(12/29) We Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

How are things going in the family?

It is hard to belief that is it is already four days after Christmas. I swear it was just yesterday I "spake unto [you] face to face, as a man speaketh unto his [family]..." Speaking of which, I really enjoyed that. It was great to see you and to know personally that you are doing all right and getting along (relatively) well without me. I pretty told you all you need to know and not much else happened this week to put in my email. But for those of you who didn't get the opportunity to hear all about that, well now you do!

I am not sure how much of the conversion my family has discussed. We honestly didn't say a whole a bunch. It was basically just "How are you doing? Merry Christmas!" But I am doing fine. Christmas wasn't all that bad. Yeah it was a little weird being away from my family and not having any snow. I just accepted that things are different as a missionary and there isn't a whole lot you can change about that. It is a choice to be homesick or sad. I may have missed out on the traditional Christmas traditions, but my time was filled with new experiences and new traditions.

As for the new year, nothing going on as far as celebrating. I am going to have some goals and resolutions, though. Hope everyone else has fun staying up past midnight. But as for me and every other obedient missionary we will retire to bed promptly at 10:30.

I love you all and I love this work! (I really need some kind of catchphrase to stick right here)

Elder Price

At least we had a tree (or three)

Elder Farnsworth enjoying his Christmas morning

I loves me some cereal!

My Christmas haul

This tile was a gift from one of the members

The extent of my celebrating was eggnog and cookies


Who is excited for Thursday!?!

Cause I sure am. My first Christmas as a missionary! So much is going on that day. The day is almost packed with members wanting to feed us. We have three scheduled dinners/lunches, but a few families have signed up "under the table" so to speak. We don't mind. More food? Why not. We're missionaries!

So we had a really awesome week. In order to to reach the goals we had set a lot more than our usual minimalist approach would be required. The last few meetings we had were centered on teaching everyone. So we decided to implement those teachings. I now have a testimony that talking with everyone is a true principle. We taught every single person we laid eyes on. The result: 30 other lessons and 10 new investigators. A lot of that success was form the "He is the Gift" pass-along cards. If you haven't shared the Gift yet, and I exhort you to do so. Just like Sorella Price said, it is very short but very powerful. And very easy to Share.

I can't wait to hear your wonderful voices and see your less wonderful faces =D I just love this time of year. The Spirit of Christ is so strong as everyone has a desire to give and spend time time with family and friends. It is just so wonderful. Almost a tangible essence. Speaking of giving, I should probably give you the time I will be skyping. So that will happen sometime between 2:45-3:00 Arkansas time (so 1:45-2:00 your time). See you then!

Have a very merry spiritual Christmas!

Elder Price

(12/15) No subject...

Most beloved people! How are you doing?!

Things are about to go crazy here in Cabot. I can feel it! This past week was meh. We currently have one investigator we are working with and that is it. There are a few less actives we try to see but not much happens there. This week, however, during our weekly planning the Spirit directed us towards some high goals. It's going to be a 'go big of go home' kind of week. lots of effort is required on our part, but I know that God will be supporting us as we strive to do our best.

I have been given a new outlook on the fast recently. It is not about giving up food. It is about sacrifice of our natural needs. We show that our spirit is stronger than our mortal body.Encourage Alex to fast, even if it is just one meal. I am not sure of how comfortable he is with praying, but the fast needs to coupled with prayer in order to be effective. I feel inspired to tell you to pray with him for the fast. Kneel down with him and help him pray for the fast. Do it together as a family. I promise as a representative of Jesus Christ that fasting and prayer brings blessings and that it will help.

I did receive your package. In fact it came just this morning. I thank you in advance for the love you send not only physically in packages and emails, but in spirit through prayer and living the gospel. So I am allowed to open the box right? I am not sure if i have to wait until Christmas or what. Sorry if my email is lacking this week. A lot is going to happen; it just hasn't happened yet. Next few emails are going to be intense.

Keep up reading the Book of Mormon and gaining faith in Jesus Christ. I know that this gospel is true and will bring happiness and blessings in this life and the life to come. I love you and will continue to pray for y'all!

Elder Price

//Sorry for no pictures this week either. I left my camera in the apartment. But next week I'm going to send so many pictures your email explodes!

(12/8) New Companion, New Experiences

Heyo Family!

A lot happened this week, and I see that applies back home as well. Lots of Christmas decorating and family celebrations. Whoo, so much work. I just can't believe Tori is going to Ukraine! That is awesome. Tell her I am excited and hope she is as excited as I am. It just seems that everyone else seems to go to other countries while I'm stuck in the south. What am I saying? I am blessed to be serving in the Little Rock, Arkansas Mission. Everyone else just isn't as fortunate. I heard from Libby that Grandma and Grandpa Arnold got a nice letter from Elder Nelson. Not every day you get praise from a General Authority. It inspired me to live up to my grandparents diligent hard work and loving sacrifice.

