Monday, October 29, 2012

The Best Back Massage Ever!

...was given to me a few days ago, by a chair in a members home. I feel so good it's not even funny.

 All:

I'm happy to talk again, from the cold north.

How cold is it up here?

It's so cold I saw polar bears wearing mink coats and beaver hats.

(badonk chss)

It's so cold I can outrun my own words, because they freeze coming out.

(badonk chss)

 It's so cold that freeze tag is taken literally.

( badonk chss)

Mostly, it's so cold that it's too cold to snow, which is why there isn't snow on the ground.

I love everything up here. The work is still going on. Hmong people seem to disappear in the cold. I need to remember that they were repatriated from the tropics. It's been harder to get meetings to go through without people. Still, everything's still going great.

I'm already out of time. You can rebuke me for this horrible email next week.

I promise that it will be better next time,

Love from the North, Elder Darcey

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rose Tinted Happiness

Family,

 Well, I really am doing good here.

Even if I weren't, I wouldn't notice. You know me: I see through the world with rose-tinted contacts, and hear through rose-tinted... ears? Get the Pratchett Color of Magic quote for me, will you?

 [Sorry, couldn't do it, I'm a Pratchett ignoramus, sorry no chance--Mom]

"Twoflower didn't just look at the world through rose tinted spectacles, he looked at it through a rose tinted brain, too, and heard it through rose tinted ears." Pratchett  Proof that Mom has evolved during this mission too.

 But really, everything is great. I love it up here. I'm already stressing that a year has gone by; it simultaneously feels like a day and an eternity.

 Love Northward Elder Darcey

Monday, October 8, 2012

Socks, Transfers and Conference

All,

The photo is a picture of me at transfer meeting. Elder Cameron, who mans the cameras during the meetings so he can broadcast to the bush, saw this picture of me on the camera, and took a picture of the "Angel in the Midst of the Missionaries".

 Elder Cameron is Awesome.

First off, no one had actually told me Socks was on the downhill until today, but I felt sad about her a lot today, so I really figured as much. She blessed my life so much (I have the scars to prove it...) and I'll miss her until I see her again. I'll always remember her fighting with dogs, cats, foxes, wolverines (that last one may have been made up) and DAD. She is awesome. According to cat years, she was 92 when she died. That's a long, fulfilling life.

Next, transfers came through. I'm staying in the Hmong branch, which is exciting, because I have not yet conquered the language, nor have I gotten my Hmong name tag in the mail yet! I hope to stay in the branch for a while yet. Elder Chalfant, however, has served here 8 months, and is going down to Seward. I'll miss him; he's been an awesome companion. I'll be getting Elder Curtain, who is currently my Zone leader right now. Go figure.

 Lastly is conference.  WOW! BROCK AND MATI, YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO GO ON MISSIONS UNTIL I GET HOME. THUS SAYETH ELDER DARCEY. But really, I will understand if you do.

The announcement of younger missionaries floored me. Every missionary in the group with us looked like a mattock-ed Cow. [He sounds like he knows something about mattocked cows]

Stunned, wounded, a little in denial. This can only be a good thing for younger missionaries to be able to go out. I actually loved Elder Andersen's talk the most--the one about faith. Elder Andersen always has the best talks for me. I loved what he said about the need to have faith through trials. “Distancing yourself from the kingdom of God during a trial of faith is like leaving the safety of a secure storm cellar just as the tornado comes to view.” We shouldn't be surprised when we're backed to our walls of faith. I read a book recently that's really affected me. It's called "Here We Stand", by Joseph Fielding McConkie (not Bruce). It's a great book that I highly recommend. Anyway, that's about all. This transfer has passed far too quickly. I'm doing great up here. Winter is coming fast; The season of Almost-Winter is fading fast. (4 seasons in Alaska: Winter from October to April, Breakup from April to June, Construction from June to September, and Almost-Winter, from September to October Love you all from the North, Elder Darcey

Elder Dawbzaj = White Dragon

Dear Friends and family,  

Transfers. I'm staying in the Hmong branch, which is exciting, because I have not yet become proficient in the language, nor have I gotten my Hmong name tag in the mail yet! I hope to stay in the branch for a while yet.  My new companion is Elder Curtain, who is currently my Zone leader now. 

Enjoyed Conference:  MISSIONARIES ! ! !    This can only be a good thing for younger missionaries to go out.
I actually loved Elder Andersen's Talk the most about faith. Elder Andersen always has the best talks for me. I loved what he said about the need to have faith through trials. “Distancing yourself from the kingdom of God during a trial of faith is like leaving the safety of a secure storm cellar just as the tornado comes to view.”  This transfer period has passed far too quickly. 

I'm doing great up here. The Alaska Winter is coming fast; The season of Almost-Winter is fading fast. (Seems there are four seasons in Alaska: Winter from October to April, Breakup from April to June, Construction from June to September, and Almost-Winter, from September to October.)

Love you all from the North,

Elder Dawbzaj  Hmong name meaning  White Dragon
AKA

Elder Darcey  

Monday, October 1, 2012

First Snow Fall, One Year Mark, and Music

All,

 It's great to talk again. I'm freaking out a little right now, (as much as I ever do; just imagine me waiting to play a new Legend of Zelda game, or waiting to watch Lord of the Rings, then quadruple it, then double that) because I happened to look at a calendar and realized that... I'm almost A YEAR OUT!@@!@#$@#$" FREAKINGOUTFREAKINGOUTFREAKINGOUT

 OK, I'm good now. The librarian just shushed me, so I'll keep it down for the benefit of the other patrons. I'm terrified that the time is passing so quickly. I've been out here a year, and what do I have to show for it? 

Well, that got me thinking, and I realized I have a lot to show. I've helped people come closer to Christ. I've learned new skills, like carding doors, and Hmong (sort of... it's a work in progress...). I've strengthened my testimony, and come to see miracles all around me.

