Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!!!!!! 12/29/2014

Well, I love you guys. haha I hope y'all had a good rest of Christmas. And I hope you all have a happy new year! Our Christmas went really well.
So this week was slower because of the holidays but it still ended up going pretty well. We ended up visiting members on Christmas day. We also handed out a few book of Mormons this week which was pretty awesome. My studies are going well and usually we have been doing insanity 30 in the morning. It is crazy to think that this is my 3rd to last pday. I can't believe it. I hope y'all have a great week!!
Elder Scott Krstyen

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas 12/22/2014

Merry Christmas family! I hope y'all are doing great!!!! I am excited to talk to you on Christmas. I should be able to Skype and I will try to do it around 9 or 10 in the morning. I will probably call thurs morning and let y'all know. I have been doing well. We had a slower week but it all ended well. A few people came out to church so it was awesome to see them there! So a few stories from this week:
We did some tracting and we left a He is the Gift pass along card at a members house (we knew it was a member and just wanted to leave one) he texted us later that day and said, "I discovered the gift. Can I be baptized?" haha it was pretty funny. Last transfer we texted him asking to set up an appointment with their family to share a message and he texted back and said," Sorry my family has already been baptized." haha there are some awesome members down here.
A member gave us a Christmas tree so we have lights hanging up and a 6ft tree all decorated and we put all out presents under it.
Elder Healey emailed me and told me he met John Call in his mission! Haha it is pretty awesome. He didn't know him before but they started mentioning some people they knew. Well I hope yall are doing well. Thanks for everything you have done for me. It means a lot to me. I am excited to talk to y'all on Christmas! I hope you have a fantastic week.
Love, Elder Scott Krstyen

Monday, December 15, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom!!!!!! 12/15/2014

Happy birthday on Wednesday mom!!!!! I hope it is a great day for you!! I love you and appreciate you!
This week went pretty well. We had an awesome zone training on Thursday (we have awesome zone leaders, Elder Means and Elder Young) and after that we had the Christmas party over at the Apache building and that went really well as well. We also had our Ward Christmas party and a lot of people came out to it. I hope they felt the Spirit of Christmas there. We have some good appointments set up for this week, so I can't complain. For Pday today we are just planning on going to some shops here in Kirtland and then probably going to the church. It is a great time of year and I hope y'all are enjoying it and avoiding the stresses of the Christmas season. I finished the Book of Mormon again today and that was a special experience. I have been reading in Jesus the Christ about the birth of Christ and it is a really good book. Though it has some big words so I have been constantly pulling out the dictionary and finding the meaning of certain words. I just want yall to know that I love you and hope you are doing well. I am excited to talk to you this next week on Christmas! Mom, I hope you have a great birthday!!!! I love you guys and will talk to you next week!!
Love, Elder Scott Krstyen
ps. Check out this Christmas video done by the Piano Guys:

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Gift of Giving 12/8/2014

5 December 2014
Dear Elder Krstyen,
We hope this Holiday Season is being bright for you. As I started preparing this message a few months ago, I had no idea of the Church’s promotion of the “He is the Gift” video or of their initiative that was coming. I count it as a tender mercy that it reflects and influences the message I prepared for you. I hope that this with the Church’s campaign of #sharethegift will bring you further enlightenment and reflection upon this season and of the gifts we truly have from above.
Through President Henry B. Eyring, we can learn some true precepts from the giving of gifts. He accentuates the following from an addresshe gave at BYU:
 “I’ve always had a daydream of being a great gift-giver. I can picture someone opening my gift with tears of joy and a smile, showing that the giving, not just the gift, had touched a heart.… But even the experts may share some of my curiosity about what makes a gift great.
“I’ve been surrounded by expert gift-givers all my life. None of them has ever told me how to do it, but I’ve been watching and I’ve been building a theory. My theory comes from thinking about many gifts and many holidays, but one day and one gift can illustrate it.
“The day was not Christmas, or even close to it. It was a summer day. My mother died in the early afternoon. My father, my brother, and I had gone from the hospital to our family home, just the three of us. Friends and family came to the house, and went. In a lull, we fixed ourselves a snack; then we visited with more callers. It grew late, dusk fell, and I remember we still had not turned on the lights.
“Dad answered the doorbell. It was Aunt Catherine and Uncle Bill. When they’d walked just a few feet past the vestibule, Uncle Bill extended his hand and I could see that he was holding a bottle of cherries. I can still see the deep-red, almost purple, cherries and the shiny gold cap on the jar. He said, ‘You might enjoy these. You probably haven’t had dessert.’
“We hadn’t. The three of us sat around the kitchen table, and put some cherries in bowls, and ate them as Uncle Bill and Aunt Catherine cleared some dishes. Uncle Bill asked, ‘Are there people you haven’t had time to call? Just give me some names and I’ll do it.’ We mentioned a few relatives who would want to know of mother’s death. And then Aunt Catherine and Uncle Bill were gone. They could not have been with us more than twenty minutes.
“Now, we can understand my theory best if we focus on one gift: the bottle of cherries. And let’s explain our theory from the point of view of the person who received the gift: me. That’s crucial, because what matters in giving is what the receiver feels. (emphasis added)
President Eyring’s words about the giving of gifts echoes an insightful quote from Mother Teresa, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving”. The gift of giving is something misionaries should embrace with each person they are in contact with. You have some valuable gifts from above which others are needing in their lives. These are gifts that will be vital to them and best received when given with love. Continuing with his remarks, President Eyring provides us with some essentials that should be assimilated into the giving of gifts:
“As nearly as I can tell, the giving and receiving of a great gift always has three parts. Here they are, illustrated by that gift [of cherries] on a summer evening.
First, I knew that Uncle Bill and Aunt Catherine had felt what I was feeling and had been touched.… They must have felt we’d be too tired to fix much food. They must have felt that a bowl of home-canned cherries would make us feel, for a moment, like a family again. And they felt what I felt. Just knowing that someone had understood meant far more to me than the cherries themselves. I can’t remember the taste of the cherries, but I remember that someone knew my heart and cared.
Second, I felt that the gift was free. I knew Uncle Bill and Aunt Catherine had chosen freely to bring a gift. They weren’t doing it to compel a response from me; the gift seemed to provide them joy in the giving.
And third, there was an element of sacrifice. Someone might say, ‘But how could they give for the joy of it and yet make sacrifice?’ Well, I could see the sacrifice. I knew, from the cherries being home-bottled, that Aunt Catherine had made them for her family. They must have liked cherries. But she took that possible pleasure from them and gave it to me. That’s sacrifice. But I have realized since then this marvelous fact: It must have seemed to Uncle Bill and Aunt Catherine that they’d have more pleasure if I had the cherries than if they did. There was sacrifice, but it was made for a greater return to them—my happiness. Anyone can feel deprived as they sacrifice, and then let the person who gets a gift know it. But only an expert can let you sense that his sacrifice brings him joy because it blesses you.
“Well, there is my theory. Great gift-giving involves three things: you feel what the other feels; you give freely; and you count sacrifice a bargain.”…
“And so what shall we do to appreciate and give a merry Christmas? “Freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matt. 10:8.)
“I hope that each of us this Christmas season will be touched by the feelings of others and give freely, without compulsion or expectation of gain. I hope we experience the joy of sacrifice, of giving something of ourselves. If we do so, we will learn this final lesson about giving—that those gifts are truly great which are given simply for the joy they bring to another heart.”1
The following Christmas story, “The Gift of Giving”, illustrates a woman who found the true joy of giving and receiving even when she had so little:
It was the Christmas season of 1950 in Linz, Austria. During the years immediately following World War II, this city on the Danube housed large numbers of refugees from various countries, many of them huddled in ramshackle abandoned army barracks. There they lived in stark poverty as Europe began to slowly rebuild after the war’s devastation.
My missionary companion and I had come to love and feel compassion for these refugees, many of whom lived in a large camp about a mile from our apartment. We visited them often and were received with friendship and respect.
One especially dear lady was a member of the Church. Lydia Haslinger was a native German who lived in a small room in one of the oldest barracks. Lydia survived on meager earnings from sweeping up the fine sawdust in a camp woodworking shop. She had a severe bronchial cough that was aggravated by the dusty work environment. It didn’t help that she had only an old, brown, threadbare sweater to keep out the damp cold of the Austrian winter.
But Lydia didn’t complain or show discouragement. On the contrary, she did her best to bring a bit of happiness to her many destitute refugee friends with her ready smile and hearty laugh. Having had some nursing experience, she would try to help those who were suffering from illness. Since she had no money, it was all she could offer.
In my letters to my family back in Star Valley, Wyoming, USA, I had written often of these struggling refugees.… My parents spread the word among the members of their ward, who responded generously. It was an astonished postal delivery man in Linz who, over several days, delivered 22 large boxes to our apartment. They were filled with warm socks, coats, shoes, and other clothing for all ages.
Three days before Christmas we found Lydia at home, coughing and shivering, but happy to see us as always. “Sister Haslinger,” we said, “we have a problem. Could you help us out?” Puzzled, she assured us that she was willing. “We have many boxes of clothing for the people here in the camp, but we don’t know the people well enough to determine the needs of the families. Would you take charge of distributing these things to your neighbors and friends for Christmas?”
Lydia was thrilled. She set about organizing the gifts for the various families and delivered them on Christmas Eve. When we visited her the next day she was bubbling with happiness. “Never in my life have I been so happy!” she exclaimed. The recipients had wept with joy and thanked Lydia profusely. She in turn had quickly denied personal responsibility, saying the gifts had come from America. We were impressed, but not surprised, to note that Lydia had kept not one thread of that clothing for herself.