So I bet you are all just anticipating with such fervency to know my whereabouts. I will be spending the Christmas season in Cabot, Arkansas. (don't be ashamed to open Google maps to see where the heck its located) My new companion is Elder Farnsworth from Colorado, who at one time served with my previous companion Elder Mulvey as well. It is actually kind of funny. Elder Mulvey follow up trained Elder Farnsworth who is now follow up training me after I was just trained by Elder Mulvey.

A little about Cabot. It is completely different form Hope. The biggest change is I now have a ward an actual members to work with. Given I have no knowledge on how to do so it will prove a learning experience. Secondly, there is hardly any black people here. When I started knocking on doors a white person would answer and I'd be like, "Hey... that person isn't black." It was a shock to be honest. Last (and probably the best), we get fed by the members! If there was any time on my mission I would gain weight, it would be here. We have a dinner appointment almost every night and people here know how to cook. I might eat myself into a very tight fitting suit.

My new address is:
300 Chapel Ridge Dr Apt 1514
Cabot, AR 72023

I hope you continue to enjoy this Christmas holiday and to remember the reason for the season.

Love you lots! Elder Price

// No pictures this week. It sucks, but by camera died and i haven't had the chance to get new batteries.

(12/1) Thanksgiving Transfer

My very first Thanksgiving as a missionary! It was basically what I expected. We had a lunch with the Senior couple, the Gibsons, and a member family "invited" us for dinner. They never followed up so it didn't happen. But what was really awesome was Justin had us over for dinner with his family. I was honestly a little nervous at first. Its kind of weird eating dinner at an investigator's home. It turned out to be very good. We talked about faith and just about how they are doing with life. We were blessed to have two thanksgiving meals. I can't imagine having three! (talking to you, Dad) I ate so much food I thought I was going to rupture! Then me being the bottomless pit that I am was hungry 30 minutes later. I honestly got sick of turkey, mashed potatoes, and pie. The same traditionally thanksgiving meal that doesn't change year after year after year gets to be routine. sometimes it diminishes the holiday. My Branch President was telling us a principle in psychology that our experience of an event or occurrence is impacted by the food we eat at the event. It has something to do with me experiencing things on multiple levels with more than one sensory factor. Yeah, our Branch President talks about a lot of sciency stuff and is big into studies. He's a gruff old man that served 25 years in the military and knows a whole a lot about almost everything. That man reads books like no one I've ever met.

It sounds like you guys had a fantastic Thanksgiving! Eventful as always. It really can't be one of those Price family adventures without something crazy happening. How's everyone doing? I haven't heard anything about my siblings for a while. The holidays sure are different now. I truly do miss you guys and all that we do this time of year, but I surprisingly wasn't as homesick as I thought I would be. The Lord is really good at bringing me comfort in times of discouragement and tribulation. I am very thankful for my family and all that they mean to me. You guys are the best. I love all the memories I have of the holidays. Now its time to make some new ones with these other people I have come to love. Just like Sorella Price stated, the people here in Arkansas are just as much a part of my family as you are. I still look forward to the time we will get to be a complete family again and fun times at the cabin. But that can wait.

How's the weather back home? It looks like you got a ton of snow up at bear lake. Here in the South it is just beautiful. The weather has been so good to us. It isn't even winter here. Not even close. This week at one point it was 80 degrees! We were hot! I kind of miss the cold. Now, I know that things will begin to cool down. When it does turn to winter I bet I'll be regretting wanting it to be colder. Until then...

Big News! I'm getting transferred! So is Elder Mulvey. Friday night we got a call from President Wakolo telling us Hope is getting white-washed. That's a missionary term meaning that both missionaries are leaving the area. We are just scrambling around trying to get this place ready so that when two new missionaries come in Hope doesn't fall apart. Its a little stressing. I get a whole new companion in a whole new area with whole new experiences. This transfer is just crazy. There are so many missionaries going home. I believe it is around 50 of them. A lot of areas are going to be closed and the remaining missionaries are getting mixed all around. Almost everyone in our district is getting transferred. We're getting five new zone leaders. Just crazy. Next email you'll get to hear all about the newness.

Won't be long till we meet face to face over the internet. Just a few weeks. Have a wonderful after-thanksgiving! I love you all and keep you in my heart. Till next time.

Elder Price

(11/24) Gratitude

Merry Thanksgiving Everyone!!

So apparently in the South everyone puts up their Christmas stuff the day after Halloween. Its interesting to see a big inflatable turkey next to the nativity. 'Tis the Season, I guess.

In the spirit of the Holiday I just want to give a great big THANK YOU!!! I am so grateful for all that everyone does for me; for all that God does for me. Family, thanks for the package. I can't wait till it gets cold again so I can more fully enjoy it. Yes, you heard me right. When it gets cold. Right now its 60 degrees with the sun out and shining and will be like that all week. I will admit though, I kind of miss the snow.