Truly the scripture is fulfilled: "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up" D & C 84:88 I've seen amazing sights, and met amazing people. I've come to know my Savior and King better than ever. And I've helped others do the same.

 All in all, as I thought about it, a lot has happened out here, a hundredth I cannot even begin to write. It's been amazing As Brigham Young said about Zion's Camp, I wouldn't trade this experience for the world, and all the riches therein.

 But anyway, enough musing. We had snow fall a couple days ago, which is officially earlier than all you you down south. HA This week we kind of met with our investigator De. She couldn't leave her house, and we couldn't come in, because the rest of the family was shamaning (yes, that is a made up word). when the shamans are doing their thing, no one's allowed in or out, for up to a week. It's actually kind of scary. They're trying to expel evil spirits and such, but it's really inviting them in. De is awesome though. She's been reading the Book of Mormon and she said that it always makes her feel better. Which is my testimony: Just like the Bible, the Book of Mormon contains the words of God.

How can you help but feel good while reading it?

 I'm about out of time, but I'm doing great. Seriously, if there even was a problem, I probably wouldn't notice anyway. but anyway, I love you all.

 Love from the Snowy-and-only-getting-snowy-er-North, Elder Darcey 

The attachments are the songs an Elder wrote while up here. A little about Elder Calk: he's amazing. He was AP when I first came out, then he went and served  in BARROW. ALL WINTER LONG. He's one of the best musicians around. These songs are just a sample of his amazing talent. His music has spread all over different missions; we heard that missionaries were listening to him down in Arizona, at last check. but anyway, the second song is exactly how I feel right now about going home.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Moar Photographs (LOL Cats spelling)

Dear All,

Photos are first, The logs we carried up a mountain and arranged, with no idea what we were doing. We later climbed another mountain, and saw the result.

 "And the Lord called his people because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them" (Moses 7:18).

 Second photo is Our Zone, the Chugach Zone. You see Elders from Eagle River, Anchorage, Nome, Bethel and Kotzebue.

 I guess I'll just have to be quick.... (Photos are hiking Mt Baldy *(Dad, I can't get away from bald mountains, even in Alaska!) and Slingshot-ing at Zone Conference. Be it known that I rock at those things. It's great to talk again.

This week flew by with speed. I was shocked to see that there was already a week less remaining on my mission. There wasn't a lot to talk about until yesterday, which I loved. We had our little room in the church building FILLED with Hmong people at sacrament meeting. There were probably 50 people there. It was an amazing meeting.

I had been assigned to give a talk, which I did. I really couldn't thing of anything to speak about, so I fell back on What's important, and talked about God's love for us. I brought up Moses 1, which first shows God's power, his creations, and his works. Then I went on to the next verse: "Behold, Thou art my son". God has all these creations to thing about, yet he takes time for each and every one of us. he will never slack off on caring for and looking after us. Moses 1:39: The point of God Even BEING there is because he loves us. God is Love, And we can feel that wherever we are.

 It always makes me think about the Restoration in a new light when I think about The first word God said to Joseph Smith. He Called him BY NAME. God knows all of us on a "first name basis". Anyway, I didn't really think it was that great of a talk, but people said it was what they needed to hear, so that's good.

 I Got the second package from my family. The Sobe didn't explode, but the cereal did, a bit. Don't worry though, because I am so loaded on Cereal you don't need to send any more. Seriously. Don't.

 Anyway, The weather's been turning colder, and it won't be more than a few more weeks before we have lasting snow. I realize I never sent my family any winter stuff for them to send back to me, which is just as well. Don't worry about sending the socks back; I'm still loaded on those too.

Hmong is slowly progressing. It's slow, hard, and memorization is hardest, but it's coming. So, I'll leave you with an illegible testimony. Don't use Bing to translate, unless you want a laugh.

 Kuv paub hais tias Phau Ntawv Maumoos muaj tseev. Kuv paub hais tias Yexus Khetos yog Vajtswv leej tub. Vajtswv yog peleej txiv saum ntuj ceeb tsheeb, Thiab kuv hais tej yam no los ntawm Yexus Khetos lub npe, Amees.

  Hlub from the North

 Elder Dawbzaj  (White Dragon)

Glaciers and Musk Ox and Transfers... OH MY!

All

 First off, I'm on a bad computer again, so sorry.

Second, I just got transfer calls. I'm going to serve in the Hmong branch. I'm serious! I get to go and learn a language! (TAKE THAT, COUSINS, SIBLINGS AND SIBLINGS BOYFRIEND WHO ALL KNOW CHINESE AND SPANISH (and french; How's that going anyway, Dia?)...


 So, I'm pretty sure most of you are wondering what that is anyway, so I'll explain. Hmongs are from China, Laos and the surrounding areas, and they've been kicked out for various reasons.

Wikipiedia has it better; just check it out there. Anyway, A lot of them found their way to Alaska (and Tulsa, by the way) and there found us, the LDS missionaries. Therefore, the Hmong Branch was born. And now I'm going to serve there.

 "But Elder Darcey! What will happen to Brayton, your current area?

 I'm glad you asked, random questioner. The answer is that another Elder and his trainee will move in and work here. I trust that they'll do well.

 "Isn't it sad to leave Brayton?" Well, yes it is, random questioner. I'm very sad to leave this wonderful area, but the Lord has something else in store for me. Something that involves an 8-tone-language to learn. It will also be difficult, as my skill with languages is... lacking. However, It will all work out in the end. As one of my favorite scripture ever states: "Sanctify [yourself], for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you" (Joshua 3:5). As I have faith and work hard, it will work out. I will learn an impossible language, I won't get sick from Hmong food, I will Do Awesome.

 So, we had a great Pday the other day. We went out to the wilds around anchorage and saw awesomeness. Don't believe me? Check out the Grizzly bear photo.