The next morning, my companion and I went to a downtown department store. Then we were off to see Lydia again. When she opened our package and held up the heavy, warm winter coat we had bought for her, she wept with gratitude.
As for us, we were happy that we could do something for Lydia that she couldn’t [or wouldn’t] do for herself. But we also knew that she had already received a far greater gift. She lived by the Savior’s teaching that “inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40). Lydia had been able to feel the real joy of Christmas by giving unselfishly to others. For her, giving had been the greatest gift of all.2
One of the greatest gift givers, Mother Teresa simply said, “Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” She also phrased this, “A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, and must empty ourselves. Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in his love than in your weakness.” My daughter London wrote about a missionary who experienced being a recipient of a true gift giver while serving in:
La Familia Esquivel of Argentina. This family was recently converted to the church. Though they were rich in things of the spirit, they were extremely poor in things of the world, having next to nothing. Brother Esquivel, his wife, and his four children lived under meager circumstances to say the least. One day this family invited a couple of missionaries into their home. One specific elder had been attacked by a dog earlier that week. The dog started on his pant leg and ended with his shoe. The shoe was battered and torn. It still worked as a shoe and the elder was planning on having them fixed later in the week, but at the time it was in pretty bad shape.
Well, Brother Esquivel noticed the bedraggled shoe right off and expressed his concern to the elder, asking him what had happened and whether or not he had another pair to wear. The elder did have another pair set aside for conferences and meetings but, as soon as the young missionary had admitted his situation with the dog Brother Esquivel ran into another room. When he returned he had in hand some nice leather dress shoes from Spain. Brother Esquivel asked the missionary to try them on. The elder did, all be it, hesitantly. Much to his surprise the shoes fit perfectly. Brother Esquivel smiled and told the elder those shoes now belong to him. Hurriedly the elder took off the shoes and held them out to Brother Esquivel, saying he had more than enough money to get his own shoes fixed or even purchase a brand new pair. Still smiling Brother Esquivel said, “Please, don’t deny us the blessings that God has for us” and handed the shoes back to the young missionary. That young missionary is my brother.
The blessings that came from this Brother Esquivel’s perfect gift far outweigh the price of a pair of shoes. I call this gift perfect, not because the shoes were the most expensive in the world, or because they were brand new, but because they were the only thing he could offer to that missionary at that time and at that place. He offered them not as a means to show the world how righteous he was, but he gifted them in perfect love. That is how gifts should be given The missionary knew this and received the gift with the faith that Heavenly Father would indeed bless this family, and the elder made sure of that.3
We have been extremely blessed with gifts from above. Now what can we do with them and how can we gift them to others? The following words from Elder Robert C. Gay will provide us with some valuable teaching:
A fundamental question you should consider is this: “What am I going to do with the blessings that have been bestowed upon me?” Will you be like those of the world to whom the prophet Moroni says, “Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life?” (Mormon 8:39). Or will you rise like disciples to whom the Savior says, “Unto whom much is given much is required”? (D&C 82:3). Will you engage or be content on the sidelines? Will you lift others or think only of yourself?
God invites us to be agents of action and to be anxiously engaged in good causes (see D&C 58:27; 2 Nephi 2:26). It is easy to limit the impact of our love, our influence, and our blessings to only close friends, loved ones, and those of our own choosing, but the Savior asks more of us. “If ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?” (Matthew 5:46). Paul added this exclamation point: “[Without] charity, I am nothing.” Charity, he added, “seeketh not her own” (1 Corinthians 13:2, 5). We are to leave our comfort zones and bless those around us, including strangers, those who reject us, and even those who despise us.…
Let this one absolute truth from heaven sink into your mind and heart—you have the power within you to astonish this world.…
Seated on the podium the day I marched down the aisle in my Harvard graduation robe was Mother Teresa. She rose and delivered one of the most memorable speeches ever given at Harvard—a profound call to service and repentance. She expressed the hope that we graduates, “in going into the world, [would] go with Jesus, [would] work for Jesus, and [would] serve him in the distressing guise of the poor.” (Mother Teresa, “A Hunger for God” (from a speech given on June 9, 1982), in Finding God at Harvard: Spiritual Journeys of Thinking Christians, ed. Kelly Monroe (1996), 318)
She also shared the following story of a couple she had met just a few days before leaving Calcutta for Harvard:
“A young man and a young woman came to our house with a big amount of money. I asked them, ‘Where did you get this money?’ because I knew that they gave their money to feed the poor.… They gave me the most strange answer: ‘Before our wedding we decided not to buy wedding clothes, not to have a wedding feast, but to give you the money to feed the poor.’ Then I asked them one more question: ‘But why, why did you do that?’ That is a scandal in India, not to have a wedding feast and special clothes. And they gave me this most beautiful answer: ‘Out of love for each other, we wanted to give each other something special, and that special something was that big sacrifice, the wonderful something.’” (Mother Teresa, “A Hunger for God,” 317)
Here was one of the world’s genuine saints reminding us graduates that everyone—not just some fortunate few in the audience that day but even those in the poorest regions of the world with little to their names—has something to give, if nothing more than sacrifice and pure love for others. Mother Teresa taught us that sacrificing something as simple as new clothing or a meal or a cultural rite of passage could change a life.
I knew then, as I hope you know now, that everyone has something to give. God asks that we act courageously in giving of ourselves and sharing the gifts and blessings He has given us. Take the talents and skills you have developed and go out and be a positive force for and on behalf of our Savior.4
Elder Holland gave the talk, “Are We Not All Beggars?” on where he confronted us to be aware of the needy around us. Not just for those who are monetary poor but for the emotional and spiritual poor. Some of what he said is as follows:
 “Given the monumental challenge of addressing inequity in the world, what can one man or woman do? The Master Himself offered an answer. When, prior to His betrayal and Crucifixion, Mary anointed Jesus’s head with an expensive burial ointment, Judas Iscariot protested this extravagance and ‘murmured against her’ (See Mark 14:3–5; see also Matthew 26:6–9; John 12:3–5).
“Jesus said:
“‘Why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work.…’
She hath done what she could” (Mark 14:6, 8; emphasis added).’
“‘She hath done what she could’! What a succinct formula! A journalist once questioned Mother Teresa of Calcutta about her hopeless task of rescuing the destitute in that city. He said that, statistically speaking, she was accomplishing absolutely nothing. This remarkable little woman shot back that her work was about love, not statistics. Notwithstanding the staggering number beyond her reach, she said she could keep the commandment to love God and her neighbor by serving those within her reach with whatever resources she had. ‘What we do is nothing but a drop in the ocean,’ she would say on another occasion. ‘But if we didn’t do it, the ocean would be one drop less [than it is]’ (Mother Teresa of Calcutta, My Life for the Poor, ed. José Luis González-Balado and Janet N. Playfoot (1985), 20).  Soberly, the journalist concluded that Christianity is obviously not a statistical endeavor. He reasoned that if there would be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over the ninety and nine who need no repentance, then apparently God is not overly preoccupied with percentages” (See Malcolm Muggeridge, Something Beautiful for God (1986), 28–29, 118–19; see also Luke 15:7).