This is the time that we collectively realize all that we have and give thanks for it. Keep in mind that this is not the only time of year we should be thankful. We are commanded to show gratitude in all things and give thanks unto God at all times. In Alma 34:38 it states "...that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you." I pray that we will truly recognize all that we have been blessed with. Show gratitude for all that you have, but also for all that you don't have. There a lot of evil things in the world that have not come into our family or home.

I hope you enjoy Thanksgiving and really show your Father in Heaven your gratitude. I love y'all so much! Know that I am always with you in spirit.

Elder Price

(11/17) Cold and trying week

Family that I love so dear,

I am not going to lie. Sometimes being a missionary kinda sucks. This week was spent walking in the cold and knocking on doors with no luck. Missionary work has really slowed down so we are trying to focus on getting new investigators. That has not been going so well.On Saturday we set a goal to find three new investigators. We called our zone leaders to support our efforts and to follow up with us. Time was set at apart in which we would go finding and we were pumped and full of faith. At the end of the day we had an astounding zero new investigators.

I found strength in the story of Jeremiah. His whole life he preached unto the people and didn't have any success. If he can endure that long, I can for sure go a week or even a month of slow missionary work. No effort is wasted. Just because I don't see the fruits of my labor does not mean the field is barren. Planting seeds is where its at! At times I want to just give up. But I don't and I won't and I can't.

Tell Grandma that I have indeed received her letters and am very grateful for them. I love you all and hope you continue to build up your testimonies in Christ and to read the Book of Mormon.

See y'all sooner than you think =D

One of the members had us over for a deer roast

Muslim Mulvey
Elder Price

(11/10) News Flash: UPDATE

'Sup Family!

Hey last week I forgot to tell you something... we got a Senior Couple!! WHOOOAA There names are the Gibsons and they are from Ogden Utah. They served another mission in Nauvoo just recently. (You remember Nauvoo right?) Elder Gibson was a "teamster"; he was the guy who would control the horses on the carriage rides. They are awesome. I feel they are just what this Branch needs.

I had an interesting week. So much goes on in the life of a missionary. I don't see how some missionaries have nothing to write home about. There is too much! For starters, the week started out where last week left off. Pretty miserable. It was rainy and we are on bikes so not only did we get cold and wet, but the work suffered. We struggled at times to even find people to teach. Elder Mulvey came down with a cold which sucked for him. But we didn't let that stop us from pushing hard and working till the sun went down and then some. Speaking of which, it gets cold at night. And I mean COLD! Doesn't help that it is dark by 6:00. I will definitely be purchasing some winter wear today. 

But things really changed at the end of the week. All the sacrifice and trials we faced payed off in the long run (and it was a very long run... or bike) We got back into contact with Ja'bre and Kelby! So Saturday evening we were just about to eat dinner when we got a call from Elder Gibson. He said,"We met two young men by the names of Kelby and Ja'bre and they said they were wondering where two elders have been all week." Needless to say we dropped everything and was over there in less than 10 minutes. This whole time we were thinking that they didn't want to see us any more. Turns out they were just really busy with basketball and school. However, a sour note still remains. Kelby is struggling and is a little depressed and conflicted. His mother doesn't want him to meet with us anymore, despite his strong testimony. He still has desires to come to church to receive the priesthood and ultimately progress in the gospel, but also respects his mom and her wishes. As sad as it makes us, we decided to honor Kelby's mother's decision. We hope her heart will be softened and she will open up to the gospel.

Last week I was telling you about that awesome investigator couple, Justin and Chelsea. Well, their situation has drastically altered. Very much so. This whole week we had tried to visit them but we got no response. It wasn't until Friday evening on our way home for the night we saw Justin entering his apartment. We dashed right over to speak with him. He was crying and swearing and just looked awful, as if the whole world crashed in him, which it had. It's a crazy story. He and Chelsea just woke one morning and got in fight that erupted into some violence. The cops came and Justin had to spent three days in jail. When he got back Chelsea had left him and is now living in a drug house. It was sad to see him like that. The woman he loved and thought he was going to be with forever left him and it breaks his heart even more to see her throwing it all away for drugs. They were planning on getting married in December, and we were even going to be a part of that. It sucks. It really does. But the Lord provided us with a small miracle through it all. Now that he and Chelsea are separated, they don't have to wait until they're married to be baptized. In fact Justin committed to be baptized at the end of November. This will allow us to help contribute to our goal of 100 baptisms in November.

I love you all so much and keep you in my prayers. Keep praying and reading the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY! You are all awesome!

Elder Price

ps:  No pics this week, too busy

(11/3) My real email...

How's my happy family?

Sorry about that other email, but I felt it was needed. So it looks like you guys had a fun Halloween! A lot better than mine. All we did was sit in our apartment and do planning. That evermore place looks like it was pretty awesome. How did Jacob enjoy the tarantula on his head? That picture of your haunted dinner made me jealous. I miss eating those home cooked meals.

With the whole pictures thing, it was mostly directed towards major holidays like thanksgiving and Christmas. I just want to know how you guys are doing and pictures are a great way to do it. Keep in mind that I cannot contribute as much as you as my opportunities to whip out a camera and gather everyone together are few and far between. I also have standards and guidelines I should follow about taking pictures as a missionary.

