Missionary Miracles – Elders Flake and Wallin – God IS in the Details

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Elder Wallin

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Elder Flake

[Shared with Permission]

“After that lesson [with the French Sisters], we were late to a lesson with William, so the French sisters drove us straight to downtown Phoenix and just waited for us in the car while we taught William. William’s lesson was awesome. We went over his baptism and how it was going to work, and at the end, he told us that it might not have worked as it did, if it had not been for us, his specific missionaries. He said that it could have gone either way. I didn’t know about that though, because he was the most prepared person that I have ever met. But it was kind. Then we left.

And this is where the huge miracle happened… We were walking out, just smiling to ourselves and thinking about how wonderfully prepared William is and how he truly is an elect of God that did indeed hear and respond to the Master’s call. A miracle in itself. But we got to the elevators that went down to the parking garage, and the only other person around was this woman. We could tell she was sort of avoiding us, but we both got in to the same elevator. She was trapped:)  We simply asked her how her day was, and, not even responding to our question, she said rather abruptly, “I feel like I need to talk to you guys.” And with that we all stepped out of the elevator onto a random floor and talked for some time.

She claims that God has been leading her towards the Mormon faith for a long time now. She claims that there have been so many instances and encounters in her life recently with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There is no way she says that it could be happening by coincidence. She says that she sees missionaries EVERYWHERE now. And that all her conversations among friends and coworkers are all about the Mormon faith, and they aren’t even members of the church… yet;)

She says that in these conversations, which are mostly negative and criticizing, she finds herself instinctively defending the church! She is an incredible successful business owner and marketer. She has many homosexual friends and her husband is an Episcopalian priest. Plus, many, MANY other things going against her. She mentioned that she foresees herself joining the church, but didn’t think it would happen for another couple of years. The events of late have changed that. She said much more, but you are just going to have to read my journal sometime if you want all the rest of the details!

But the truly amazing part is all the events that lined up perfectly for us to meet in that elevator at that exact moment. First of all, we try to get members to every set lesson that we have. And we easily could have gotten someone to Williams lesson, but for the first time on our mission we felt that we shouldn’t invite a member with us. We use members all the time! But we felt we shouldn’t, and we didn’t, and because of that William didn’t stop to show off his house, gym, and pool like he always does. If that would have happened the timing would not have worked. Also, the day before, Tuesday, we had had a lesson with William as well. And for that lesson we decided to bring someone that we do not usually bring to lessons. But for some odd reason we felt like we should take him, so we did. And the lesson turned out all right, but he took over and we were not able to teach William the lesson he needed right before baptism.

So, at the end of the lesson William was a little overwhelmed by the member we brought and asked us if we could come back the next day, Wednesday. If we wouldn’t have brought him, we would have completely missed the woman we met in the elevator. In addition to that, had the French sisters not asked us to go to a lesson with them, we would not have been late to William’s lesson, and the timing would be all off. Plus, the day was already packed for us when the French sisters asked us to go with them, but, yet again, we felt prompted to go with them.

Another thing that happened was that the only reason she was in the elevator at that time was because she forgot her workout shoes in her car, and she had to go get them! And the list goes on and on and on. Explanation: Miracle. Cause: Our Heavenly Father. Conclusion: God indeed lives, and He is, always has been, and always will be a God of Miracles. And parting the Red Sea is a far lesser miracle then the salvation of one of His children.

The next day, right after our baptism, we hurried to a Subway where we met with the woman we met in the elevator the day before. It was a great lesson. She had some really deep concerns about God having a God. And the validity about the angels that came to Joseph in the Kirtland temple. But she is willing to doubt her doubts before she doubts our faith. We told her that all her concerns would be worked out. And she completely trusted us. At one point she said: “in your faith, which I am sure will soon be our faith,” and then she said what she was going to say. She is so ready!”

