Wednesday, October 29, 2014

We Got Cows

So here's what's been going on in Wyoming!

This week has been a trying one for sure. We did finally come to the conclusion to drop our investigators because they weren't progressing. The beginning of the week was pretty discouraging but we buckled down and brainstormed some ideas, talked to our ward mission leader, and also our bishop for some time. I went to the Lord in prayer early in the week and made a promise with him. It was if I did my absolute best with my obedience that he would help us find someone new to teach. I got a confirmation that he agreed to my request from the spirit. It's been amazing to see the blessings he's giving us the past 2 or 3 days with 6 referrals and members inviting friends to dinner that we were able to teach. When we wrote down our actual goals we accomplished this week I was really please with how much work we were able to do even though it felt like we had nothing to work with. The Lord truly does answer prayers!

Elder Ehlert and I are doing great! We have such a strong relationship and get along pretty much all the time. Heavenly Father has definitely been blessing us for the unity in our efforts together to serve our Savior. I think the coolest thing with our companionship is how much we both love helping people and we'll do whatever we can to succeed in this process.

Personal study has been going great. I've made a goal this week to study out of The Book of Mormon, The Bible, and PMG everyday and have been doing a good job with that goal.
So a pretty funny thing happened while we were waaaay far out of town. We were going to see a less active member that lives probably 25 minutes out of town going 60mph. Idk how many miles but it takes a while. It's so far out the highway turns into a dirt road and there is absolutely nothing out here except ranches and farms. Right as we make the last turn before her house there's a herd of cattle coming against us being moved to a ranch about 2 miles up the road. It's really easy going against the grain in a car through a bunch of cows so that wasn't to bad. We did get to see Sister Allred but she doesn't really want us teaching her or helping her with anything so we weren't there very long. So this is the fun part! The dang cows weren't even half way to the ranch yet so I had to manuver my way through the dang cows again but they're not looking backwards so they don't want to move! I sure did it though with no kicks, licks, or poo on the car (well there was poo on the tires)!

Elder Ehlert now has taught me how to draw bodies! So here's a picture of captain morgan! He took me step by step but I actually drew it! Woo! Also Elder Ehlert and I both after a dinner appointment we had our ears sucked clean of whatever junk is in our ears?? It felt so weird but it was awesome! Sister Ryberg calls them ear candles probably for a good reason after you see the picture!

We were able to attend ward council this week with our ward mission leader and I'm very grateful for that opportunity we had. Like I said earlier, we talked to the bishop and our ward mission leader about how the work is going and some ideas we could start implementing and because of that in ward council not only I but our ward mission leader and the bishop all were able to testify that we need to follow the advice we received from stake conference and unity the efforts of the full-time missionaries and the ward members to see a change in the progression of the work in our area. It was a very powerful meeting with such a strong spirit.

The most spiritual experience I've had this week was last night when we were teaching a guy named Ryan at our dinner appointment. His wife and daughter are members but he's been holding off and hasn't been to interested with us teaching him. So I knew this was a rare chance we had to invite the spirit into his life to testify of the truths we teach. We taught the Plan of Salvation and had great involvement from Brother and Sister Andersen and their kids and also Ryan's daughter asked some great questions. At the end of the lesson I was able to bare a strong witness of the lesson, The Book of Mormon, and Jesus Christ as our savior with the spirit the strongest I've felt in a very long time. I know it's because I have been working hard to strive for exact obedience and Heavenly Father has blessed me with an abundance of his spirit to be with me as a consequence.

I've loved this week and hope I will be able to keep it in my memory forever. I've learned so much and been able to grow to a new level. I've relearned and grown a stronger love for this work and a love for serving my savior.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Jacob's Baptism

So what's going on up here? Well for me I'm really excited as of now about how the work is progressing in the area. After Jacob's baptism I realized we don't have any solid progressing investigators. I was put down that afternoon feeling like there wasn't much I could do but I asked Elder Ehlert for a blessing of comfort and we went out to find people Sunday prayerfully and faithfully seeing some success!

We may be dropping S here soon. She's more than willing to learn about the gospel all day long but she doesn't act on anything we're asking her to do. She's been sick this week so we haven't been able to meet with her.

We may also be dropping T as well but we're going to try to see her at least one more time to see if there's been any changes in her since she went to her brothers baptism. The spirit was so incredibly strong during that baptismal meeting I can't imagine her not wanting to learn more. We'll just have to wait and see.

Elder Ehlert and I are doing the best work we've ever done together. We're having great mornings, effective studies, we're busy most all days, and most importantly I think is that we're trying new things and involving the members in our finding efforts now. The Lord has definitely been a helping hand in our area this past week.