 “…When I see the want among so many, I do know that ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ (Attributed to John Bradford; see The Writings of John Bradford, ed. Aubrey Townsend (1853), xliii). I also know that although I may not be my brother’s keeper, I am my brother’s brother, and ‘because I have been given much, I too must give’ (“Because I Have Been Given Much,” Hymns, no. 219. © Harper San Francisco).
“In that regard, I pay a personal tribute to President Thomas Spencer Monson. I have been blessed by an association with this man for 47 years now, and the image of him I will cherish until I die is of him flying home from then–economically devastated East Germany in his house slippers because he had given away not only his second suit and his extra shirts but the very shoes from off his feet. ‘How beautiful upon the mountains [and shuffling through an airline terminal] are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace’(Isaiah 52:7). More than any man I know, President Monson has ‘done all he could’ for the widow and the fatherless, the poor and the oppressed.”5
I have another quote by Mother Teresa I want to include. It is, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” We can make a difference in someone’s life.
Now I want to share some missionaries’ stories emphasizing the importance of instilling the gift of giving. Sister Cutia serving in the Philippines relates this simple story while observing others:
So on Sunday morning right before the church services start, I always try to shake everyone’s hand in the sacrament room. When I came to Elder Kresge, a temple worker, he shakes my hand and passes me 500 pesos. He told me, “Give this to the man who drives his Jeepney every Sunday picking up members and don’t tell him who it is from.” So I did what he asked, and when I shook Brother Aquino’s hand he was so surprised. He asked what it was and looked to see 500 pesos. He was so grateful and kept saying thank you. I told him it wasn’t from me, and that he should thank the Lord, so that’s what he did.
Brother Aquino owns a Jeepney and makes just enough to live in a comfy little home and to buy some food. But lately his daughter has been having a lot of health problems, so his family has been spending a lot on medicine and causing them to run low on their budget.
Every Sunday, Brother Aquino drives around the area picking up members so they can come to church and he doesn’t charge them anything at all. He told me when we first met that it wasn’t a sacrifice at all, and since he has done this, he has received so many blessings. I know that the money Elder Kresge gave was an answer to Brother Aquino’s prayer. Elder Kresge thought his money would be used to pay for the gas, but it will be used for so much more. I am just really grateful I got to see the love of God in action.
I loved seeing God use one of His children (Elder Kresge) to answer the needs of another and not even fully understand the impact that his act of service, charity and love would have. I know God answers prayers, and it is through others that he often does so. So if there’s something you need. Just pray! If there isn’t, then be ready to help answer another person’s prayer. I love that we can always talk to God in prayer. It seriously is the best.6
Sister Beth Winters, serving in the Alps Mission, shares about being at the right place for others in her story:
We went to Schwester “L’s” for dinner, and brought “S” and “J” with us. Helping her in the kitchen we noticed she was so stressed, but it was beautiful. She told us her conversion story and she has such a strong testimony. Man, she’s an ANGEL.
During a part of her story, she said, “The sister missionaries stood in front of me and I thought as though angels were standing before me.” I had a strong feeling, which I’d actually had earlier in the day, that we as missionaries, especially as sisters, are angels in people’s lives. I don’t realize it always. I sometimes do and sometimes don’t feel the power of the Spirit that we bring into people’s homes, but it is a blessing and a privilege to be able to do so. I’m so grateful when I can—that I am doing what I need to, to be able to bring that to other people. And I want to do all I can to be that angel for other people, that Heavenly Father can work through me to help and serve and bless other people’s lives.7
Elder Spencer Lee serving in the Adriatic mission shared a similar story of being in the right place at the right time:
The big crazy thing that happened this week was on Sunday. We got to church early to try and help out the ward. But what ended up happening was that while we were sitting there a member named Tea came up the stairs (the church is on the 2nd floor) and rather intensely told us that there were some people down stairs that needed to talk to us about the church! Slightly worried, Elder Myers and I headed down and saw three people standing there.
It turned out that Tea had seen them looking at the sign for church we have downstairs. He had run to get us so we could talk to them a little bit and explain our Church. They stayed for all three hours and agreed to meet with us again to talk more about the difference our church is from other churches, meaning the Book of Mormon, and lessons about everything in general. They were absolutely prepared from the Lord. So that was an awesome experience.8
Here is a short experience by Sister Michelle Russon serving in the Philippines.
The other miracle I want to talk about happened while we were proselyting. We went to visit this lady that we had OYMed earlier in the week, however, she wasn’t home. … Well, we were trying to decide what to do when this man, a little farther down the road, gets our attention and wants us to come over. He held up a Book of Mormon. Apparently, he had been sitting there in the shade reading it. We were a little wary at first, because we were wondering if he was drunk or something. He wasn’t really talking, just gesturing, so it wasn’t a completely invalid assumption. We were outside and we could always run if we needed to. As we started talking to him, we discovered that he can’t talk, hence the gesturing and grunts. He had had a stroke and lost his ability to speak, but he was still there mentally.
The Elders had shared some things with him before, so we reviewed the Restoration with him and had a really great lesson. The spirit was so strong and was a really sweet experience. He has such a strong desire to learn and even accepted a baptismal date for Christmas Day! He is definitely someone the Lord has been preparing to listen to our message. It is so cool how the Lord works. If we hadn’t talked to the lady last Thursday and hadn’t followed up we never would have met Brother Alilain.9
President Eyring once said, “The spirit of Christmas puts in our hearts a desire to give joy to other people. The celebration of Christmas helps us keep our promise to always remember the Lord and His gifts to us. And that remembrance creates a desire in us to give gifts to Him” (President Henry B. Eyring, “How to Give Gifts to Christ”, Ensign, December 2012). May we all work toward following the council of our Savior and freely give of our time and necessities to help those around us this Christmas. To end with, here is an additional quote by Mother Teresa for you to ponder
The fruit of Silence is Prayer
The fruit of Prayer is Faith
The fruit of Faith is Love
The fruit of Love is Service
The fruit of Service is Peace
1.  Henry B. Eyring, “Giving with Joy”, Ensign, December 1982 (also form “Gifts of Love”, Taken from an address delivered to the student body of Brigham Young University on December 9, 1980.)
2.  Boyd C. Rich, “The Gift of Giving”, Ensign, Dec 2011
3. London Schade, “Offerings” from a talk she gave in one of her Sacrament Meetings.
4.  Elder Robert C. Gay Of the Seventy, “Your Journey of Giving”, From a commencement address, “Continuing Your Life’s Journey,” given at Brigham Young University–Idaho on July 23, 2013.
5.  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Are We Not All Beggars?”,  Ensign, November 2014
6.  Sister Jezelle Cutia, Quezon Philippines Mission, 26 October 2014
7.  Sister Beth Winters, Alpine German-Speaking Mission, 20 October 2014
8. Elder Spencer Lee, Adriadic, South Mission, 3 November 2014
9.  Sister Michelle Russon, Bacalod Philippines Mission, 2 November 2014.