OOh, OOH! Dia! I'm sending you a package that will reach you in the next couple days! Take out the stuff that's for you, then please drop the rest off in Kamas when you can! Check out the picture in the Bottom of the package! It's been fun up here. The sun is almost normal, which will remain for about another couple days before the sun stops coming up. I CAN'T wait for winter. I'll probably be in Hmong for a couple transfers, though.

 Any other questions, Random Questioner? "Nope, I'm Good."

 That's good. If you have any other questions for me, make sure to write it on a post-it note, stick it on some food, and send it to me.

 Or email me (I miss car-talk, if you didn't notice).

From the Asian North,  Elder Darcey

Monday, September 17, 2012

Zone C, Packages and Sharing the Warmth

All!

It's so good to again talk to all of Koh again.

Here in Hmong, it's been a rough week. Most of our investigators and less actives cancelled our lessons and shot down our appts, we mostly scrambled around and tried to not look like complete failures. :) But really, it was an awesome week. I need to tell you about our AMAZING Zone Conference, Stake Conference, and to answer a question I heard someone ask. so, ready GO!

(1)  Ib: I got a package FILLED with food. You have no idea how much that helps. Thanks so much for the food, and the notes.

(2)  Ob: I got a surprise package from the ATKINSONS! Thank you so much for the thoughts, letters and candy.

(3)  Peb: Our Zone conference this week was amazing. We went up to the reindeer farm in Palmer and did service, hiked around in our own Zion's Camp, and learned amazing things. The thing that stuck out to me was about keeping the armor of God on, especially the sword of the Spirit. Imagine going into a place where they said "no swords allowed in here; you'll have to drop it off, but you can pick it up on the way out". Then, when you came back out, your sword was missing. I wouldn't like that. Yet, that's exactly what we do when we go somewhere where the Spirit can't stay with us. We drop off the spirit, only to come back and find that it's missing. We need to only do things and go places where we're allowed to keep our swords handy. It wouldn't be good to get ambushed without our weapon or armor on.

(4)  Plaub: I wanted to answer a question about recognizing whether the Spirit is giving you promptings, or whether it's just you're own thoughts. I'll answer from Elder Bednar. "Don't worry about it. If it leads you to do good, it's from God, no matter who the messenger is".


(5) Tsib: Our Stake Conference was awesome. There were really two topics. First was being happy. We need to be joyful. We have the greatest thing on Earth. We need to enjoy it. We have the knowledge of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the "Marvelous Work and a Wonder" spoken of by Isaiah. Second, We have the duty, responsibility, and calling to share this happiness with others. We have to let our Light shine. We can't hide it; IT NEEDS to be on a candlestick. We have the complete and full truth; we need to give it to others, so they can be happy as well.

That's about all. I love you all, and pray for you always. I'm doing great, and hope you are too.

Love from the North,

Elder Dawbzaj

Monday, August 20, 2012

Member faith is awesome, How I Love Natives. and other Topics

Family,

 I'm feeling better, so you can stop panicking.

 And no, mom, it wasn't the entire package of apples, for I did verily drink much water. It was totally Gluten. And by the way, any time you want to send more of those up, that would be great. ;)

 We had an awesome week here in Anchorage We worked hard, stayed obedient, and were blessed with 2 lessons this whole week, which is double our last three weeks (our area is... a bit slow. We're really trying hard to change that). I know that as we stay obedient and keep working, we'll be blessed even more. It will be awesome.

 Speaking of blessings, we had an awesome lesson with an old, one-handed, native member. He related the entire gospel and foundation of the church to a fly fishing pole. it was pretty cool. And then he said a prayer, which hit me like a spiritual ton of bricks. I'll quote just a bit of it; it was powerful. In context, he's asking the Lord to bless us: "Please bless these men, these warriors of the rainbow. The rainbow is Christ, who promised to come again and bring peace. These men are his warriors, come to bring that peace"

 On a slightly related note, My favorite picture of all time is "Peace is Coming", by McNaughton. Check it out. You'll see why I like it. 

 This week was pretty cool, all in all. At a dinner recently, I made the error of letting the three-year-old choose what page of the Book of Mormon I should share a spiritual thought out of. He chose Alma 21:6.

Alma 21: 6, Thou also sayest, except we repent we shall perish. How knowest thou the thought and intent of our hearts? How knowest thou that we have cause to repent? How knowest thou that we are not a righteous people? Behold, we have built sanctuaries, We do believe that God will save all men.

 But then I realized that this is the response we get from a lot of people as we're out here on our missions, and in life. People tell us, no thanks, what I have is good enough. We don't have to prove them wrong; we just need to show them that what we have is even better. We simply need to show, by our actions, lives and deeds, that our Fruit is good, and that it's at least worth looking into.

 Out of time, with companions breathing down my neck.

 Love From the North,

 Elder Darcey:)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Satan Tries to Kill with Enchiladas!

To swat a millfly, use a shovel (Star Wars reference, anyone? Yes? No? OK, never mind).

 To swat an Elder Darcey, use MORE Gluten. It's funny, how Brock tells me to watch what I eat, And Dia (formerly Sister Darcey) Eats a whole Non-GF Pie, at the same time as I'm Doing the same at a Mexican restaurant up here in Alaska, two days in a row. (don't ask)

 This Sunday was great, and by great, I mean horrible. I woke up feeling good, shifted a little, and had a gluten knife shoved into my gut and twisted. All day long. It wasn't the funnest day I've had out here. But enough of that. I'm OK now, and probably won't die anytime soon from that.

 Other than Death's Near-Elder-Darcey-Experience, This week has been pretty awesome. We're probably turning our only investigator over to the YSA Elders, though, which is kind of a bummer.

 On the Other hand, She'll be around people her own age, and she'll be able to go to more activities and stuff, which will help her more in the end. So, We'll just go get more investigators!

Somehow... Parents, my finance issue last week has been resolved. Thanks so much for making it work out quickly and effectively. I also got the dehydrated apples you sent along with it! Thank you sooo much! You have no idea how much I loved those things. Yes, they're gone now. I ate them all. But thanks. I loved them.