Anyways, the driveway looks amazing! So smooth and flat. I bet that was a lot of fun to deal with while they were tearing it all up and stuff. I really appreciated Alex's comment. It really doesn't matter what trials we face. What matters is why we are there in the first place. Thank you for that, Alex :)

I miss you all so much and love you even more!

Elder Price

The cake is a lie ;-)

Boring Halloween night doing planning

Highlight of Halloween

(11/3) We are at war

Things are really stirring up in Hope. I don't feel comfortable saying it, but we are at war. Satan has begun his push against the work of the Lord. It feels as if this whole week has been full of skirmishes and little battles. It breaks my heart to say that the adversary is gaining ground. Kelby and Ja'bre, those two young men we baptized last week, were not able to attend church. Ja'bre's grandma went so far as to drive 45 miles from Camden to pick up him and his family and practically drag them all they way to her church. We talked to Ja'bre the day before and he said that he didn't want to go. He told his grandma, "I want to go to my church." We still have hope.

But we don't even know what is going on with Kelby. During Sacrament meeting, we got a text from his mom that he won't be attending anymore. We texted back "Why?" Her response was, "It is just our decision." They don't even want us coming over to talk about it.

Yet, the good Lord is still fighting. We found an amazing investigator couple this week. Their names are Justin and Chelsea and they love the gospel. We gave them a Restoration pamphlet and next day they were freaking out! They told us that they prayed about it and got a strong witness that is was true. A miracle happened with them, actually. One night we felt inspired to see them. So we knock on the door and Chelsea answers with tears running down her face. We just looked at each other and thought, "Oh crap, what happened?" It turns out that just before, they were fighting and at each others throats. They decided to do a very mature thing and prayed. As they knelt down and asked God to send help, we knocked on their door. We were an answer to their prayer! We being ignorant missionaries were going over to simply remind them about day light savings.

The fight between righteousness and evil is real. I can physically see it up here in the front lines. The devil is working hard. We just have to work harder. In branch council we really focused on stepping up and fighting back. A battle plan was set and is being put into motion.

We as mission have a goal of 100 baptisms and 100 reactivations. Sacrifices are being made to achieve this goal. The mission has asked as to cut our p-days in half and get to work. Miracles are going to happen.

Pray always, that you may resist the temptations of the adversary. Seek strength from the words of Christ. Find protection within God's church. Build up the walls of Zion!

(10/27) Baptisms!!!

How are my favorite people?

So much happened this week that I can't even begin to tell you all about it! (And partly because I forgot what actually happened this past week) All I can think about are the two baptisms we had yesterday. Surprise!! Baptisms!! Before you get all huffed up about me not telling you, just know that this was revenge for the whole Disneyland thing :P Can I just say that good things are happening here in Hope. For once it can live up to its name. The two awesome young men are Ja'bre and Kelby and they have been the greatest investigators any missionary could ask for.

Let me tell you a few things about them. The way we met Ja'bre is actually quite funny. The week before I came into Hope, Elder Mulvey and his companion were walking past Ja'bre's house. He calls out to them, "Hey come here! How come you guys never come talk to me?" Elder Mulvey had passed by that house many times but thought it looked too sketchy to try and teach. Hope is a rough place. His reply was "because I am a horrible missionary." We didn't find Ja'bre; he found us. When I got here, during one of the lessons he had a couple of cousins and friends. So we started to teach and Ja'bre turns to his buddies and says,"Dude, get over. You need to hear what these guys are sayin'." That's how we found Kelby. Ja'bre practically dragged his family into the lessons. Kelby, his cousin, was one of those. As we taught them they were just so committed. For example when we taught the Word of Wisdom, they freaked out about tea and coffee. By the end of the lesson they didn't even want to think about coffee and tea. Ja'bre even went so far as to hide all that stuff in his mom's room so it wouldn't be a distraction. They have been living every commitment and just do it. We simply mentioned the law of chastity; next day they deleted all their porn and even put locks on their phones. They are just amazing!

The baptism was so full of the spirit. We even had the mission president there. The best part: I got to baptism them. I have really started off my mission with a bang. I have taught every lesson at least once, given my first priesthood blessing, met a member of the seventy, and baptized someone; all within my first two transfers. I still have my whole mission ahead of me.

I just love my family. The weekly emails I get are the best! I am so proud of Alex! Tell him I miss him and love hims so much. I hate missing out on my bros growing up so much. I can't even believe that Jacob is already doing baptisms for the dead. That story was hilarious by the way. That's the Jacob I love and miss:D It is going to be weird coming home to a completely different world. I know that people change over time, but I kind of expected the same house to be there. I am not sure if I want pictures of all the changes or to just take it all in when I arrive "home" in two years.

Your letters are on their way. I dropped them in the mail box this morning. I love you all so much. Not just my family (which I still greatly love) but also all those back in the ward who really blessed me throughout my life. I love you all too!

