Thursday, November 29, 2012

Service work in Logandale...

Hey there-

A lot of stuff has happened between emails, so I'll be doing my best to fit everything I need to in.
We had an awesome lesson with the woman and the son I talked about last week; they truly have been prepared to receive our message. Turns out her husband is inactive of 20+ years and still has a very powerful testimony. During our second lesson with them as a family, he started to talk about a time where his son was hurt playing football and one of the coaches (happens to be the Elders Quorum president) was there to give him a blessing. He started to get emotional and he said he knew it was the power of the priesthood that healed his son. The mother and son (Susie and Chase) committed to read the Book of Mormon together and pray to know if it's true, but honestly, they might just fall into the font before next lesson. She kept saying "I feel so good about all of this" and the son asked us what he needs to do in order to pass the sacrament. The Bishop of the ward was sitting in on the lesson and he was pretty funny; he goes, "First, let these guys baptize ya!". We all were laughing. It's sweet to actually teach every now and then.
Thanksgiving was awesome. We went down to Vegas to play in the Turkey Bowl. All of the zones played against each other (there are nine zones) and it was tournament style. We played our first game against Spring Mountain zone and I was playing corner. Guess who I had to cover? A redshirt BYU receiver. It was so hard. The kid's about 6'5" and could pass for 26. He might actually be 26. Anyways, we did something right, seeing as we tied them and then smoked the next two zones we played. We got cheated out of the championship game, due to our tie against the first team. They had a wider victory margin and therefore went to the finals. It's okay though, we had fun...just kidding, we're bitter.

Some things are unique to your area. The missionaries serving in Mesquite get to golf! The missionaries in Lone Mountain tract into celebrities all the time. The missionaries in Logandale? We castrate pigs. Seriously. For service, we helped an elderly couple castrate a couple of their young pigs. It was absolutely insane, but you guys'd be proud of me; I didn't barf or nuffin'. It reaffirmed the fact that I'm not cut out for the farm, guys. Not cut out for the farm.
I'm probably going to leave Logandale on December 10th, so start sending your mail to the mission office instead of my P.O. box. I'll be able to give you the address of my new area on December 10th, so hold off on sending stuff until then. Apparently the zone leaders requested that I train pretty soon here, which would be scary. I don't think I'm ready to get a greenie. It wouldn't be for a couple transfers, but still. I'm way excited to actually serve in Vegas, though! That's going to be pretty fun.
Glad to hear that everyone is doing well. Keep doing what you're doing and I'll keep doing what I'M doing and I'll see you on the other side.


Elder Kraft and I strappin' down our pig
Brother Jarrel going at it.  
Not cut out for the farm guys, not cut out for the farm...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 I wish we could glide right over Thanksgiving and head right to Christmas. That or trade out Thanksgiving for a Pre-Christmas-Christmas. I could go for a double Christmas this year.

On Wednesday we had Elder Echo Hawk address us, and it was amazing. It was much more personal than I expected it to be; there were Q&A sessions and discussion-based trainings all day. President Black also spoke and spoke on finding new investigators. He said that finding was our main problem right now; once we start teaching investigators, 18% of them become baptized and active members of the Church. The North American average is 7%, so we're doing really well there. The only problem was finding people to teach! We started to see the fruits of the mission conference almost immediately, as the very next day we stumbled upon three very promising potential investigators. We've been trying to find through our own efforts for about three weeks, but it wasn't until Elder Echo Hawk and President Black addressed us that we saw some real growth in our teaching pool. Two of the potentials, a mother and her 12 year old son, came to church this past Sunday and expressed a desire to come again the next Sunday. I was so happy to hear this; the microphone stopped working at the beginning of the meeting and you couldn't hear anything being said at all. I was basically freaking out, knowing that we have potential investigators there and they can't hear a dang thing. I was praying nonstop until the mic finally came on before the High Councilors talk, which was about temples. We have a lesson set up for her and her son tomorrow at 10:00; hopefully we can get the ball rolling on that one.

Thanksgiving is a non-proselyting day in this specific mission; it ought to be pretty fun. We have the Turkey Bowl in Vegas in the morning, and then we've been invited to about six different Thanksgiving dinners. I have no idea how we're going to narrow it down to two families, but we will. It's been a good week and it's only going to get better.

Thanks for the emails and prayers; we can feel 'em. Love you all very much,


Mission lunch after listening to Elder Echo Hawk of the Seventy
speak to us.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Veteran's Day

Happy Veterans Day!

