Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lynnwood, Washington - 8/26/13

We received an e-mail  from Elder Bahr on Monday.  He wrote: 

The Church Tours are scheduled to start September 10th.  I have started printing out Pass-Along Cards in the Mission Office.  For each tour, I cut out 362 cards, 6 on each piece of card stock.  It takes a lot of time, but if it helps the work, it is worth it.
The wedding last week was a big success.  They had ten or so of their family members there and then a lot of the ward members came.  After the wedding, they had a potluck so that they could get to know members of the ward better.  The couple thanked everyone for coming and were grateful for everything.  They are a humble couple that just wanted to be married after a long time of being together.  They made the right decision.  Now, it is on to preparing for baptism next month.
Last night, I had the opportunity to attend the departing missionary dinner and testimony meeting at the Mission Home so that my companions could go out and work hard.  At the dinner, there were two missionaries who were finished with their service and one who was leaving for Brazil.  After dinner, the testimony meeting was very good.  From one of the Senior Couple Sisters who works in the Mission Office with me, I learned part of why I am here in Washington.  After I shared my testimony, she had the chance to share her testimony.  When she started sharing, she said, "Elder Bahr, if you are not here for anyone else, you are here to help me.  I have never heard you complain when you have been in the Mission Office and you are always laughing and smiling.  You have helped me to stay here in the mission." 
As she spoke, I had a warm feeling come over me.  I knew that working in the Mission Office had a purpose already besides helping President Bonham.  The Spirit is amazing how it testifies as you hear things. 
Elder Bahr

Sorry, it's blurry, but this is Elder Bahr's district.

The couple that got married and the missionaries that have been teaching them.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Lynnwood, Washington - 8/19/13

Elder Bahr wrote the following in his e-mail this week:

I acted as Elder Dr. Bahr with a sick missionary.  It was a missionary who had an emergency appendectomy.  I sat with him all Wednesday night after 4:00.  I studied until 8:00 that night and then went back to my Zone Leaders apartment.
At the Zone Leader's apartment, I did something crazy.  But, it was one of those things that you look back and will never forget.  The Zone Leaders have a little challenge going in the Zone for some fun.  They are having people eat a whole Habanero pepper.  So, the sick Elder's companion and I ate a whole Habanero pepper and are now champions in the zone.  My mouth didn't burn at first, but after about five minutes, I burned for a good thirty minutes.      
The apartment is fairly decent sized for three missionaries.  The bedroom is the squishy room.  But, we are only there to sleep at night.  In the morning, we have from 7:00-8:00 to get ready, so each one of us has 20 minutes in the bathroom to shave and shower.  Then, we get dressed in the bedroom.  After that, we eat breakfast and start studies for three hours.  
Transfers are next Tuesday.  It doesn't seem like I have already been here for five weeks, but I have.  I probably won't be transferred very far, it at all.  But, if I am, it will be to an apartment that is closer to the Mission Office.  Transfer calls are made on Monday before the transfer.  So, that means that you have only a few hours to pack everything up if you are moving the next day.
The Boeing plant was an interesting experience.  You have to understand a lot about airplanes to know what they are talking about.  But, it was cool to see how a plane comes together from all different pieces.  The building is huge.  As you drive next to it, you can see inside of it through the huge doors that they leave open during the day.  The building is not air conditioned or heated so they open the hangar doors to regulate the temperature inside.  

The Church Tours are progressing smoothly.  We are planning to have them started by the second week of September.  Last week, I mapped out all 24 chapels that we have in the mission and started creating a temporary schedule of when tours would occur.  President Bonham is going to test out market research to see where doing them and when will be best, morning, afternoon, etc.  I also started working on creating banners to have printed and pass-along cards.  Those will be finished and sent to the printers this week so we will have them by next week.  President said that I will be given a companion who will run the tours with me.  We will have 24 tours over the course of each transfer.  It should work well.
The couple we have been teaching are getting married on Wednesday.  Their baptism has been changed to sometime in September.  The bishop of our ward will get to marry them in our church on Wednesday.  After the wedding, they are going to have a reception with all of the ward members that can come so they can get to know as many people as they can.  They love the church atmosphere and want to get to know people as fast as they can.
We were able to find six new investigators last week.  I was able to be a part of talking with three of those.  We taught fifteen lessons last week.  Our numbers are slowly increasing, which is good.  But, numbers are not everything if souls are being saved.
On Saturday, I had my second baptism.  The baptism was a re-membership baptism of a person who was baptized in Pakistan but whose records were lost.  So, permission was given to interview her and re-baptize her.  That is because, "What is bound on Earth, is bound in Heaven."  So, if she had no record on Earth, she would have no record in Heaven.  Two baptisms in one transfer is amazing.  I did not get to baptize or confirm her, but I was still there to be a part of it.
On Saturday, I also had the opportunity to go out and teach with the Assistants.  They needed another male to teach with them.  The lesson was with an investigator and her mother.  It was a great experience to teach with experienced missionaries and to have the chance to evaluate after the lesson to see how we could have improved and what we thought of the lesson overall.
Yesterday in church, I had to speak for five minutes (like the youth speaker).  On Saturday at the baptism, the bishop asked me if I could speak for five minutes and share my testimony.  I shared a few quotes that I thought I could tie into my current experiences and then I shared my testimony.  I thought it went well. 
I love all of you.
Elder Bahr

Now Some Pictures...