I don't really have a lot more to say. I really am sorry for the short emails- it realy has just been business as usual, doing the same things,

While working hard to not get in a rut (hard up here, ruts are all over the roads...).

 Love to you all from the North, Elder Darcey

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Righteous Leader at the Helm?

All,

 It's good to write from a working computer. I have only a few things to remark upon, but Hopefully they are good things. First, I'm doing great. No problems with being GF, no real issues with any personal things, except that one thing I have already emailed my parents about, which they hopefully respond about soon... maybe... please...

 We had a pretty hard week here in our area, though it wasn't much harder than most missionary life, so don't worry. the most interesting day was when we were out frying to contact former investigators, and one asked if we were drunk for calling. He told us that he was a day sleeper (it was 5:00 PM), that his entire family woke up too (are they all day sleepers? Did we contact a family of vampires?

 One's name was Felix... if you get that reference, kudos), they were all mad (as if we insulted them, their dog, and all their ancestors back to Adam...) and that we should never drop by, or we would be really, really sorry. it was fun. However, there is a opposite to everything!

 At 8:30 that night, we get a call from our investigator who is open right now! it was awesome! We had a great lesson with her, and really enjoyed the time, and in the end had a great day, because of course, all's well that ends well. So that was a great day.

 Here's a cool thought about rightous leadership. it's in 3 nephi 3: "Now behold, this Lachoneus, the governor, was a just man, and could not be frightened by the demands and the threatenings of robbers; therefore he did not hearken to the epistle of Giddianhi, the governor of the robbers, but he did cause that his people should cry unto the Lord for strength against the time that the robbers should come down against them."

Now check out the footnote for robber; it goes to 1 Kings, where King Ahab (wicked) is presented with the same threats, and he capitulates completly.

On the other hand, look at Lachoneus. He doesn't fear a man; he only fears God.

It really makes a difference who's in charge; if they're rightous or wicked. That's really true on the mission, and in life, If we're put in charge, we need to show rightous leadership; otherwise we end up as Ahab. That's all really.

Parents please write back soon about that issue.

 Elder Darcey

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

All,

 I am sorry if any of my thoughts seem scrambled; I blame the computer. It took almost a full hour to read my emails, because the thing wouldn't scroll down. It was Odd, to say the least.

 Here in the Brayton ward, things are going awesome. Between interviews with President (I love that man), and getting gluten the next day, (all who are GF, Red Robin's Restaurant is not as GF as they say they are...) and my companion getting all his stuff stolen out of the car (over 1000$ worth; GPS, sunglasses, camera, backpack, scriptures... ouch.), we still had time to have a lesson with our new investigator, B! She's half chinese and extremely interested in the Church. We found her working at the gas station, and she's awesome.

 I think I'm going to need to buy a GPS up here. I'm having directional difficulties again.  And yes, it needs to be up here, because these are the only one's that come with Alaska maps already loaded.

 I gave a talk at church about trials and how to overcome them. I though it was pretty good, especially since I just opened the scriptures at random that morning and chose something to talk about. I opened up to Mosiah, where it talks about how the lord gives trials to make us stronger. I used the trials in my life as examples; being GF, baptized at 15, and so on. I used them to show that not only can we overcome, but we also get stronger through it. In the end, it was a great talk.

 Got to go now, but I love you all. It's been raining a lot up here; Maybe utah should just move to Alaska. 

Love from the North, Elder Darcey

Saturday, July 28, 2012

First Email from New Area--ANCHORAGE


All,
 
Up here in Anchorage is CRAZY! There's too many people and there's nobody I know, and people aren't definitely in our area, and too many people!
But really, I love it up here. Everything is cheaper, and the people are just as loving, and food is WAY easier to get at, and my new companion is Awesome. His name is Elder Patrius: he's a convert of 2 years, he's from Las Vegas, He has tattoos up both forearms, he's been out here for almost 4 months and he's AWESOME. He definitely has a testimony, and though he doesn't know a whole bunch, he's learning fast. it's just cool.


Hey, It's kinda weird to think it, but I'm only a convert of about four years. Huh.


Anyway, the area I've moved into is... slow. Really, it has a bunch of reasons for being that way. It's the smallest area in Anchorage, being only 1 mile square, about. The people here are rich (and kind of proud of it...), Content where they are, and have heard the missionaries a dozen times. The area's been tracted over and over, and nothings happened for a while. Well, we're going to change that. It's going to be awesome.
Getting GF is pretty easy up here. I got a package from the CLEGGS!!! THANKS SO MUCH! I especially thought the already popped popcorn was a good idea, and it wasn't too bad tasting, either.
16 GB USB drive for only 12 dollar! A 8 GB down south was 80! Anchorage rocks!
Also, Sister Peel! Thank you so much for your encouraging letters and cards! I love them so much and think they are awesome.
Anchorage is really different up here in July (July is its own season up here, along with June, Breakup and winter...) without snow. The sun's out most of the time (seriously. Most of the time. Like, from 2 AM to 11PM, with 12 and 1 in the morning being dusk/dawn) and the city is just large. But I love it. I managed to get my suitcases under 50 lbs! (49 for one, and 49.5 for the other) Moving was rough, but it's good now.
I love you all. I still pray for rain, and for all of you. Your prayers and letters are appreciated and loved up here.
Love from the Even-farther-north-than-previously-North,
Elder Darcey
Pictures are the NORTHERN LIGHTS Which I barely saw, but were amazing!!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

All,


I get to email again for a brief moment this week, so I'll take advantage of it.


I'm in Ketchikan one final time, which is both a blessing and a sad thing. I'll miss PoW for sure; it was incredible, and the Branch there is one of the strongest I've ever seen in my life. 


Not much to say; Everything somehow got packed away, and is somehow under 50 lbs... I hope...


Love to you all,


Elder Darcey

Monday, July 16, 2012

Leaving PoW Island


We had a black bear and cubs fishing across the river from us. about 40, maybe 50 feet away. Just fishing...
Brock, here's your baby bears, until I can get north and see polar bears.