Missionary Miracles – Elders Damoth, Wayment and Watts

Elder Damoth

Elder Damoth

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Elder Wayment


Elder Watts

[Shared with Permission]

One family that I’d love to tell you about is the Dix (not their real name) family. When I started teaching the Dix’s with Elder Wayment about 2-1/2 months ago now, Brother Dix told us that he had no desire to go to church or be sealed to his family.  His wife is an absolute Saint who joined the church after marrying him. They’d been inactive for about 2 years prior to the last month, with only irregular attendance before that; Brother Davis is still a Prospective Elder in his early 30s.

And now the miracle.  They’ve been to church four times in a row, and Brother Dix is meeting with Bishop and is already almost through 2nd Nephi in his personal Book of Mormon reading. They have been a way cool family to work with. They’re in the XYZ ward, and it’s really cool because them beginning to come to church has really sparked a lot of trust in us from the members, and especially the Bishop and Elders Quorum President, because they have both been working really hard on them for awhile.

3 Days of Missionary Miracles – Sisters Fukushima and Christensen

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Sister Fukushima

Sister Christensen

Sister Christensen

[Shared with permission]

Friday: it was weekly planning and full of food!! We had a neat experience with Skyler. We taught him and his family about the law of tithing and it went great! The amazing thing was that when he showed up for the lesson he was in a shirt and tie with his scriptures in hand. We asked why he was all dressed up and he said he was going on splits with the elders!! MIRACLE! This is his second time going with them and he says that he just loves it and it is such a spiritual experience for him! That kid is really progressing! We can’t wait for the day that he will be able to go back to the temple and do baptisms for the dead. 🙂

Saturday: This was one crazy day! We had Tony and Sylvia’s baptism along with the endowments of a returning less active Charlie and a recent convert from when I was first in show low, Steve!! It was a spiritually filled day and it was hectic as well. Let’s just say Satan really didn’t want those baptism to happen. It was a 8:30am baptism and we didn’t know the font took 2.5 hours to fill. I just thought it was like the others and only took 1 hour. NOPE! So the water was low and both Sylvia and Tony are on the larger side. However we still got them down under. Sylvia took four times but we got her all the way under! Both Tony and Sylvia were in tears! It was powerful. It was a short baptism but those are the best kind. The endowment session was amazing as well! It was powerful to see someone that you worked with a year ago continue to stay strong in the church and go through the temple for his own endowments. His less active wife was able to get her life together so she could get her recommend again and go with him. They will soon be sealed together for time and all eternity! 🙂

Sunday: Miracle day! Persistence and prayer is key and it really works!! In this area we have been praying to find a family to teach as well as to know how to get put members more involved in Show Low 1st Ward and today we began to see results of it! We got a text right before church started from a member that said that they were bringing their neighbors to church for the Christmas program. We were really excited!!

We met the Bennett’s after church and they seemed to love it and they are such sweet people! That was a miracle alone right there that members were bringing there friends and neighbors to church with them. The next miracle was that later that day we got a text from the members saying that the Bennett’s wanted to come again next Sunday! We plan on inviting them to take the lessons then! Woohoo! We love miracles! When we pray the answers and things we are seeking don’t always come at once but, they do come as we show our faith and diligence in serving. We are excited to see how this goes.

We were able to end the evening with district caroling! That was a blast! We went to a lot of less actives and members that are confined to there homes. The most powerful was when we went to go see John, our less active in Sierra Pines Ward. We were not planning on it because his house was dark but we felt like we needed to, and boy am I glad that we did! He burst into tears when we went to sing to him. They were happy tears. As he was saying goodbye he could barely get the words out. Those are moments that I wish I could have just given him a big ole hug!! Haha it was a great evening.

Arizona Scottsdale Mission – 12.14.2015 Arrivals

On a cool December afternoon, the Arizona Scottsdale Mission welcomed it’s latest arrivals – 9 talented new Elders and Sisters including 2 ASL Elders and Sisters from Japan and the Philippines.  With snowstorms making the trip from the MTC via Frontrunner and Trax dicey at best, the SLC departing flight was delayed 90 minutes before heading to Phoenix – BUT at least it got off!