Bishop Bryan Gygi  

Happy Birthday Mark!!!! 12/8/2014

Heya Family,
Happy Birthday Mark!!!!!! I hope it is a great day for you!!!
So this week we were eating dinner at a members house and they mentioned how their son was serving their mission in Norway, anyway so I mentioned how Patrick is serving in Norway and they pulled out a bunch of pictures and emails and Patrick and their son totally served as companions in Norway!!! Haha I couldn't believe it. Such a small world. It was great to see pictures of Patrick. It momentarily made me trunky as could be haha, but I recovered. It was cool to see pictures of him and it seems like he was doing well. It's a small world after all.
Well it is Christmas time, crazy. Make sure to watch "It's A Wonderful Life" for me. I think that is one of my favorite movies ever made. When I was down at BYU I watched it several times.
So my new companeros name is Elder Houston and he is from Austin, Texas. He is awesome and I am enjoying being with him. We get along pretty well. He knows a ton about cars and so I figure him and dad would get along well haha.
We had pancakes at Bishops this Saturday morning. Usually we et their every Saturday and he makes this apple cinnamon syrup on sourdough pancakes that are amazing. We raked more leaves this week. We watched someones dogs. We helped set up Christmas decorations with the Greens! They are an awesome family.
We went tracting this week and had like 2 doors answer out of 20 or 30 one day haha. While we were tracting we got a call right as three dogs were chasing after us, luckily they ended up being kind dogs haha. But that was the best phone call ever. "Hey what are you Elders up to?" "Oh tracting and we are getting chased by three dogs, here hold on one second."
The Christmas Devo was awesome. I really like this Christmas time of year. I hope yall were able to watch the He is the Gift video. We have been showing it to everyone. We have a good amount of appointments for this next week and we have the ward Christmas party and then the mission Christmas party Thursday over in Farmington.
There isn't any snow out here and we saw at one house someone had collected a bunch of tumbleweeds and made a "rez snowman" haha it was awesome. They spray painted it white and gave him arms and a scarf and all the goods. I will try to get a picture of it before it "melts" and send it to yall.
I love yall. I am grateful for this Gospel and Jesus Christ!!! Thanks for everything. I love yall so much. Happy Birthday Mark! Talk to yall later!
Elder Scott Krstyen

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!! 12/1/2014

Heya Family,

Hope yall had a happy thanksgiving. We had a good one down here. It
was turkey stuffed and potato full. I really enjoyed it.

We found out that Elder Spencer is going to be district leader in Page
and I am getting Elder Houston for my last transfer. Haha I can't
believe I am on my last transfer. It is pretty crazy. Sorry this email
will have to be shorter, the computers weren't working too well so I
got shorted some time but I will try to still fit a lot in.

So we had thanksgiving dinner at Bishop Wells home and also at the
Touchins home. We had district meeting in the morning and then had
those meals afterwards. At the Touchins home there was a special
experience. After dinner we taught the Restoration to a young man who
was there and then afterwards we had a testimony meeting with some
very powerful testimonies. I was very grateful that I could be there.
Haha I was thinking about Thanksgiving and all the soccer tourny's we
have been too and all the time we spent together. I am glad that
Charles won his age group at the tournament! That's awesome. We raked
a lot of leaves this week as well. We helped rake leaves for Bishop
and also the Greens. They are some of the ward missionaries and they
are one of the best families I have met. They currently have a son on
a mission. Anyway, after we raked leaves we went and ate at Subway and
then we went to go visit a family. The mom isn't a member and she
wasn't feeling very well so they asked her if she would like a
blessing and she said yes. It was a special experience. Later that day
we visited another part member family, and the husband asked his wife
if she would like a blessing because she was feeling ill and she said
yes! (He mentioned how surprised he was that she said yes) We were
able to give her a blessing and it was a special experience. That was
just a few of the miracles we saw this week. We have been sharing the
"He is the Gift" video that the church came out with. It is a
beautifully simple video. With a very simple but powerful message. If
you didn't watch it last week I invite you to watch it right now: or you can search for it on youtube under "He is
the Gift". The other one you need to watch is the "Because of Him"
video. Watch it here: We have been sharing the
Christmas video with everyone that we talk to. They gave us pass along
cards to share it so we have been using those while tracting. I am
excited to talk to yall on Christmas and to see yall next month.
Thanks for the prayers and the thoughts. My testimony of prayer has
been growing a lot. I am not quite sure what we are doing for P-Day
today. Last week we ended up putting 3 pianos together and playing
them at the church and it was a blast. I am excited to be able to play
the piano more days than just Mondays haha and to be able to look up
sheet music too. I am excited for this last transfer though. I am
going to try to finish up strong. It won't be the end but just
continuing the path of discipleship. I am excited to strive to live
the Gospel once I get home. I am grateful for the Atonement. I am
grateful I can be forgiven and be changed and become better. And that
is why Christ is the gift. We just need to remember that this holiday
season and always. And then when we start to forget and get distracted
we just need to stop and pray and remember Him. Christ's Atonement is
a divine gift and it's been done, now all that is left to do is to
decide whether or not we will use it. I have a testimony of this
Gospel and of Jesus Christ. He lives. I have felt the Spirit of the
Lord in the darkest times, and I have felt the warmth and
understanding that God's light brings. Joseph Smith is the Prophet of
the Restoration. We have a prophet on the Earth today, and what a
blessing that is. Thanks for everything. I love yall so much. I hope I
can be better and follow the examples yall have set for me. I hope I
can follow Christ. Have a fantastic week!!!