This member is Brother Staton, who is the coolest man alive. He was my favorite person down in PoW. He's Cajun.

The Tew Family, whom I also loved. They're actually related to the Binghams; guess how!
 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

All, 


It's with mixed feelings that I write you a few days earlier than normal. Earlier, because I'm leaving PoW, and being transferred up to Brayton Ward, in Anchorage. 


Elder Terry remains down here to continue the awesome work we've started. We just invited another girl to be baptized, and she Accepted! I'm not going to be here for the baptism, but it will be awesome. She's soon moving to Anchorage soon, too; maybe I'll see her up there.


On the minus side, I've been here 6 months. I'll miss this place. I'll miss the amazing people I've met here, and the incredible things I've been able to do (went fishing last monday. Pictures later). 


On the plus side... The Brayton chapel is 100 feet away from the Temple. ;)
and Walmart. Can't forget Walmart.


I don't have a lot of time, really, but I'll probably take this transfer sitting down (Literally: I'll be traveling from 6:00 AM to 9:35 PM. Flight 67, out of Ketchikan at 4:57, Dad, if you're interested), and I'm excited to go somewhere new. 


It will involve getting another ward Gluten Aware and being the one driving around (not excited for that. You all know how bad I do in city traffic...)


But anyway. Love to you all. Maybe I'll get to write more in Ketchikan. 


Love from the Moving-even-farther-north-North,


Elder Darcey

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Warning: Contains scenes of violence toward small woodland creatures.

Read at your own risk...

All,

This week has been great. In fact, The entire time I've been here on the island has been great. I have simply been loving life and everything in it. 

Did you know that There are 3.5 million patriarchal blessings preserved in the Church History Library? If placed end to end, they would reach from Salt Lake City to Kansas City, Kansas.

I don't know about you, but that is information that I think is vitally important to our salvation. You can imagine the final question Saint Peter gives you: "How far would the Patriarchal blessings reach if placed end to end?"  I jokes. But memorize the trivia anyway, just in case.

Work here has been great. Apparently, Mom says that I haven't been sharing enough details about the area/mission, so I'm going to have you close your eyes and picture this:

Open your eyes, actually. You can't read with your eyes closed...

There is an Island. It's covered in trees, and always raining, or at least misting. We're in the middle of a rain forest here. 

Ravens and bald eagles are basically the dominant birds. Spend any time outside, and you'll see a couple deer, which are the size of large dogs, if not smaller. 


People on the island are friendly, but set in their ways. most of our finding is tracting; not many people walk around, except on very sunny days. Our members are incredible, nice, and very strong together. We have about 80 members coming every week, except for the last months, where everyonewas out of town and we only had about 25 people coming, more than half of that being under the age of 10.

The island is too big, and too spread out, for us to really do any walking. We have to drive most places. We volunteer a lot around the island; at the Slum DI (power company), the Senior center, and anywhere else we're needed.   Members call on us a lot to help them or their friends do work.

There are a lot of  members who don't come to church on the island. Many of them are natives who have been caught up in the normal native lifestyle, which is very laidback. A lot of people are just simply out of the habit of coming to church. Many people come to the island because they are running from something and some are here because they've been offended elsewhere. Not a whole lot of people are receptive to formal looking men coming and knocking on their door. Apparently we resemble FBI or something.

Aidan, get off my computer unless you're burning my Classical CD I asked for for my birthday. You promised!

Anyway, There are only a few main churches that almost everyone goes to, if they go at all. There are also a lot of agnostics, who believe in God, but don't care to think about God at this time, thanks very much. There's the Church of God, which is a Pentecostal, a Catholic Church, a Baptist Church up in Thorn Bay which doesn't really care for Mormons, Us, the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Salvation Army (what do they believe, anyway?) and some kind of non-denominational church up in Naukati. People don't really like the attitude of the JWs, and mistake us for them a lot, to our detriment. The baptists are really hardcore, and not a lot of the islanders care much for how harsh and strict they are.

I'm out of time, but I'll briefly mention that Elder Terry was sick almost all week, which culminated in us being inside most of the week, and all Saturday. Therefore, we don't really have a lot of mission things to relate to you...

To brief you, We got an opportunity to slaughter and butcher rabbits with one of our members, who breeds and eats them (Rabbits are DELICIOUS).  The following picture is the end result. You'll notice it was on one of the most beautifully sunny days ever. Perfect for killing small, cute, furry, (NOT HARMLESS;My Arms were torn up from their kicking) woodland creatures. I have video; don't worry, I'll show you when I get back. The part where we hammer them on the head became my favorite; second is the part where we behead them completely. 

Happy Fourth of July, by the way. And for founding fathers information critical to our beliefs, go read D&C 101:80, 1Nephi 13, and Alma 46.

Love from me,  formerly having never killed a living animal,  No,-I-don't-feel-bad-about-killing-those-rabbits-North,

Elder Darcey

Monday, July 2, 2012

All,

I promised you I would send you a longer email this week; here it is:

This week in Craig has been great. There have been challenges certainly, but things have truly been wonderful. 
First, congradulations to my father for calling my bluff. It wasn't actually 108 degrees, as my last e-mail suggested. How I rigged the thermometer was simple: We went inside and left the truck in the sun. for a few seconds after turning the truck on, it showed a hotter temperature. 


BUT SERIOUSLY, IT WAS OVER 80 THE WHOLE DAY. I realize that this really isn't a problem for you down south, or East, or even farther south (comprende, Hermana?), but it's a problem up here (by the way, know that I am praying for rain for all you in the "real" heat wave). 

By the way, dad, you put way, waaayyyy a lot of effort into calling that bluff. Checking the photo's timestamps/metadata? going over the weather for the specific day? You almost put as much work into this as I would, and that's vaguely frightening.