Upon arrival, the missionaries gathered their belongings and loaded the mission trailer with luggage and headed for lunch at the mission home. While eating build-your-own subs (prepped by Elder and Sister Jex), the Elders and Sisters were oriented by the office staff – Sister Bass , Elder Dale, Elder and Sister Porter, and Elder Morgan.  Then it was off to contact in Scottsdale and Phoenix until dusk.  It’s quite an amazing thing for newly arrived Elders and Sisters to do their first contacting – and discover what Elder Boyd K. Packer teaches “a testimony is found in the bearing of it.”  No matter whether they have success in placing a Book of Mormon or placing a Mesa Christmas lights card – or even making a return appointment, simply opening their mouths brings blessings to the testifying missionary.

by 6:30 all had returned from the contacting to the Mission Home for dinner of Cafe Rio chicken tortilla soup with all the fixings – a perfect warm up for the chilly night air.  Eight of the 9 arriving missionaries then packed into the van for a trip to the Mesa Temple Visitors Center and the temple lights.  They joined hundreds of people in the Visitors Center where they saw various displays (nativities) and got introduced to the movies and booths that are available to them while they serve on their missions.  Sister Zabariza – after travelling for 24 hours from the Philippines – to Japan, then Seattle, the Phoenix – was sent straight to bed with Elder and Sister Jex as her chaperons.

Tuesday, Dec 15th dawned early – 6:00 am where the 7 arriving Elder joined Pres. Sweeney for a workout in the gym of the next door chapel. Each missionary was asked to think of an exercise that could be done indoors – with no special equipment – but would build muscles or give aerobic benefits.  They were extremely inventive – and Pres. Sweeney had sore muscles for several days!  After breakfast of eggs, sausage, and pancakes with buttermilk syrup – they were ready to be given driver training followed by instruction on how to be effective as trainers and trainees.  By 11:00 am, it was time to introduce the new missionaries to their trainers – then lunch, a drivers test then off to their new areas.  Several needed some warmer clothes before they left the valley and headed to the mountains where there has already been substantial snowfall this year.

This is a great group of new missionaries!  We’re pleased to have them serve the equally great members and nonmembers that reside in the Arizona Scottsdale Mission!



Departures 12.14.2015



The Arizona Scottsdale Mission held a farewell dinner for 12 of its finest missionaries on Sunday, Dec. 13th.  This group has the distinction of being one that has provided great maturity and mission leadership for most of their missions (it took quite a bit of coaxing for them to appear relaxed in these photos!).

Since the weather was cool, we gathered indoors at the mission home for the dinner and testimony meeting.  The menu featured winter favorite – Cafe Rio Tortilla Soup – prepared by Elder and Sister Jex and Sister Sweeney, and seasonal favorite chocolate Texas sheet cake with peppermint sprinkles.

The testimonies of each of the departing missionaries – who returned home to locations spread from Virginia, Kansas and Ohio to Utah and California – was the highlight of the evening.  All centered around their growing testimony of the love of the Savior and His gift to them – and the world – of the atonement.  This is the most important knowledge a returned missionary brings home.

We are incredibly proud of them and their growth!

Missionary Wisdom – Elder Flake

[Shared with permission]

It has hit me hard, especially this week, how small of role that we actually play in the conversion of our brothers and sisters. This scripture is now a reality: “Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.” Alma 37:6. I always knew it was true, but now I have experienced that it is true. Our Father does His own work. Our part is so small, we get to gently guide and observe those whom the Holy Ghost is teaching. I honestly feel as if I am the member present, and that the Holy Ghost has simply invited me to fellowship. At the start of this mission I thought that I was going to be converting people and saving souls in and of myself. But I cannot honestly take the credit that so overwhelmingly belongs to God. At first, it bugged me a little bit, because I didn’t feel very useful. But now I wouldn’t have it any other way, because there would be no converting or saving souls without His help. If we were on our own we really would be useless.”

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Elder Flake