Keep up the work in building Zion!

Elder Price

Look at these fine young men

(10/20) Transfers and Transformations

You are just the best family ever!

I finally got to open the package today. It was so hard having to wait until p-day, always thinking about it and wondering what awaited inside. So I shoved the thing under my bed where it wouldn't bother me. Thanks so much for the candy and food (especially the cereal!). Thank you mom for taking the time to get those recipes. I know how busy you get with everything else going on.

So I made it through an entire transfer. Six weeks of missionary work gone by. As of right now, neither me or my companion are getting transferred. Dodged a bullet there. I am looking forward to spending another month and a half (at least) in Hope. Good things are happening.

When I first arrived in Hope, it was considered the Apostate area. This is where all the disobedient, slacking, crappy missionaries were sent. (Here in the ALRM these missionaries are what we call "piles" ) Hope Area was planned to be shut down. But what kept it alive was a message from God. The stake president of the area had a dream in which God told him to not shut down Hope. I am beginning to see why. This area is transforming. We have two baptisms scheduled and planned for next week. Church attendance is at an all time high. A senior missionary couple is coming this transfer. It almost feels as if the Lord is focusing on Hope. At the same time, so is the adversary. Whats happening here is a threat to the work of the devil. I have felt his influence. A transformation is about to take place here in Hope.

That's not the only thing changing. You have already noticed it, but I myself am undergoing a transformation. Things are different, and they will be forever. My outlook on the gospel and my testimony have shifted. My stand will constantly be in motion. There will no longer be a middle ground, but a constant tug-of-war for my salvation. There only two masters in this world. Which one will you serve?

You guys worry too much about me. There was not a tornado. First of all, my source for that information was a mental old lady who never leaves her house. Second of all, I have God on my side and angels all about me. I only put that in the email as a joking statement. Trust me, if there was actually going to be a tornado the email would have been completely different.

I just can't believe you went to Disneyland! I'm gone a month and what do you do? When you realized that it wasn't as great without me, maybe God was trying to tell you something. But I jest. I am actually glad you were able to do that. It lets me know you are continuing on with life and moving forward. I need to realize that things will change. I am not going to come home to the exact same home that I left. But you could have at least told me! You want to know how I found out? So this morning I opened your package (thanks again for it) and read the letter inside, which I loved. The first thing I read was Jacob writing about Thunder Mountain. I was thinking to myself, "when did Jacob go on Thunder Mountain?" I forgive you.

I love y'all so much and can't wait to get cookin'

Elder Price

ps expect letters within the next few weeks

The firehouse in Hope

I cooked something!  Tasty

(10/13) No time...but plenty of rain!!

Hello Family that I love so much!

Sorry, but today I do not have a lot of time. Due to Columbus day we have to email at a members house, so my time is limited. It has been raining all today. This morning we awoke to thunder and rain. Weather here is very different. The sky was constantly lit up with flashes of lightning and booming thunder. Supposedly a tornado is going to move through Arkansas. Not sure how I feel about that :I

As for the package, it has arrived but I still need to pick it up at the post office. The problem with that is we are still on bikes and it won't stop raining. It may be a while before I get to see what awaits me :( But at the same time it is like Christmas :) I look forward for to opening it.

I understand what you are talking about with "distractions". But the Smiths are different. Yes, it is difficult not being able to meet with them, but we are in contact through text. We do have a baptismal date set with them and they have a true desire to be baptized. It is not completely their fault for not attending church. Their trucking company doesn't let them leave the truck while they are stationed. We have also not let them be a distraction. We devote small amounts of our time and effort working with them. They are not our only solid investigators. Two of them, Jabre and Kelby, are just awesome. After we taught them the Word of Wisdom they quit drinking coffee and tea cold turkey. Its so funny. Jabre even went so far as to hide all that stuff in his moms bedroom so it wouldn't be a temptation.

Fast and testimony meeting was wonderful. We had 7 investigators to church, one which actually got up and bore his testimony. Fasting was hard, but we had a potluck after and I was so happy. There was so much food! We will also be getting a Senior couple in the next few weeks. Good things are happening here.

The rain has let up a little, but that probably won't last long.
I love you all and will contact you later.

Elder Price

(10/6) Illusion of a "Normal Day"

How are y'all doing!

Yet another hectic week full of surprises and meetings. I feel as if I am too busy being a missionary to actually be a missionary. On Tuesday, after our District Meeting, we had originally planned for our Zone Leaders to help out in the Hope Area for the day. Kind of like exchanges but instead of just swapping companions in two different areas, both companion ships go to one area. We call this a blitz. Then, due to transportation issues, we also had the Camden Elders join us. So we had six Elders roaming the streets of Hope that day. I can only imagine what the people were thinking at that time. Also on that same day we got in a car crash. Before you freak out, it wasn't even a crash. A truck just bumped us while we were waiting at a stop sign. It just left a tiny dent. But as per Church policy we had to report it. Two hours of paperwork later...

