Beesley to pull the missionaries; he told them he already had. Most excellent.

Anyway, here's some news. I'm in The Bear Mountain ward of Chugiac/Eagle River area, just above Anchorage. Go Google that, because I can't. But anyway, Alaska is massive. That's the only way to describe it. Actually, there is another way, and it's a joke. "Texans are annoyed with being the second biggest state. They propose splitting Alaska in half. Alaska says: 'Why? so you can be the third biggest?'"

But really. Alaska is far removed from the rest of the nation. Whenever we talk about ourselves, we say Alaska. Whenever we talk about anywhere else, we say America, or the Lower 48.

This part is for Sister Darcey. To describe the geography, weather and other parts of Alaska in a way that you can understand, I want you to close your eyes. Now open your eyes so you can keep reading the instructions.

1: Imagine you're in Hong Kong. (for everyone else, wherever you are. Utah, Oklahoma, Etc)
2. Think of the temperature, geography, everything.
3. Now imagine getting on a plane and going to Alaska.
4. That's roughly what Alaska is like compared to Hong Kong.

My pictures don't do it justice. Mostly because my camera froze. Seriously; my camera apparently doesn't work under 30 degrees. Please advise, seeing as the temperature hasn't yet gone above 25.

My first week in review:

Got off the plane. Met President and Sister President.
Went outside. First impression was the feeling of going skiing, but with the ocean smell as well.
Stayed the night at the Mission home. It was cold outside, but not actually too bad, like Salt Lake or Provo.
Met my Trainer: Elder Michael Ivan.

Yes, Dad, I do know his first name. He's from Pleasant Grove and has been out 20 months. He's been to Haynes, Nome and Cordova, so basically everywhere but the far north and Fairbanks.
Took pictures at the Temple. Learned that my camera doesn't work in Alaska.

I learned how to tell if it is below Zero. Your nose-hairs freeze when you breath in. It was -2 that night.
Most of our area work isn't meeting new investigators, but meeting part member families and reactivating less active members. We also work a lot with active member families.

The people in Alaska are amazing. Everyone is so nice and considerate, even as they close the door on you.
We live in the basement of some members; however some missionaries live in the Church Buildings, especially in Nome and Kotzebue. They sleep in the Primary room, shower in the baptismal font, you know, just like an Atkinson family reunion. But anyway, being up here is so amazing.

The sun doesn't come up until 10:00, and it goes down at 4:00. from 7 onwards, it's darker than midnight. The northern lights are visible from where I am, but it's been too cloudy to see anything.

Getting back to the weather; it just stopped snowing, which was a shock. One day we were helping a family move (from 8 in the morning till 3 in the afternoon; we do serious service here) it snowed all day long, about a foot and a half. The big thing about the weather is that here, it snows about as much as Utah, but it never melts. By the end of winter (June) we are buried, just because it's accumulated.

The weather hasn't yet gotten above 25 degrees. It also only gets worse. we'll be pushing -20 here by the time winter really hits. I don't yet have another coat, but my mac is doing fine at the moment. My gloves and skull cap are doing just great as well. May I also recommend Ecco Shoes to EVERYONE. They are durable and awesome and cool. I also picked up a pair of boots in our basement. They're Sorrels, size 12. so large, but so warm. I'll get something my size, if I ever get sent farther north.

I bought a hoodie and a pair of Jeans to do service in. AAAAggghhhhhh!!!!!

BEGIN JEANS RANT (shout in loud and all in one breath)
How do you even wear these things? They ride up and down at the same time, the Denim is the most uncomfortable fabric ever, it doesn't stretch or bend, and I can't walk in it, and I can't even tuck my legs up or bend down or kick or anything, and why do they even have pockets if you can't put anything in them and they're so small and tight and who picked blue as a good color anyway and I HATE THEM.

Admittedly, they do make me look svelte and hot, but that's not really the image I'm looking for as a missionary.
The hoodie is really nice, though.

That's about it. Send up your questions in an easy to answer format and I'll get back to you.

Whenever I think of you, it is fondly,

Elder Darcey

Too Early for Christmas List??

Did you know that I missed Elder Holland being up here? in my area? IN MY WARD?????
He said some amazing things there. the three points he made were:
1: you can't argue with the evidence.
2: you can't imagine the blessings
3: you can't kill this.

The third point was the most impressive. He said that they tried to kill the Savior and thought it would end there. They killed all the apostles and hoped everything would settle down. They Killed Joseph Smith and said "Thus ends Mormonism". Elder Holland even talked, pretty frankly, about how he and the other apostles know they might be killed at any time.

He left by giving his apostolic blessing to the ward "as if he was laying hands on every single person in the building." Most excellent, but I missed it by two days.

Can someone send me the list of how the 12 apostles died? kthx.

The Alaska mission is different from anything I imagined. Everything is adapted to fit the area and the people here, because it's truly unlike anything or anywhere else on earth.

On a slightly unrelated note, did you all know that my favorite birds are Ravens? (Not crows; don't mix it up) Because the only birds in Alaska at the moment are Ravens, and they're awesome. Awesome here meaning "really big, really sassy, really confident and challenging, really holycowtheyaresomassive, and so on".
No other animals yet, but I've eaten Alaska Salmon (so much better than any other salmon) Moose (tasty) and Halibut (not bad at all). Food is no problem up here. The entire ward has already been informed about my allergy and have no real problems working around it.

Side note: Did you know teriyaki sauce has wheat in it?

Please look up the CD "Nashville tribute to missionaries, The Work" because It's awesome. Mom would probably cry. Also look for the song "Witnesses" or something along those lines. It's about the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon telling how they can't deny what they've seen, heard and felt in a trio. I heard it sung at the MTC and love it. Please look it up.