Anyway, that's all water under the bridge. (up here, we actually have water under our bridges, not just dried riverbed) (I take that back. There's more fish than water under our bridges at the moment).

The missionary work is going great. This week was the most difficult time we've had in weeks for getting members to come with us to our lessons. it all culminated on Saturday, when LITERALLY the ENTIRE membership on the island was unavailable at 1:00 PM for a lesson. We know, because we called EVERY. SINGLE. MEMBER. We couldn't understand it; it wasn't even a good day for fishing or anything; it was rainy and cloudy (Up here, we actually get clouds and rain.). regardless, We've been having great lessons regardless of members showing up. Things are happening up here, and it makes me happy to be allowed to have a part in it. 

I got food poisoning last week. No, it wasn't Gluten, because my companion got it too. I slept for 4 hours and lost 2 pounds, then gained 5 pounds at dinner. Story of my life, right there.

I don't really have any spiritual thought this week, except my plea to everyone to watch the videos found on http://www.lds.org/bible-videos?lang=eng. These are the best depictions of Christ that exist on the Earth. Everyone will love them. Watch them all. If the quality isn't good, check them out on Youtube, mormon channel. 

There's a missionary fireside on the 6th of July, open to everyone to watch. Family, Friends, All, I recommend watching it. 
6:30-8:00 pm, ALASKA TIME
URL:  http://stream.lds.org/503649-120706


Back up, if can't receive on computer, try PolyCom 1 by phone: 866.423.1957, code 6036103#
It's ok to copy/paste this info into email for parents...
If their time zone is too late, thay can watch/listen to practice webcast/polycom of the Rehearsal Thurs morning.

The church is true. God and Jesus Love us all. That's what matters.

Love to to you all from the It's-not-that-hot-but-it's-still-too-hot North,

Elder Darcey

Monday, June 25, 2012

How On Earth Do People Do It?

All,

I used to be able to do it--all this heat--apparently, but I don't think I can anymore. As  you can see from the picture, we had a rather hot and sunny day. I wanted to DIE.

Anyway, 

I used up all of my time responding to emails, so I can't say anything, as I'm out of time. 

Nothing really happened this week anyway. Business as usual. The church is still true. 

Seriously, Sorry. You'll get a good one next week.

Elder Darcey

P.S. The other picture is Elder Terry's Arm, which is the result of a burn and skin grafts.

Monday, June 18, 2012


All,

This week, since I talked to you Thursday, was great. We have baptized our investigator!!! She has had so much faith in Jesus Christ, it's been nothing short of incredible. This is the testimony of a person changed by Christ in every way.  She has found the Pearl of Great Price and she didn't bother about the cost. Everything she needed to do, she did. She simply had faith that it was good and that she would receive blessings.

And has she ever!


She's been accepted into online college, her service hours are complete, her mom moved out of her house (where she's been "hiding out" illegally for the past two years), Her children are doing better... Etc... It's incredible to see the improvement that her life has gone through in  just the short time that we've known her.

Anyway, I don't have much more to say. The Church is True. 


Happy Father's day, all who are fathers, but especially most particularly and especially mine. Love you tons, Dad. I'm out here for you.

Love from the I-said-a-lot-last-Thursday-and-tired-myself-out-North,

Elder Darcey




The photos must be self-explanatory because they came without explanation.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Zoning Out In Juneau Again

all,




Me eating a fish eyeball.  Or at least attempting to appear that i am eating a fish eyeball.  I've eaten moose, deer, five kinds of salmon, and lots of other great stuff, but the fish eyeball was the winner.



I Love you all. Sorry for not getting back to you until today; I was in Juneau, and Ketchikan. Zone Conference, you know.    




LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT IT. 


First, after traveling all day to Juneau (4 hours on a ferry, 6 hours waiting in an airport waiting for a plane, 3 hours in a plane) we had an amazing Zone conference. 


Elder Koelliker (you know, of http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/04/he-truly-loves-us?lang=eng  fame?) came up and spoke to us personally. It was incredible to hear, and even better to feel. The spirit was as strong as anything I have ever felt; everyone in the room felt it like a pressure. 


Every time truth was spoken, I felt a confirmation. It was incredible. The big topic was prayer, and how we need to emphasize it to a greater degree. We need our investigators to pray, because that is how they establish a relationship with their Father. We can't do it for them; they need to have their own relationship. 
The spirit was truly powerful that day. 


I came away with a question about my own testimony that the Spirit gave me: "I know I would die for my testimony, but will I do the harder thing? Will I live for my testimony?" 


It's easy to die for something you know; or at least it is for me. The harder thing is getting up every day with the commitment that I'm going to go throughout this day as a true representative of MY Savior, Jesus Christ. If called upon, I would become a martyr for what I Know. However, in the meantime, I've been called and set apart, and I've covenanted to Live and share what I know. That's harder, no doubt. But it's worth it, and I wouldn't do anything else.


Our investigator is being baptized TOMORROW!!!!


She has truly been prepared for the gospel. President interviewed her and found her ready to partake of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and receive a remission of her sins (AKA, Baptism) and a sanctification of her spirit (AKA, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost). I am humbled and grateful that the Lord saw fit to place me here and use me as his tool to start another one of his precious daughters on the path back to Him.


I gave a talk on Joseph Smith in Sacrament meeting a few weeks ago, And I would like to share a few points about it. Unfortunately, I don't have it with me now. Remind me for next week.


That's about all. I learned how to whistle with my fingers, got to hold a baby deer (pictures next week too) and was truly lit on fire by the Spirit this week. 


I've been in Prince of Wales 5 months now. I'll probably leave next transfer (6 months is a long time for President to leave us). This place has ingrained on my heart, and I will always remember the things I've been blessed to do here. 


That's all, All. I'm signing off.


This Church is true. God Lives. Jesus Christ is the Literal Son of God and the Savior of the World. Joseph Smith is a True Prophet. We are led by a true and living Prophet. The Book of Mormon is True. We can find that out by praying to our Heavenly Father. As we ask with a Sincere Heart and Real Intent, He will manifest the Truth of it unto us by the power of the Holy Ghost. 