The whole valley has shut down today; the boulevard (the main drag) is closed due to a huge parade that's going to be taking place in about fifteen minutes. It's nice to see the general population pay their respects to the men and women that serve and have served our country. I often wish that we could take a page out of Asian culture in that regard - we don't pay the elderly anywhere near the amount of respect we ought to. I am glad that Veterans Day is on a P-day, however; we wouldn't have anything to do or anyone to visit otherwise. I'm also glad high school football is almost over with. The local high school plays in the state championship this week and then we won't have to kick around rocks every Friday night because everyone and their dog is at the football game.
This was not a very fruitful week, unfortunately; we "lost" our top two investigators in the same day. They're more "on hold" than "lost", really. We found out Steve Kamin is moving back to Vegas (which is good because it's still in our mission) and Sadie is on bed-rest in Vegas for the next five or six weeks until she has her baby. So, we're kind of back to the drawing board with finding some new investigators, but that's okay! That's all part of the job description, right? Plus, a couple programs in Sacrament meeting this Sunday were about missionary work and how the members can better assist the missionaries, so hopefully some referrals crop up due to the new state of awareness.
We're going to Vegas on Wednesday to listen to Elder Larry Echohawk (SWEET name) of the 70 address us. They've asked our zone, the Mesquite Zone, to prepare a musical number and we haven't practiced at all and I'm stressin'. I can thank my band directors for that. They've also asked us to prepare a five minute talk each, as names will be pulled out of a hat and we'll have to speak if called up. Stressin' about that, too. It's all good in Zion, though.
In closing, I highly recommend perusing These videos depicting the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, are awesome, and great to share with your friends. Also, shout out to Zak (you're welcome, Zak).

Love you guys, keep being awesome and have family prayer/scripture study/family home evening etc, etc.

Elder Stu Loerchter from the U of U Marching Band with
Elder Jesse Dowdle. Two of the "Three Amigos". 
Elder Loerchter, Jairo, and Elder Dowdle as the Three Amigos
at the U of U a year before their missions to Las Vegas West

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Hey there-

This week has crawled like no other before it, and hopefully like no other after, too. I think it's been crawling for a couple of reasons, reason number one being that it was transfer week. Having a new companion for the first 24 hours is really weird, especially after living with the same person for three months. It took some getting used to to see Elder Steenstra's stuff where Elder Millar's used to be. Elder Steenstra is from a military family (Navy) and has lived just about everywhere in the US, which is something I can kinda relate to. Born in Philly (but a Vikings fan...); pretty cool guy. Another reason this week was so slow was the absence of district meeting. The week of transfers, we don't have our normal district meeting on Tuesday, and not having that meeting made this week seem so long. The REAL reason, however, for the eternity that was this past week was the "Hannah Situation".

We called it the Hannah Situation because it felt like a military-esque problem and we basically had a war on our hands. This girl, Hannah, is a fifteen year old girl who is friends with plenty of members in the area. She's wanted to be baptized for about two years and has been attending (and living in the boundaries of) a certain ward; her parents said she would have to wait until she's 18 to be baptized. However, just this past month, her father finally gave her permission to take the lessons and be baptized. About a week prior to that, she moved across the street from her old house and into another ward boundary; one that isn't under our stewardship and belongs to another companionship. Naturally, the missionaries who cover her area began to teach her and tell her that upon being baptized, she would have to attend the ward that she lives in as opposed to the one that she had been going to. Once the Bishop of her previous ward heard about that, he flipped and, well, long story short: The missionaries teaching her (who were doing absolutely nothing wrong) were the subject of so much hate and conflict, it made me sick to my stomach. President Black was called and chewed out some ward leadership, but it was all just so stupid and wouldn't have happened had everybody seen past the logistics and realize that she's receiving a SAVING ORDINANCE. Who cares where she attends as long as she's receiving the same Gospel? Oh, and the irony of it all? We found out yesterday she's moving to Oregon, so all of this ridiculous ward-warfare means absolutely nothing. She had a wonderful baptism this past Saturday, but the conflict behind the scenes sullied it for me a bit. Trials come in all shapes and sizes, and in ways you never see coming. I take solace in the words of Joseph Smith in Doctrine and Covenants 123:17; I know that if I do what I need to to the best of my ability, I can stand by and let my Lord and Savior take control. Everything shakes out like it's supposed to, right? Right.

Much love,


p.s. Please talk to people you don't recognize before sacrament meeting. Makes all the difference in the world.

Elders Dowdle, Kaelberer, Steenstra, and Quintana