I'll send pictures some time. Probably before Christmas. which is in less than 6 weeks.


Nashville tribute to missionaries the work CD (make sure to actually listen to it before sending it, because it's awesome).

MoTab CDs (you can't just send my iPod; it's not allowed up here, but the Mo Tab songs don't have to be all Church Hymns. just anything by them is OK [You know what that means. Find the Lord of the Rings sung by the MoTab and send that])

Conference talks (or anything like them) on CDs.

Reese's peanut butter cups. ( I have such a craving for them right now; I don't know why)

A couple of those UV "happy lights". I don't miss the sun yet, but we're really not getting that much of it, and it only gets worse.

You are in my prayers, Your son, friend, family member, Elder Darcey

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Crazy Weather in AK

Welcome to Alaska, Ian. We hope and pray that he is well. Who Knows? Only Him.

A storm of historic intensity continues to pound the west coast of Alaska today. Twice the size of Texas, the storm is as deep as a category 3 hurricane. The National Weather Service is calling it a "life-threatening epic storm" due to it's dangerous combination of towering waves (observed at 40 feet in the Bering Sea), Winds over 100 MPH, storm surge flooding, and blinding snow.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Alaska Weather

Sunny. Cold.Clear. Cold.Overcast. Cold.High level clouds. Cold.Partly cloudy. Chilly.Scattered flurries. Overcast. Chilly.Snow flurries. Overcast. Chilly.
3 °F-9 °F5 °F8 °F18 °F23 °F21 °F
7 mph Direction South2 mph Direction West5 mph Direction West-northwest4 mph Direction West4 mph Direction West-southwest5 mph Direction West-southwest4 mph Direction West
Anchorage - Merrill Field
Flurries late. Cloudy. Chilly.Snow flurries. Overcast. Cool.Flurries early. Decreasing cloudiness. Cool.Cloudy. Cool.Light snow late. Cloudy. Cool.Cloudy. Chilly.Mostly cloudy. Chilly.
Hi: 24 °F
Lo: 3 °F

Hi: 28 °F
Lo: 13 °F

Hi: 26 °F
Lo: 9 °F

Hi: 37 °F
Lo: 26 °F

Hi: 28 °F
Lo: 7 °F

Hi: 10 °F
Lo: -3 °F

Hi: 17 °F
Lo: 1 °F

Weather provided by CustomWeather, copyright 2011
Sunrise at8:46 AMin direction125°SoutheastSoutheast
Sunset at4:39 PMin direction235°SouthwestSouthwest
Duration of day: 7 hours, 52 minutes (5 minutes, 19 seconds shorter than yesterday)
Sun in south at 12:43 PM at altitude 12° above horizon

Civil twilightbegins at7:57 AM,ends at5:29 PM
Nautical twilightbegins at7:04 AM,ends at6:21 PM
Astronomical twilightbegins at6:14 AM,ends at7:11 PM
Find sunrise and sunset-times for other dates
See current position of the Sun

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Email 1 from AK

parents and everyone else

i made it to Alaska.
it's cold
there's snow
mission assignments tomorrow
went tracting for an hour
the sun went down at 5:00
people here are awesome
i saw the temple it's awesome
i'll send pictures sometime or whatever

Love Elder Darcey

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hey I Ran Out Of Time!


This is a continuation of my letter on P-Day because my email time ran out insanely fast; (remember how time is all messed up here in this dimension.)

Mom, I hope you are able to blog this as I don't want to think that I wasted all that time, sitting next to you while we set up the blog, watching you mangle the computer while I couldn't touch it (as I was already set apart) .

[We are learning how important the internet is to the work of the Lord and I'm reminded of the admonition of the apostles in previous conferences about not wasting time on-line, but do family history by blogging diligently of our testimony of His work.]

So, I'm working out a lot (in the cafeteria) and have gained ten pounds since getting here. My ribs, spine and kneecaps feel bruised. For someone who never aches, this is new. I got injured from sit-ups. Don't believe me? Speed-pull a hundred on a dare on a hard gym floor and see what happens. (I mean you, Brock Atkinson).

Someone, please listen to the music, "My Kindness shall not depart from thee". I love that song at the moment--sometimes when we feel lost, this is what God is saying to us.

[Mom butts in here: Dia and Brian performed it at her farewell in Lehi.]

Aidan, go online to, go to the media library, click on feature films and watch Johnny Lingo. It is one of the best films and I'm still hanging with the Samoans, so when we watch it, that makes it double awesome.

That's all I have to say, so I'll stop writing now.

Oops! So I lied! I felt that I need to end with something spiritual and I HAD AN AMAZING experience in the TRC (Training Room). Me and my companion taught an honest-to-goodness real investigator. SERIOUSLY !!!!! Actually TWO OF THEM!!!!!

He came from a college here and was brought to the MTC by friends who were volunteering. He tagged along to get a lesson because he was really curious about Mormons. We gave him and his girlfriend two copies of the Book of Mormon (that said, PROPERTY OF THE MTC, but we told them they could have them anyway!) and asked him to be baptized.

I am told that it is never too early to ask people to be baptized like Christ. He said, "If this book is true, then I will have to get baptized."

I asked him to read the last paragraph from the introduction in the front (Hey, go Read It!) and then I told him, "This book is true. I've lived my entire life, and staked my reputation on that fact. If you read it and pray about it, I swear to you that you will get a confirmation one way or the other."

Both of them looked at me in shock. Why would God not tell them? They both said they would and I know they'll get an answer.

Seriously people. If you really want to make a difference... I mean--Save a life kind of difference, serve a mission.

Elder Darcey