I know this is true. No one can take it from me, no one can deny it. I would die for it, and I WILL live for it. 


Love to All from the North,


Elder Darcey

Monday, June 11, 2012

Transfers Today--And I AM Not In Ketchkan



Pictures are of me and a Steam Donkey, which is a large, obsolete logging tool. look it up. I bet Dad used one.

 The picture of the moos-en (a flock of moose, obviously) is actually my mission president on the right, along with the mission assistants. they said that transfers wore them down, like a 5000 piece puzzle.

 All,

 It's good to be writing you from NOT Ketchikan on this beautiful summer day. In fact, it's great to be alive today. I'm not in Ketchikan, the hummingbirds are out, I'm not in Ketchikan, our investigator is still plugging along for baptism. Neither Elder Terry nor I are leaving Craig, the work is going great, I'm not in Ketchikan.  I'm so glad things are going OK at home and for my two favorite sister missionaries abroad, the weather just got nice today, I'm not in Ketchikan, I'm not in Ketchikan, I'm not in Ketchikan, I'm not in Ketchikan, I'm not in Ketchikan, I'm not in Ketchikan, I'm not in Ketchikan, I'm not in Ketchikan!!!!

This photo is of me eating fish eyeballs.  Which Mom is sure I did also not do!

 Sorry, Got a little too excited. As you might be able to tell, I'm glad I'm not currently in Ketchikan. As far as Alaska goes, Ketchikan is not my favorite place to be.
Anyway, everything's been going great for me up here. I've had so many great experiences up here, It's hard to pick only a few to talk about.

Trials come, and they're pretty difficult. However, The Lord doesn't give us anything we can't handle.

I would like people to check out the book "Believing Christ". It talks about how we need to not only believe IN Christ, but we need to BELIEVE him. When he says that he can make us perfect, we need to believe Him. The church gets a lot of flack for not believing in Grace. That's not true. We believe in Grace as much as anyone else. If we have ever made a mistake, we need the Grace of Christ to save us. None of us deserve to be saved and we can't earn it.  Grace just comes through His Grace because he loves us.

Here is another really great link to a great talk defining more Grace beliefs:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dV-elFs3flo

Luckily, we have a judge who's going to be merciful. He's not going to be fair, because if he were fair we would all be in Heck. He's going to be merciful, not because we deserve it, but because he loves us.

Anyway, I'm off. Love to all from the North, but not Ketchikan,

Elder Darcey

Monday, May 28, 2012

My Companion Is Driving Me Insane -- With Love!

I thought the cousins were crazy, All, everyone of you, but we're just small fry compared to my companion, Elder Terry. But really, really, everything's fine

Anyway,

Elder Darcey here. We've had a great (crazy) week up in the North. I can't kick whatever sickness I have (my branch President (who's one of the islands doctors) diagnosed me with Bronchitis for now) I lost my voice (a lot), Our investigator who's on date for the 16 of June might go to jail for a crime she didn't commit (Play the A-Team theme song here{the movie version, not the TV show}) and I might get transferred before then anyway because transfers are next week and I've been here 4 months already.

I love being on a mission so much. No jokes.

The weather's been indecisive yet again this week, which is really annoying for us.

I'll send pictures next week.

I got a package from my Family!!!!! It had a USB drive (it's already full; I have a lot of pictures. Tell me if I should send it back and you can copy the pictures to my computer and send it back to me) and lots of candy. However, it had also been beaten up a lot in transit, and the chocolate was basically destroyed. Yes, even the eggs in the bags. I ate them anyway, though, because candy's expensive up here too. So, in conclusion, Thanks much for the package.

I've got a simple spiritual thought this week, which is what I've been sharing around. My trainer (you all remember Michael (formerly Elder) Ivan?) carried a lightsaber around in his backpack so that he could remember to keep the Force (spirit) with him all the time. We as members of the Church have the gift of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, just as the Jedi have the Force.
We must always be worthy of that gift so we can share it with others (We're better than jedi because they can't give the Force to others). D&C 11:12-13. Substitute the word Spirit with the Force. The Force is a gift from God, and we need to be worthy of it so we can receive the blessings it gives.

Just because you're all wondering, yes, I also carry a lightsaber around in my backpack.

Love from the I-really-don't-want-to-go-to-Ketchikan-next-week-please-President-don't-make-me North,

Elder Darcey

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lost In The Dark -- Spiritually and Physically

All:

You know that you're an Alaskan if...

  •  You laugh at people who wear coats when the temperature drops to 50°F (I always did this though, so nothing new) 
  • Anything above freezing is T-shirt weather (That's how I got Freezer Blisters on my arms; it was -17, but it seemed warmer...) 
  •  You need an air conditioner when the temperature soars into the 60's (seriously; it's gotten to 50 and we start melting) 
  •  You think the Red Green show is a documentary (this is my favorite)
  • You know if you tell your kids to "be home by dark" you won't see them until Fall (The sun comes up at 4 right now, and it's not completely dark til 10).
I think I'm there.


Anyway, It's good to write again. This week has been crazy difficult, but also filled with Blessings. We had 2 days in a row where everything fell through. Literally, everything. It's been difficult to get up in the morning. People don't want to talk to us. Everybody keeps simply not showing up to appointments.

We Drove to Naukati (pronounced "knockity"), Coffman Cove and Thorne Bay (accidentally; we missed our turn back to Craig) in one day; it took 5+ hours. The weather's been bad, The days have been rough, and the work has been slow. however... The work still progresses.

God finally got to the Heart of one of our investigators problems. She's native and has been told repeatedly by other Christian Faiths that God can't love her. Added to her own, really harsh personal experiences, she doesn't believe she's a daughter of God. After enduring 2 hours of senseless rambling, we finally got down to the Heart of the problem: She feels rejected by God. She knows there is a God, but she also believes he doesn't care about her. After another hour, we finally just bore testimony of God's love for her. It was incredible. The Spirit bore that witness right to her soul, and she broke down crying. She not only felt our love for her, but she felt Her Savior's love for her through us.