The most spiritual experience this week was definitely Jacob's baptism. During any baptism the spirit is so strong but I loved this one first of all because Jacob finally made the choice to be baptized, but his parents and sister and two family friends  came and I know they felt the spirit! It was so incredible to see someone I love and have been teaching for almost 5 months now finally make that covenant with Heavenly Father!

I Love you guys!!

Elder Ehlert's teaching me how to draw! It came out to be Obama unintentionally!

Modeling at the Duffey's on their new porch ;)

This Sunday we went over to Jacob's house for lunch and we all passed out. It was great. His wife took pictures haha :)

Oh yeah, I'm driving a different car now. A 2013 Chevy Cruze. It's waaay fun to drive haha. It's like a tiny race car but there's no leg room in the back seat! We're going on a road trip next Thursday the 30th to Rapid City, South Dakota to have a quad zone conference. There's going to be a lot of missionaries there so I'm pretty excited! Oh and my MTC companion is in Buffalo, Wy now! I get to see him on Fridays when we have district meetings! It's way cool to catch up and see how much we've grown!

The sunrise in Sheridan!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Blades of Glory

Me- HIIIII!! :) YOU'RE THE BEST! Hahaha :) Check it out!

So we've been seeing small but more consistent blessings in our area this past week. We've been really working on our obedience and trying to become as perfect as we can be and I can notice a huge difference in the area in the people we've been finding and the power in my own personal teaching. We've been able to find and teach former investigators that I found in the Area Book from a couple years ago. We're finding more less-actives with potential to come back. We're also using our time wisely and limiting the visits or dropping those who aren't progressing anymore.

Jacob is doing amazing! He's had some hurdles thrown at him this week that potentially could have hindered him from his baptism this Saturday but he recognized that it was Satan in his life trying to distract him and make him angry but he overcame it and couldn't be doing better! He also gave me a sheath knife for my birthday! It's legit. I actually have 4 knives now. I don't know how I ended up with so many but it's cool. :)

In my personal studies I've been reading the New Testament. I finished Acts last weekend and I'm now in Romans chp. 11. I read the talk called "Missionary Work and the Atonement" by Elder Holland this morning out of the Leadership Binder. I really liked how much he stressed the importance of making sure our investigators and ourselves have faith in our Savior and his atonement and to testify of both frequently.

My favorite spiritual experience this week was when we were walking back to our car after a lesson with a lady in a heath care center we walked past a lady we was sitting on a bench outside by herself. We got into the car and I couldn't stop thinking about this lady so I told Elder Ehlert, "You see that lady on the bench there? I feel like we need to go talk to her and give her a Book of Mormon". I really liked Elder Ehlert's response, he perked up, opened the door and said, "let's go then"! So we went over and talked to her, she said she was Catholic and was going to stay that way but I persisted and kept talking to her and found out her son is a member and eventually gave her a Book of Mormon. We also were able to say a prayer with her then we left. I felt so good and happy that I listened to the spirit to give this lady a Book of Mormon!

I love you mi familia!

Elder Autrey
Ps. that's Elder Rasmussen when we were cleaning a building that burned on the inside haha :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It Snowed, then it Didn't

Mom: Ouch! You know you're not supposed to fall off ladders?? It doesn't feel too great. I was painting this week too! Weird, eh? Elder Ehlert and I painted a lady in the ward's shed. It was a medium sized shed but we knocked it out in just 2 hours! It was sweet! So I assume you get the lease signed since you're painting? That's sweet! How's band going for Sam? Is the show this year legit or nah?

Alannah: Hey soul sister...ain't no something something...on the radio..blah blah i don't remember. Haha :) I'm glad work's going great! That's legit you made a goal! We played soccer a couple weeks ago with all the Elders in the Stake when we went down to Gillette for zone conference. I'm pretty bad I found out. :) But it was still fun!
I do have a couple ideas. So in that same chapter in PMG, chp 5. There's a section that says the Book of Mormon answers questions of the soul. You can ask her some of those questions and see which one she wants to know, then testify that you know the answer and the only way you know is because of the Book of Mormon. But it really doesn't matter what you say because if you have the desire to share the gospel, even if you don't know what to say Heavenly Father will help you know exactly what people needs to hear. My Branch President in the MTC told me something that's stuck with me, "when people feel your love for them, you can never be too bold". You're wanting to share the gospel because you know how much it will help them in their life, you love them and want to have the same blessings you have. There's nothing you can say that will offend if you do it with love. I've put that to the test and I know it's true. I'm not really a bold person but this one particular time I was more concerned for these peoples eternal salvation than what they thought of me. The very next day they changed their life and started living the commandments. But remember people have their agency so don't get bummed if they decline. We're successful as we invite people to know, to give them the opportunity to use their agency.