Then on Friday me and my companion went on a blitz with the Camden Elders to help them out. It was good to get a taste of what different areas are like. I met this really cool old guy, Brother Ferrell, who talked about his day in the military pushing bombs out of a B-52 carrier bay. Apparently out in the fields of Arkansas is a military base that constructs and houses missiles and bombs.

To top the week off we had General Conference. Which by the way was awesome. I really did find it more spiritual and uplifting. I don't whether it was because I am on a mission or if there just wasn't any of the distractions (e.g. dogs, roughhousing, complaints, etc.) There was also a ton of food! Since we don't have a TV we had to go down to the church to watch Conference. The only people there were me, my companion,and the Branch President and his wife. We had an investigator visit for a few of the sessions. But there was food enough for the whole branch! I ate so much. At one point I had 3 sandwiches, 5 brownies, and 2 pieces of pound cake. This is excluding all the side dishes. That was just for lunch. I felt so fat afterwards. As for gaining weight, that just made up for what I had lost.

It just feels like I haven't had a "normal" day on my mission. Maybe this is a normal experience. I don't exactly have anything else to compare it to.

It has come to my attention the importance of reading the scriptures every day and having family and personal prayer. It really makes a difference in life. If you guys aren't already doing this, I encourage you to read the Book of Mormon EVERY SINGLE DAY! Whether it be as a family or individually. Even a verse a day. There is a reason missionaries encourage investigators to read every day and to pray every day. I testify to you that the Book of Mormon will bring salvation to your soul and nourishment to your spirit. It is the word of God and should be treated as such.

Thank you so much for the love and support you give. You really do a lot for me and are valued even more.

Until next week!
Elder Price

Fiesta time!  Us Elders eating tacos at a Mexican grocery store during a blitz.

(9/29) A whole month later...

You guys are best family I have ever had!!

My brothers said more in those brief sentences than I could have hoped for. It was just what I needed. Tell everyone that I love and miss them too (maybe not as much as you guys). It really is a blessing to hear from you.

Can you believe that one month ago you were dropping me off at the MTC. I don't know how you feel about that, but time has a completely different meaning on a mission. I am really sorry about the pictures. I just get so focused on the work and things are just so busy that I don't have time and sometimes I forget that I even can take pictures. Also I am not like mom taking pictures of everything and everyone at all times. But I will try harder from now on.

Last week was pretty crazy. On Tuesday Elder Zwick of the Seventy and his wife came to speak to us. It was amazing. I really felt my testimony grow and was inspired to better myself and improve. There was a lot of traveling involved as it took place in North Little Rock so we stayed a few nights with elders closer to that area. It was a lot of early mornings and late nights so we were exhausted throughout the week. On top of that we didn't have hardly any luck with our investigators and people to teach. It was just a rough week.

Speaking of improving myself, me and Elder Mulvey are starting what is called the 40 Day Fast. So it is not fasting from food for 40 days but instead fasting from temptations and distractions for 40 days. To begin we had to fast for an entire 24 hours. It was the hardest thing I had ever had to do so far on my mission. During that fast we were to keep a list of things that distract or keep us from the fullness of the spirit. We would constantly pray and anything the spirit prodded at we would write down on that list. That part we did yesterday. Now for the next 40 days we have to avoid doing anything on that list. Everyday we pray and ask God to help give us strength. To pray for forgiveness and to try harder if we fall short. At the end of the 40 days we should be fully in tune with spirit and an effective instrument of the Lord. Since we are fairly obedient missionaries almost everything on our list has to do with our thoughts. Such as thinking about food, about home and our families, about the things of the world. It is going to be extremely difficult to control our thoughts.

As for our investigators, there isn't much to go on. What normally happens is we find someone who seems interested and we schedule a return appointment. Then we try to see them again and they either don't answer or don't care. This happens so many times. At least we have about 7 solid investigators. The first two is the Smith family. They really love the church and agree with all the teachings. They are true Golden Investigators. The only problem is that they're both truckers so we never get to meet with them and teach a lesson. The rest of our actual investigators is a group of black kids who are all brothers or cousins. Their names are Jabre, Jatario, Kelby, Corey, and Derrea. It is actually really funny how we found them. So a few days before I got here, Elder Mulvey and his companion had passed by Jabre many times. So one day he's all like, "how come you guys never come talk to me?" Then when I came we went to teach Jabre the Restoration. It started off as us just teaching him only, but he would drag his brothers and cousins into the lessons saying, "get over here. You need Jesus in your life too. You need to hear what mister Mulvey and mister Price are saying." Jabre is just amazing. He always has great questions and is very interested in what we have to teach. He is just what this branch needs.

I am not sure what you guys can do about this, but I don't think my debit card is working. It keeps saying that it is invalid. I hopefully don't need it at all right now, but I don't want to get caught in a tight situation. As for things to send, letters and food is always a blessing. Oh, and recipes. I need recipes or meal ideas that don't require meat (too expensive), take less than an hour to make, and requires just basic ingredients. I know it is a difficult request; you don't have to do it. But I would really appreciate it.