Love, Elder Scott Krstyen

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!! 11/24/2014

Heya Family,

I hope you all have a happy thankgivings and get full on turkey!! We are having thanksgiving dinner at our bishops home and so I am excited for it. 

So today we watched some of the bible videos and they are awesome!!!!!! If you haven't seen any watch some. There is a ton of them and they are only a few minutes long.

A cool thing I was looking at on was how Pres. Eyring went to the vatican for the meeting on traditional marriage. Check it out, it seemed pretty sweet.

Also watch some of the mormon messages!! They are awesome.

Also the church is having a new video out this christmas season that should be awesome. I think it'll come outtomorrow. Here is the website for it:

It'll be awesome and a good way to share the joy of Christ this year. 

Well awesome. definitely go look up those videos and check them out. So this week was pretty good. Next week is transfers so we find out transfer news this saturday. I am guessing all be staying because I have only been here one transfer. Today we are probably gonna go and play piano at the church. I am excited for that. I am excited for this week. 

So some stories I thought were sweet this week. There is an awesome family here that has a son out on a mission. Neither of his grandparents are members, and so they have been getting his emails and they don't quite understand really what missionary life is like. Well we did service for them and talked to them about some questions they had about what transfers meant and what missionaries do and I guess the family gave the grandparents "The Best Two Years" to watch so they could better understand what a mission is like haha. Haha it just made me laugh to think of the "Best Two Years" as a teaching tool. We did a lot of service this week. We helped set up a silo/pen thingy for a big ol pig on this guys farm, we fed some bodies cats for them. We went and contacted some of the less active and inactive members and had some good experiences with that. 

Thanks for everything! I love all of you and hope that yall have a great week! Talk to you next week!!

Elder Krstyen

Cold is Here 11/17/2014

Heya Family,

So I'll explain the pictures for ya. Elder Means is the one on the left and Elder Carpenter is the one on the right. And Elder Spencer is the one in the pictures with me. Thanks for the socks haha those are awesome!! The candy hearts were actually from Elder Means and Carpenter. I came home on 2 different occasions to giant hearts on my desk made out of candy haha. 

Anyway, this week ended up being pretty awesome. I went on exchanges to Kirtland 4th ward which covers a lot of the reservation in fruitland. Elder Deakin and I ended up trying a few people on the reservation and then we walked a long ways to go tract some houses. It was a total adventure! There was a dog that followed us the whole way. It was kinda sketch tracting just because you don't know which dogs are nice and which ones aren't. It is usually the little dogs that try to get you, but if you face up to them they run away. Anyway, the dog that came with us the whole way was barking down some of the other dogs. We finally were able to talk to a man and we ended up sharing the restoration with him. And then we walked back and the dog came all the way back with us. 

Church yesterday was pretty good. Our ward mission leader spoke and some of the people we taught came out to church. 

Our lesson in Priesthood yesterday was good. It was about service. It reminded me of the Joseph Millet story. This week if you get time, what some bible videos or this video, 

Anyway, I love all of you. I am grateful for the sacrifices you have made in my behalf. Thanks for everything. Thanks for the prayers, the thoughts, and the service. Thanks for supporting me throught the highs and lows. I am so grateful for this gospel. And I am grateful that I can be better every day. I am grateful that I can repent. I am grateful for second and third and fourth chances and on and on and on. I am grateful for Jesus Christ, my Savior and Redeemer. Change is possible because of Him. I still have a long way to go, a lot to learn, a lot to change, a lot better to become, but I am grateful He is there. I am grateful that He loved me enough to be alone for a time, so I never have to be. I love yall and I hope you have a great week!

Elder Krstyen

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Heya Family,
I got an email from Christian Sorenson so he just returned from his mission! Maybe you'll see him around.
This week went pretty well. I talked in church, I went on an exchange with an elder that just came out. One of the members we are visiting read a TON in the Book of Mormon. We helped rake a ton of leaves from the same member. We had zone training and my companion gave a great training during it. I have been enjoying the area and the ward out here. It is nice be around a place that has trees. We taught a good amount of lessons this week. We had interviews and those went pretty well. Found a few new people that wanted to have us come back to share a lesson with them. Last week for pday we played risk at a members house and today as well we are going to go and play risk at his house again. Other than that we will just go shop and prepare for this next week! Sorry I don't have too much more to write for this week haha.
Thanks for everything and for the emails! I hope yall have a great week!!
Love, Elder Krstyen