Now with the Book of Mormon referencing Lord, I heard once that if it's meaning Heavenly Father then it's written in all caps "LORD" and Jesus is "Lord". Not positive though. Either way they're both great people to underline! ;) haha

Dad: That's so awesome that Heavenly Father blessed us with this home! It's exactly what we've needed. I'm glad the Relief Society is taking good care of you! Tell them hello for me and thank you for taking care of my family! That's so cool you were able to get the white suit that way! I wish I could get all my clothes that way! So do you help with endowments, initiatory, baptisms, or D: all of the above or E: none of these? That's so cool that you're a Temple worker though! I'm pretty jealous but my patriarchal blessing says I'll be one later in life so I'll get my turn!
This is what's been going on with meeeeee!

The area seems to be taking a turn to focus on more on bringing less-active members back to activity. The great thing about this new wave of excitement is that the members are the most involved they've ever been with helping us with missionary work. We're having a member from every auxiliary coming fairly consistently to our missionary correlation meeting along with our ward missionaries. The Bishop even made it out to the meeting yesterday for one of the first times.

Jacob got back into town last Thursday and he couldn't be doing any better! He's committed himself to finishing the Book of Mormon by October 18th. At the rate he's going though, he should be done by the 6th or sooner. We've committed him to be baptized on October 11th. The last lesson we had with him was about your training you gave us last zone conference about why God requires his ordinances, which led into a very powerful ending about eternal families.

Tori, Jacob's sister hasn't met with us this past week. She loves the lessons but she just doesn't have the desire to change, I believe. We got a couple ideas from the district of how we can help her find her own desire to act on what she's learning that we're going to try out.

We have a new investigator named Susan! We've been doing service for her for quite some time but just recently we were able to get in with her. We taught her the Restoration and left her a commitment to read the introduction, the 3 and 8 witnesses, and Joseph Smith's testimony. We'll be following up with her this week.

Elder Ehlert and I are doing great together. I'm so impressed with how much he knows and how much he can remember! He knows so much about the gospel and how to tailor it into individuals lives which is why he is such a powerful teacher.

In personal study, I've been reading the Book of Mormon a lot more and can see the difference in how effective my days are compared to when I study from something else. I'm still trying to find that perfect balance to study from the Book of Mormon, the Bible, Preach my Gospel, and some talks.
We've been doing a lot more service this week. On Saturday we helped lay sod in a members yard about 7200 sq ft. That was pretty fun! Then we ran over to the food bank and ate some home made camping beans, hot dogs, and hamburgers that Dan made. We helped him unload a truck or donations he got from Wal-Mart. Then we ran over to the church to help a member clean it. We did all that from 9am and got done at 1:30pm. Missionaries are pretty efficient workers! Haha :)
Transfers are coming up on October 11th. I'm thinking I'll probably be leaving this time. Elder Ehlert will be done with his training and if I follow how Elder Richards left then this is the one. I'll get the call that morning though if I am leaving and will drive out that next Monday. So if you don't get an email from me on the 13th then I got transferred!
I love you guys so much! I'm so excited that you got the new house and everything's working out for you!
Let me know of anything else I can do to help!

Elder Autrey :D

Oh and it's not snowing Mom. It just snowed that one Thursday. It's been in the 80's ever since! :D

And a quick reply from nephew TJ when I wished him a happy birthday this week and admitted to him that I snuck a few short stories in to read while on my mission.:
Hi Clover~

Books are pretty dang cool, they're a lot of why I like video games so much.  Like I mean the walking dead game was a really great story, and stories are really where it's at~
But anyway love you Aunt Clover~~!
Elder Witzel

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Days in the Life

 Inline image 1 <--- I don't know how that just worked but there's the weather for this week. Apparently it's going to snow on Wednesd

Here's what I've been up to:

We've had a decline with our investigators the past couple weeks but the work has still been progressing. We decided since we don't have many investigators to teach, that we'll focus on finding and working with less-active members and bringing them back. We saw some great results this week with four new less actives who came to church! We've also been teaching the members (focusing on the youth) the Restoration lesson and then challenging them to teach us the Restoration lesson our next visit. These have been super successful and a great way to teach children how they can gain their own testimony and practice teaching!

We saw one investigator this week. Tori is actually Jacob's sister another one of our investigators. She's sat in a couple lessons we've had with Jacob and started gaining an interest. We taught he the Restoration with one of her friends Lana, who turned out to be a less-active member in our ward who we've been trying to find! I asked her the question, "What would it mean to you if Christ's original church, that he set up, was back here on the Earth again today?" She said the best two words I've ever heard, "It is" then later said "I'm here with you aren't I?". I know the spirit's working with her and some amazing things are about to come forth soon!

Robin is out in Minnesota about to have a part of his Liver removed. We need to call him and check on how he's doing.