 We didn't deserve that experience, but we got it anyway. Just another testimony that God loves us as well.

 I want to answer a few questions that arose previously, "Are you wearing the knife for protection or just to impress the parents? Yes.

 What is that photograph of a bear. Did you take it and are you close up to it and why is there no cage between it and you if you are that close. Was it one of the ones that you mentioned when we spoke on the telephone. Remind us of the story? There aren't any cages on the Island. That bear was about 30 feet away, just off the side of the road. My camera has awesome Zoom abilities, regardless. It was a little one, regardless, probably only 5 feet, maybe 150 lbs max.

Last week's photo of the welcome sign of Thorne Bay is a Logging Claw, the biggest in the world. After the majority of logging shut down, it was converted to the welcome sign. Side note: next to the claw is a small wood park bench. People are so worried about the claw being stolen (sarcasm face), they attached a small chain to the bench. Now, if anyone tries to steel the claw, they have to drag the bench too! genius! The claw is completely safe from thieves now.

 I would respond to your question by saying: I am wearing my pajama pants in public because I'm awesome. And it was 8 in the morning; we had been up and driving since 6 to beat the low tide in Kasaan.

 Anyway, my thought this week is in Alma 1:1. Warred a good warfare? That is way cooler than you would think.  If you "fight the good fight", that's only one battle, right? King Mosiah "Warred a good Warfare". That means he fought to do the right not just once, but every day. He fought not just one battle, but many battles.

Maybe he didn't win every battle, but he won the war in the end.

 Application time: We need to war a good warfare. we don't have to win every single fight with Satan; in fact, it's guaranteed that we won't. However, we need to keep trying, keep fighting, and keep getting back up.

The victory doesn't go to the winner of the most battles, but the one still standing at the end of the War. We can beat Satan; he doesn't even have legs to stand on.

 Anyway, that's my thoughts. Love to all

From the it's-going-to-be-one-of-those-go-from-winter-right-back-to-winter-years North,

Elder Darcey

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

All Talked Out - Having spoken to family yesterday

Maybe you should just be there next time I call in, Eh?   I joke. 

And FYI, yes we do see black bears all the time and this is a big one.  It's head was monstrous!  Don't ask how I got such a great close-up.


Dear All,

 I had a great last week. It was awesome to talk to family, even if they were busy having the missionaries over. It was great to be able to describe the island in words instead of writing.

2nd Nephi 33:1 And now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I mighty in writing, like unto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.


Ether 12:23-24
And I said unto him: Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing; for Lord thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but thou hast not made us mighty in writing; for thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which thou hast given them; 

And thou hast made us that we could write but little, because of the awkwardness of our hands. Behold, thou hast not made us mighty in writing like unto the brother of Jared, for thou madest him that the things which he wrote were mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them.
________________________________

 We scheduled a young lady for discussion last week. She's pretty awesome. She has lots of questions and is actually interested, which makes it easy for us. We had some training last week from Salt Lake that lasted 8 hours, but was completely worth it. Our main trainer was the Head of the missionary department in SLC, who was also the mission President in "The District" 2 DVDs.

He reminded us of 2 big things that I want to share: We are the only Way people can completely access the Atonement. Our job is important because we teach about Christ, and he's the only one who can give a remission of sins. We are not just missionaries. We are representatives of Jesus Christ and that's what we need to act like.

We should not be afraid of exercising our Priesthood, because that is what Christ would do.

We had an amazing experience along those lines. We went into a house, and just felt impressed to ask if anyone needed a blessing of comfort and love from Jesus. They sent us to a woman who was basically on her deathbed, and we gave her a blessing. At that moment, I will swear that I felt God's love for that woman. I didn't even know her; I had only just learned her name, but in that moment I loved her and wanted to do anything for her. I know we were conduits for God's power at that moment. I know God loves us all.



That is the basic message that we bring to people: God loves you, and he wants to bless you with everything that he knows you truly need.

 Love from the North, Elder Darcey

Prince of Wales is Number FOUR in size


United States Islands over 250 square miles (650 km2)


RankIsland's NameArea (sq mi)Area (km2)LocationPopulation (2000)
1Hawaiʻi (Big Island)4,028[1]10,433[1] Hawaii148,677
2Kodiak Island3,588[2]9,293[2] Alaska13,913[2]
3Puerto Rico3,4359,104[3] Puerto Rico3,808,610[3]
4Prince of Wales Island2,5776,675[4][5] Alaska≈6,000
5Chichagof Island2,0805,388 Alaska1,342
6St. Lawrence Island1,9835,135 Alaska1,292
7Admiralty Island1,6844,362 Alaska650
8Nunivak Island1,6254,209 Alaska210
9Unimak Island1,5904,119 Alaska64
10Baranof Island1,5704,065[4] Alaska8,532
11Long Island1,401[6]3,629[6] New York7,448,618[6]
12Revillagigedo Island1,1452,965[5] Alaska13,950
13Kupreanof Island1,0862,813[5] Alaska785
14Unalaska Island1,0512,722 Alaska1,759
15Nelson Island8432,183 Alaska1,065
16Kuiu Island7581,962[5] Alaska10
17Maui727[1]1,883[1] Hawaii117,644
18Afognak6981,809 Alaska169
19Umnak6921,793 Alaska39
20Oʻahu597[1]1,545[1] Hawaii876,151
21Kauaʻi552[1]1,430[1] Hawaii58,303
22Atka Island4101,061 Alaska95
23Attu Island346896 Alaska20
24Etolin Island336870 Alaska15
25Adak Island280725 Alaska316
26Montague Island279722 Alaska0
27Molokaʻi260[1]673[1] Hawaii7,404
28Dall Island253655[4] Alaska20