Just to make sure, my address is:
303 W 23rd Street Apartment E6
Hope, Arkansas 71801

Well, only 23 more months to go. I love y'all so much!!

Elder Price

(9/22) There is hope for Hope!!!

Geez, what's with all the questions?! You make me feel like I haven't told you anything. There is a time and a season for everything.

Anyways, to answer the first the question I do indeed remember mom's lecture. My momma raised me right. I know how to keep things clean. But I understand where she's coming from. I have seen some pretty disgusting homes here and the way people live is not that great. You hear that Brent, Jacob, and Alex? I expect you to give mom a great big hug and thanks for all that she does around the house. Don't you be disrespecting her or nothin' when you is asked to do your chores. ;) I love the way some of the people talk down here. Still working on the whole being able to understand it, though.

As a matter of fact, I do indeed get a car. BUT we don't hardly get to use it. The way it works is that we have a certain allotment of miles each month that we are not allowed to exceed. It is quite a fair amount of miles. Just that down in Hope everything is so spread out and far away. We are expected to go to meetings in North Little Rock which is two and a half hours away, using up a ton of our miles. When we are low on miles we bike. And yes I have everything I need for my bike. Also expect the credit card statement for my bike to come.

The Hope area is actually huge but the towns are miles apart. We just don't have the miles to visit everyone and still have enough to get to the meetings. So we get to ride our bikes a lot. Speaking of which, because of all the meetings we have this month our miles are depleted. Not looking forward to three whole weeks of nothing but bikes. I am just glad the weather is cooling down. It would suck to bike in the heat.

As for other missionaries, me and Elder Mulvey are the only missionaries in the area. The nearest missionaries are 50 miles away in Arkadelphia. So I enjoy the meetings, where I actually get to talk and meet with other missionaries. It gets lonely down in Hope sometimes.

P-days are great. There is just something about buying my own groceries that makes me feel... powerful. Laundry is going good. No worries there. As to interesting/fun activities, I honestly have no idea. I haven't been here long enough to know. I have actually gotten to use my piano skills. I actually kind of miss playing the piano. Weird, huh.

I really do enjoy hearing from all of you. It wouldn't hurt if my brothers had anything they wanted to talk about (hint hint). They can put stuff in the email too. Tell Brent that I understand how he feels. Keep in mind I ran over a mail box so I know what he is going through. At first it sucks and you just feel awful. But it does get better. We all make mistakes; it is when we learn from those mistakes and are changed through them, that we become better people. I bear my testimony to you that a mission really does change you. That as you strive to align yourself with God; to make your thoughts His thoughts, and your actions His actions; you will truly feel that love that He has for each and everyone of us. That we are all His children and He is waiting with open arms for us to come home. Never forget who you are and why you are here. I pray that when the time is right; Brent, Jacob, Alex; that you will choose to serve a mission. That you will choose to serve God.

I love you all so much and ask that you continue to be an amazing family.

Elder Price

Trees (not sure if he sent this for the rain clouds or what...)

Spider (ummm, ok...so random)

(9/15) Greetings from Arkansas!!

As you are all aware I am officially on my mission. That means things are going to be different. And they are. So after arriving at the mission home on Tuesday, which by the way is HUGE, we got to meet the Wakolo family. They are just the nicest people. In fact everyone is nice down in the south. Anyway, we had the best meal I had had the whole two weeks of my mission. It was southern chicken with potato salad, green beans, and homemade rolls that can compete with even moms finest rolls. Then we had a testimony meeting and a little "welcome to the mission" meeting. Then after all that fun stuff we finally found out where we would serve for the next 3-6 months. And now for the moment you have all been waiting for. My first area is... (drum roll)...Hope, Arkansas!

You most likely have absolutely no idea where that is, and that is okay because neither does the rest of the world. Let me tell you a few things about Hope. It is a small ghetto town with barely 10,000 people most of which are the nicest people I have ever met. It is famous for watermelon and... yeah just watermelon. The population is mostly blacks and Hispanics making it a very new world for me. There are some weird people here. And guess what the best part is? This is the hardest area in the whole mission. I have only been here a few days and I can testify the truth of that. No one really cares about the message we have to share.

However, I have the best companion in the whole mission. Elder Mulvey is a wonderful trainer and an even better missionary. I look up to him as an example. The way he can start up a conversion with a random person and give a short message about the gospel is amazing! I have a long way to go before I can even think about being that good. I don't know how Carolyn was when she first started, but I suck at being a missionary. God has humbled me down to the ground. But I am working on it. 

Sunday was really good. It was great to visit the other members, all 30 of them. I knew how small a Branch was compared to a ward, but Hope Branch is just tiny! Half of the members don't even live in the area and only come here so the Branch isn't shut down. Like I said, it is the hardest area. But things are looking better. We got four new investigators to Church, two of which have baptismal dates. Hope can use all the hope it can get.