Elder Bahr and his companions.

Second baptism.


Friday, August 16, 2013


Temple Day at the MTC

First Baptism

A local member took the missionaries to the Boeing Factory.

Lynnwood, Washington - 8/12/13

Sorry for the delayed post.  It has been a busy week.

Hello Everyone,

My foot is still bothering me.  As President Bonham put it, I wish that I could keep the rest of my body here and send my foot on a different mission.  That way, I could work hard here without any problems and my foot could be somewhere else doing what it wants to do.

President and Sister Bonham are very loving and caring people.  I have either texted or called one of them every night to let them know what is going on and to find out the plans for the next day.  Every time that I talk with President Bonham, he asks the same questions, How are you doing, and How can I help?  It seems like he was the right person to be called to serve as the President of this mission.  After all, his middle name is Everett.

When I was with President Bonham, we started talking about how I was doing and what he wanted me to do.  I had a spiritual experience when I was talking with him when he said, "I wish that I could give you a blessing and say that you would be healed. But, I dont feel that I can do that. That is not what the Lord wants for you. There is a reason why you are here. You will be able to find people who you can touch with your testimony in ways that no one else can."  (That was close to his exact words.)

Last week, I was able to be a part of teaching eight lessons.  Of the eight, two were with the couple that we did the Church Tour with.  They are very solid investigators.  I had the opportunity to put them on date for baptism, September 21.  They accepted the invitation to be baptized.  But, on Saturday when I was not there because I was with President Bonham, they decided that they wanted to be married and baptized on the same day.  Now, they are going to be married and baptized on August 21.  They are an amazing couple.  Before we had even taught them the Word of Wisdom, they stopped drinking alcohol, stopped drinking coffee, and he started to stop smoking.  They are Golden Investigators who have been prepared to here of the Gospel.  They were just waiting for the missionaries to talk with them.

This week, we found one new investigator.  We have not had a chance to meet with him, but we are planning to this week.  He was on our Potential Investigator list for a while, but we never went to see him.  We also have a list of around 35 Potential Investigators.  There have got to be some people on that list who are ready to hear of the message.

Last week when I was working in the Mission Office, I was working on the Mission Calendar.  I was putting together the calendar for the rest of the year in Outlook.  I was also helping with some miscellaneous office tasks that the Senior Couples asked me to do.

This week in the Mission Office, I have some projects ahead of me.  President Bonham has some new ideas that will fulfill my purpose and are probably inspired.  He wants me to start working on putting together a schedule of Church Tours across the mission.  For these, I will be in charge of making banners and pass along cards that will advertise when and where the tours will be.  The goal is to have people who are interested in the church but are scared or do not know where to find us come and see the church and take a tour.  Hopefully then they will become Investigators.  The Tacoma Mission has had great success with this, and we hope to as well.  To begin the project, I am researching all of the Chapels in our mission and figuring out how many missionaries are in each area.  Then, I will start putting together a schedule.  We will probably do them once per transfer.  The other idea is to rent a store front in a mall or in a large public area with a lot of foot traffic where I can set up a visitor center/stand for people to gain information about the Church.  These are two ideas that will allow me to fulfill my purpose.

I have not had to speak in Sacrament Meeting yet.  We just got a new Bishop in our ward.  I met the old one and he was there for one week.  He moved to Provo to attend BYU.  On Sundays, we get up and have studies.  Then, we go to the Church for either Ward Council or Priesthood Executive Committee.  If we dont have one of those, then we continue studies until 11:00.  At11:00, we go to the Church for Missionary Correllation Meeting.  At 12:30, Sacrament Meeting starts.  Then, we stay for Sunday School and Priesthood.  I don't know why our full time Missionaries do not stay at church for the whole time.  Maybe they have appointments or other wards to attend. 