Jacob is out of town for work. He hasn't been talking to us much since he's left. He comes home for only 2 weeks at a time and is then out of town again for 5 weeks. There's not much time to see him anymore so we need to be creative to help him bring the spirit into his life consistently.

Elder Ehlert and I are really coming a lot closer now. We're becoming really good friends and laughing and having fun a lot more. The work is definitely improving with us working together and collaborating our ideas.
Elders Ehlert and Autrey
Elders Ehlert & Autrey

A spiritual experience I had this week was during Sacrament meeting. We had 4 less-active members in attendance and I felt the need to get up and bear my testimony. I talked about the Book of Mormon and how it's changed my life and how it can resolve any question we have about the church and even life itself. I've challenged myself to bear my testimony once a day and I've seen a great increase in how much stronger my testimony has grown the past couple weeks.

The Ward Council is doing great! We're now having representatives from most auxiliaries coming out to our missionary correlation meeting. The desires in the ward to help us has been increasing tremendously and has definitely been a blessing for us. We can't do anything or make any progress without the ward's help! Members are essential in missionary work!

One super fun thing we did this week was the mud sludge! My job was to make sure people didn't drown in the mud at my station. No one did! :) Success! Then we were able to run the course. It was a 5K with a ton of obstacles at the rodeo fairgrounds. So we had to climb up hay bails, over barn walls, under fences, under logs, crawl through poop infested horse pins! It was sweet! And we did it all in our slacks and white shirts and ties! (Salvation Army clothes) And all that while covered in mud! It was AWESOME!!! :)

Welp that's all folks! I'll send some pictures here soon.

I love you guys! Keep being awesome and staying strong in your faith!

Elder Autrey

97 Bananas

Have you ever seen 97 bananas before?
Modeling with bananas

We got the bananas from the food bank. They got 4 pallets of them and made us take a box.

The Old Country this huge burger I ate last week! It was SO GOOD!! :)
Elder Ehlert bbqing
Elder Ehlert

Elder Autrey & Elder Johnson

Elder Rasmussen

Elder Johnson

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Great Ward

Our ward is doing so great! We're seeing such a huge success with members coming out with us to lessons now. Whether they're with investigators, less-active members, or the member's home teaching family. Having a member testify is one of the most powerful things I've ever experienced. We officially now have an assistant ward mission leader which is so helpful. Now we don't have to dump everything on Brother Doyle so that's going to be a huge help for him and us.

We struggled this week to be able to teach our investigators. I think Robin is trying to avoid us at this moment in time. He came to church two weeks ago and I think it either reminded him of his past or it was too different from his past experiences at church that he's used to. So we're keeping daily contact with him over the phone but still trying to get back into his home.

Jacob has been working out of town this week and then we he came home for the weekend he went camping with his family. All we could do was keep calling him and see how he's doing. 

We're having an open house at the church in two weeks and are expecting a pretty decent sized turn out. Last time this area had a church tour a family was baptized. I'm super excited to see what success we can see from this!

Monday, August 18, 2014


This week has been productive. We had our exchanges this week and I learned quite a bit from Elder Nicholas. I think Elder Ehlert really learned to appreciate how well he's got it here in Sheridan after going up to Ranchester. He's learning to love the people here which is super important in keeping the members desires to continuing to do missionary work.

We now have an Assistant Ward Mission Leader! He is incredible and I can't wait to see what more he can add to this area. We've been stressing the Progress Record with our Ward Mission Leader the past month and have seen a noticeable increase in the desires of the ward to help out with feeding us and coming out on splits with us. We're finally starting to get some referrals again. We've be struggling with finding people to teach this month but I think it's starting to turn around now.

Jacob has been on-date about 3 times now. He doesn't like to be rushed or pressured but I know he still needs a small push. We've been working with him for 3 months now. He has been taught all the lessons and has great support from his wife who is a member. He just wants to finish reading the Book of Mormon before he's baptized.

The Sisters met Robin at Wal-Mart a couple weeks ago. They referred him to us since he's living in our area. We've taught him the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation and read the Introduction and testimonies of the 3 and 8 witnesses in the Book of Mormon. He came to church with us 2 weeks ago but had a "wishy washy" experience. He enjoyed the first talk but we had a musical number that he thought was really loud. He said all the people and kids walking around in Sacrament meeting really distracted him. So we've been trying to get back in contact with him this past week but he's been sick. We're planning on talking to him about church next time we see him though.

We were able to give a blessing to two less-active members this week. They went really well and helped one man come closer to his parents. During exchanges, we taught Jacobs wife and her sister Faith about virtue, and hope. The spirit took over and we ended up teaching the word of wisdom. We committed them both to stop drinking tea and coffee which they have been successfully accomplishing thus far.

We're excited with the upward progression in the area but we definitely have some things to work on like always. 

I love you!

Elder Autrey