Thank you for the wonderful emails and prayers. I finally figured out a way to send pictures. Yay!! So please enjoy them. Expect a lot more from now on. However, I would like to know more of what YOU guys are up to. How is school going? Anything new or exciting? How are the doggies doing? This whole email thing needs to go both ways. I love you all and miss you lots!

Elder Price

P.S. This is my new address:
303 W 23 Apartment E 6
Hope, Arkansas 71801

MTC district

MTC companion - Elder Carman

Mission "Dad" (trainer) - Elder Mulvey

(9/9) He has arrived!

Elder Price has arrived in Little Rock, Arkansas safe and sound!

Here's the picture with Corry and President and Sister Wakolo.

(9/5) MTC

Hello most beloved family!!

Thank you so much for the packages and letters! I love to hear about how you guys are doing and to know that I am missed. Every time I get a letter or package I get so excited like its Christmas or something. I even have to wait what seems like forever before I get to open it. One of our District rules is to hand our mail at the end of the day so it is not a distraction during class and such. But it is me and my companions job to get the mail so I get a sneak peak as to what awaits me.

SO MUCH has happened just within this week alone. I don't even know where to start. My companion, Elder Carman, was called the district leader which means that I am the Senior companion for my whole time at the MTC. It sounds a lot more important than it really is, trust me. I sleep a lot better now that have sheets (thanks to you dad), but I still go to bed at night exhausted and well spent. A mission really is hard, and not just physically but mentally too. The days run long with all the wonderful classes and devotionals we get that fill every minute of the day with the spirit. Yep. Every. Single. Minute. I am honestly looking forward for getting out in the field. I don't know how others make it through 8 or 9 weeks. There is something different about actual missionary work than the role plays we do at the MTC. The reason I know this is because our TRC investigator that me and Elder Carman teach is an actual non member. Her name is Alex and she attends BYU so she is quite familiar with Mormons even though she is a headstrong, Bible-loving, Christian. The lessons we teach her just feel more in-tune with the Spirit and seem to have a greater impact. And I can really feel God's love for her and the love he feels for me. We don't expect her to be baptized any time soon, but I know that the message we give her is reaching out to those little seeds inside, encouraging them to grow. The Gospel really is true.

We got a fresh batch of missionaries this Wednesday and it looks like it is going to be a handful. Our district of 10 is supposed to lead and guide this new group of 21 new missionaries. I know it isn't supposed to be easy, but we haven't gotten a break here. Our district has had some trying times.

I know I haven't sent any pictures. You're just dying to get some. The thing is, no one really know how to upload pictures. It just displays an error. It may be a problem with the computers we use here at the MTC, so you may have to wait for when I get into the field (or longer if Satan has anything to do with this). Yeah, but I really want you to see how awesome my district is. Speaking of the field, my departure date is scheduled for Tuesday, September 9. We have to be up dark and early to be ready at 3:30 in the morning. Yippee.Just a few more days and I will be in Arkansas (or as Alex wrote it, Arkanaw). I really miss you guys and love you so much. It really helps me to know that no matter what happens, no matter how much of your lives I miss out on, our family will be together forever.

With love,
Elder Price

(8/29) First P-day!! Sort of...

Hello Family!

It is day 3 of my 12 day MTC experience. If you have not yet received the letter I sent, then let me again state that I am safe and doing well. So you don't have to worry about every little thing Mom. Even though I have only been here for a few days I have come to learn so much both about missionary work and the Gospel in general. I have felt the Savior's love and want the people of Little Rock to feel that same love. My first day was kind of weird. I would see people's faces and feel like I know them; as if I had seen them before. Maybe the spirit that is so powerful here is reaching through the veil allowing to see all my heavenly brothers and sisters.

I will admit that the first 2 days were hard. I really do love you guys and will miss you more than you imagine. Guess that means you did your job as my family really well. But I have received comfort from the Lord and I know I will have the strength to endure.

If you haven't already guessed, my P-day is Friday. However, today we only get a half P-day. So I won't get to experience all the wonderful things I get to do next Friday. I am not looking forward to laundry. So far my experience with the MTC has been bitter-sweet. I love it here but it is hard work. Funny story. For unknown reasons I was not given any bedding for my residency while everyone else did. So I have had to borrow and scrounge any unused blankets and try to build a decent bed. It hasn't really worked and has been a rough few nights. Hopefully that problem will be resolved.

I have a really good companion. Probably one of the most excited missionaries I have ever met. His enthusiasm brings me comfort in times of stress and dismay. I am really looking forward to getting out in the field. Sorry I don't have any pictures. I just haven't had a lot of time. Sister Price probably understands. Speaking of which I want to know how she is doing. I expect emails from my sister as well as the rest of you.

My testimony has grown immensely and will continue to be strengthened. I know that what I am doing is right and that the Lord will be with me. I love you all so very much and expect emails by next Friday.

Elder Price