I love you all! 
Elder Bahr

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Lynnwood, Washington - 8/5/13

Elder Bahr wrote:

I received both packages that you sent me.  I enjoyed the treats that I have eaten so far.  I am taking some in my backpack with me when I go places and eat them when I feel like I need something.  The ties you sent me were a hit with the Zone Leaders and some of the other missionaries.  I like them, too.  
My foot has still been acting badly.  (His foot has been quite painful lately, but he is still optimistic).  Presdient Bonham talked with me last week after he talked with you or found out what you said and we decided on some other options that Salt Lake provided to him. 
The trip into Seattle was not too bad.  When he was in the doctor's office, I sat outside alone and had some peace and quiet.  It was weird not having a third and fourth leg with me for three hours!  But, it was kind of nice to have some study and contemplation time without anyone else near me.  It might have been a blessing in disguise.  I did not get lost getting there because we have a GPS.  I traded companions for the day since I am the only one that can drive.  I am the designated medical drive for right now.  It gave my foot a chance to rest and it got the missionary to the doctor.  I will probably be taking him back tomorrow.
The car that we have now, the 2010, now has some problems.  One of the tires is losing air.  We have to take it into the tire store, but we never have time.  Luckily, the car is for sale and the church will not have it for too much longer. 
Last week, we taught 10 lessons.  It was hard because of my foot and because we were in charge of helping the other area in our district.  Because the one missionary has been sick, we were sent over there for a time each day.  The couple that toured the church was sick all last week.  The husband was in the Emergency Room last Sunday.  He was diagnosed with a bad case of sinusitus and a virus.  So, we only got to see him on Saturday.  They are still progressing, though.  Our teaching pool is shrinking, but our area is still booming and our ward is willing to help us out in any way that they can.  When we show that they can trust us, they are willing to help us.  By teaching so many lessons in one week, it shows the members that we are working.
Glad to hear that all of the missionaries in our ward are doing well.  

I have been e-mailing Sam each week.  He leaves this Wednesday and likes hearing about my experiences.  He looks forward to it and wants to get out there.  I also e-mailed Ammon today.  He wanted to hear some of my stories now that he is back from Hawaii.  He is in the stage of preparing to leave now, too.  Everyone leaves so soon.  So many people have received their calls.  The Lord's work is truly hastening.  The next transfer here, we get 21 new missionaries, 19 sisters and 2 elders.  Only 4 missionaries are going home.  That means that areas will be opened and wards will start gaining more missionaries.  It is great to see!
The weather here has been sunny except for the rain that I think we passed on to you at the soccer tournament :)  It rained here last week on ThursdayFriday, and part of Saturday.  It was not the misty rain either.  It poured for hours.  But, after it rains it is beautiful and smells fresh.  It gets a little chilly at night and in the morning, but overall it is not too bad. 
I have not given up yet, and I do not plan to.  Last week on Friday and Saturday, I spent both days with President and Sister Bonham.  It was just me and them.  On Friday, I went to interviews with them in another zone.  On the way there and back, we talked about what my options are.  Then, on Saturday, I got to spend time going to baptisms with them.  They want me off my feet for a little while.
President Bonham prayed about it and also called Missionary Headquarters and the Quorum of the 70 Member who is over our Mission.  I am meant to be in this mission.  The Lord called me here for a reason.  Everyone in Salt Lake City said that after reviewing my application for over an hour, they will not change anything.  It is right for me.  They feel it is where I need to be.  But, they do have things that I can do and will be doing starting tomorrow.
Both President Bonham and people in Salt Lake have discussed me working in the office from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm each day and then going out to teach set appointments in the evening.  That way, I will avoid all of the proselyting on my feet and going up and down stair cases that are not needed.  There is plenty of work that can be done to help with the work in the office.  They have told me some of the things that I will try doing over the next several weeks.
Here are some of the things:
-When transfers come, I will manage bicycle movement and getting them to where they need to be
-Getting bicycles repaired messages/videos with local members
-Church tours (Improving them to what the church wants)
-When I-Pads come, entering Area Book information
-Creating teaching materials for District Leaders/Zone Leaders
-Teaching a "Teaching How to Teach" Class
-Creating Multimedia Presentations
-Helping with Record Keeping
I am excited to see what they come up with.  I know that I will still be part of the work in bringing His children into the Gospel as I teach lessons.  Finding is only the first step in the conversion.  Teaching is important and essential before baptism.  We will be gaining another missionary into our apartment so there will be three of us at night and so Elder Haupu can go out during the day with the other companion.  The Senior missionary Elders in the office will be my companions during the day.  There are many great things in store for me.  Everything happens in the Lord's timeframe according to His will.  They know that I am supposed to be here.  I trust President Bonham and am very grateful for his love.  He has been the most helpful and kind President I think I could have.  He even has some humor.  It is a testimony to me that God speaks and reveals things to his leaders when both President Bonham and those in Salt Lake came up with the same thing.
Overall, I am doing well.  I am working on keeping a positive attitude and staying upbeat.  Some days are harder than others.  But, there are new opportunites opening up before me and I have to try them.  Things will work out. 
Love you all,
Elder Bahr