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Halloween 11/3/2014

Hola Family,
I hope yall had a great Halloween! Haha I cant believe how old Aiden looks.... So much different from when I first left on my mission. It sounds like yall had a ton of fun. I enjoyed all the pictures you guys sent and thanks for the package as well!!! Haha it was awesome. I have some pictures I will need to send you guys some time.
Haha so when the package from sarah came the other elder checked the mail and then texted us and said, "Hey Elder Scottina there is a package for you." We had a good laugh.
So we also made a new dinner calendar for November and on the bottom we put the scripture reference Genesis 25:30, not the scripture written out just the scripture, as a joke. Haha and I guess one of the counselors in relief society stood up and read the scripture to the whole relief society. It says this, "30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom." :) It was pretty funny.
Anyway, our week went pretty well. It finally started to get a little colder here and we had a little rainfall. The stake had a trunk or treat wed and it was awesome and a bunch of the families that we teach came out. We are loaded up on candy right now.
We helped one family move out of the ward and then the next day we helped another family move in to the same house that we just helped the other ones move out of. We Also fasted this week to try to get the work of salvation going in this area and it was a special experience. We helped fill up the font for a baptism and also went and prepared a meal for the senior center. We have a really good relationship with the bishop in this area and we go over to his house every Saturday morning and eat a bunch of pancakes! There is also a member that works at dominos and when an order cancels he comes and drops the pizzas off, it was the best dinner ever. Elder Spencer is awesome.
Last night there was a big power outage in more than half of Kirtland. And also on Saturday we forgot to fill up on gas before sunday haha so.... we didn't wanna risk running out of gas anywhere so we walked most of the way around. During the power outage we did some street contacting because we figured people couldn't say they are busy cuz there was no tv on haha.
Also if you guys find anymore piano sheet music to send me, that would be awesome. It doesn't matter if you fold it but that would be sweet to get some more of that sheet music.
Anyway, the gospel is true and I love you. I hope yall all have an excellent week and that yall are blessed in work and family. Keep on keepin on, never forget, and I will talk to you next week! Thanks for everything!!
Elder Scott Krstyen

Let There Be Light 11/3/2014

3 November 2014
Dear Elder Krstyen,
As we prepare for this Holiday Season, we hope to find you well and excited for all that lays ahead in way of pomp and celebration. Also, that you’re thankful for your countless blessings and eager to share your unique bestowed gifts from above with others. This season as you look for the gratitude, the brightness of hope, and the light, which accompany these Holidays, we hope that you will keep the light of Christ foremost in your mind and close to your heart. You will find that this light is “the Spirit [which] giveth light to every man that cometh into the world” (D&C 84:46; emphasis added); “the light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed” (D&C 88:13; see also John 1:4–9D&C 84:45–47D&C 88:6D&C 93:9)
Having been given that light now brings the responsibility and challenge of keeping and strengthening it. In warning us of the battles we will face in keeping that light in mortality, Elder Quentin L. Cook stresses how important and fragile it is, and what our role is in restoring and brightening that light in others:
“Freedom and light have never been easy to attain or maintain. Since the War in Heaven, the forces of evil have used every means possible to destroy agency and extinguish light. The assault on moral principles and religious freedom has never been stronger.
“As Latter-day Saints, we need to do our best to preserve light and protect our families and communities from this assault on morality and religious freedom.…
“The moral foundation of our doctrine can be a beacon light to the world and can be a unifying force for both morality and faith in Jesus Christ.…
“If we both live and proclaim these principles, we will be following Jesus Christ, who is the true Light of the World. We can be a force for righteousness in preparing for the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”1
Along these same lines, Elder Ted E. Brewerton echoes Elder Cook’s thinking by saying, “The light of the gospel illuminates the path of life to eternity that otherwise would be dark and nondirecting. We can be like a mirror and direct light even into dark places. We are not the sources of light; nevertheless, through us light can be reflected to others.” (Elder Ted E. Brewerton, “Light”, Ensign, November 1991.)
In the most recent General Conference Women’s Session, President Uchtdorf gives assurance when our light seems dimmed, he conveys that we are not overlooked in our efforts, abandoned in our struggles and He is always with and loves us even in our darkest moments:
“The infinite and eternal creator of light and life knows you. He is mindful of you. Yes, God loves you this very day and always. He’s not waiting to love you until you have over come your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles.
“He is aware that you reach up to Him in heart-felt and hopeful prayer. He knows of the times you have held onto the fading light and believed. Even in the mist of growing darkness, He knows of your sufferings. He knows of your remorse for the times you have fallen short or failed and still He loves you. And God knows of your successes, though they may seem small to you, He acknowledges and cherishes each one of them.
“He loves you for extending yourself to others. He loves you for reaching out and helping others bear their heavy burdens even when you are struggling with your own. He knows everything about you. He sees you clearly. He knows you as you really are and He loves you today and always.
“…He loves you not only for who you are this very day, but also for the person of glory and light you have the potential and the desire to become.”2
Mother Teresa profoundly reminds us of Our Heavenly Fathers love for and awareness of each one of us. She wisely states, “There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways” (Mother Teresa).
A BYU student, Carlie Palmer, spent this past summer in Romania undertaking an internship, splitting her time during the day between an orphanage and a children’s hospital caring for and comforting children who in most cases had been abandoned or taken away from their families for one reason or another. Her shared experience touched and taught me in a stirring way. The following, with her permission, is her final blog entry and testimony entitled “Let There Be Light”:

Let There Be Light

There is so much darkness in this world. So much. There are millions of hungry, suffering children. There are murders and kidnappings. There are beggars dotting the streets in cities around the world. There is abuse and violence. This is not an easy world to live in.
Over the last three months I have witnessed much of this darkness. I work in an orphanage that is home to over eighty children, though it was built for fifty. These eighty children have been abandoned or taken from their families because of neglect or abuse. In the afternoon we go to the hospital and care for more abandoned children. I have spent hours in the ICU with sick, wheezing infants who have oxygen masks strapped to their faces. I have held children who seemed close to death, their bodies tiny and weak. I have seen children and adults alike who are missing limbs and begging in the streets for food. Yes, there is plenty of darkness in this world. Enough to even get lost in.
Then how is it that I am happier now than I have been in a very long time? How is it possible that my heart feels so full of love and praise? I know of no other explanation than this: Because of the Savior, the world is also full of light.
I have honestly been completely puzzled by my happiness here in Romania. That sounds odd, I realize, but it is true. I expected to feel completely weighed down by the hardship that would surround me each day. I thought that my heart would be completely broken by what I would see and experience. I was wrong. Well, at least partially.
Many days I do feel the weight of the suffering that encircles me. My heart does ache for these people. I have felt deep anguish as I have come to love people who have so little and have watched as they suffer. Every time I go into the ICU at the hospital I am overwhelmed with a profound sorrow for the children there. I do experience the darkness. While I know that this is just a taste of the darkness that the children must have experienced, to me it is real and intense.
But there is something more powerful. In Genesis we read of the creation of the world.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light (Genesis 1:1–3).
I feel this same process happening inside of me every day. I step out of my communist bloc apartment building and enter the dark world. I go to the orphanage. I see hard things. I sit next to my sweet, paralyzed girl Adi and dream about the life she will never have. My heart fills with sorrow. And then, somehow, Christ enters my heart and says, “Let there be light.” And there is.
This happened to me at the hospital the other day. Again, I was in the ICU (which looks nothing like the ICUs that we are used to I might add). There is a tiny baby there with severe hydrocephalus. Because of his condition his head is large and misshapen. His giant head must weigh more than the rest of his body combined and then some. This sweet little boy does not move much and when he makes noise it is a quiet sort of whimper, as if he is too sick to even cry. A few days ago I went to check on him. I checked his diaper and it was dry. I could not pick him up because of the severity of his condition. I felt helpless. The few diapers that I left in his crib seemed a completely insignificant offering. I didn’t know what else to do so I laid my hand gently on his tummy and began to hum. I don’t know if he was even aware that I was there. I had a moment of complete despair. I knew this child was close to death but that, with the proper medical care, could probably be fine. I knew that he had been abandoned there and was now suffering without a mother or father by his side. I felt darkness weighing on my heart. But even there, God reached me. He said, “Let there be light,” and again, there was.
God whispered to my heart that He loved that little boy and that while his earthly family was not by his side, He was. I felt so much peace in knowing that someone cared, that someone understood the pain of this small child. I felt strongly that this boy would be taken care of. Someday, when he is with God, he will run and jump and play with the other children. Even is his life, the light will chase away the darkness.
So yes, our world is full of darkness. There will be times in our lives when that darkness seems to completely overwhelm us. But somehow, if we turn to Him, God will again say, “Let there be light.” And there will be.
There is a Chinese proverb that says, “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”
Every time we do a good deed, help someone in need, smile, love someone, share what we have, etc. we are adding to the light in the world. Focusing on the darkness will not make it go away. Lighting a candle will.
In John 14:18 Christ promises, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
I testify that this promise is real. I have experienced His comfort and care. He has filled my darkest moments with light.
Over and over again.3
Inspiring me further on this theme, Elder David A. Bednar in his Mormon Message, “Patterns of Light”, expresses the following sentiments:
“If I had to use one word to describe light, I would use the word radiance. There’s a brilliance and a sense of direction that comes from light. If you are in a totally pitch dark room, and there’s the smallest element of light, then that light chases the darkness but the darkness can not overrule the light. So associated with light is a warmth, associated with darkness is a coolness that I think is very significant.
“The Light of Christ is what many people would call a conscience. But it’s more than a psychological effect that takes place within people. Someone can be riding on a bus, see someone in distress and feel a compassion and a desire to assist and serve this person. Many people would say, ‘Nah that’s just natural behavior’, but it’s more. It is the influence of God that pulls us, that influences us to be good and to do good. Every person ever born in history now and in the future is influenced by the Light of Christ for goodness. As we yield to that influence to do good and become good then the Light of Christ increases within us. As we disobey, light is decreased and can ultimately be diminished.”
That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light… receiveth more light and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day (Doctrine and Covenants 50:24).4
The following teachings by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf will aid you in developing a closer relationship with God and in strengthening His light within you. I encourage you to read through this talk sometime. (
The following missionary accounts will accentuate how light can be spread and shared with others. Sister Heather Gross who has just finished her service in Italy shared this first short experience while still there:
Well this week started off well. We were walking down the street and some lady picked me up from behind and was hugging and kissing me. I was like, “che e, che e?”, which translates to mean, “who are you”? She wouldn’t put me down and said, “You are the missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ right?” I was like, “Yes that is us!” She said that she just arrived here from Africa and was wondering how she was going to find the church. She said that she was walking down the street a couple blocks behind us and saw our blonde hair and a light around us and just knew it was us, ‘the missionaries’. So she sprinted up to us and attacked us with hugs from behind. She was so excited that she started singing, “The Spirit of God like a Fire is Burning”, on the street, nice and loud. haha. We brought her to church with us that Sunday.6
Any of you who know Elder Xander Mofatt knows of his extraordinary talent with the organ and how he loves the choir. Elder Moffatt definitely got called to the perfect mission for him. In September of 2013, President Orgill of the Irvine Mission, felt “strongly prompted”, to organize a choir of missionaries to utilize their musical talents. Besides all of the other missionary responsibilities, Elder Moffatt is also a major part of this choir, playing the organ and occasionally conducting them. The Missionary Choir has performed in many Sacrament meetings, some firesides and interfaith events, with the Nashville Tribute Band, and even in the worship service of another faith. The success has been immeasurable and has had a family choose to be baptized because of a performance, with lots of others changing their view about the Church because of the Spirit it brings. Elder Moffatt relates the following experience he has had while engaged in his other missionary labors:
The best part of the last few weeks, and super powerful spiritual experiences, came from “Z”—a potential from last Sunday night. We stopped by his house on Friday and had a super cool lesson with him. He came out and couldn’t believe that we cared about him that much. His long time fiancée had dumped him, and life was not going well at all. He said that he had been considering “taking himself out”, and then we showed up. We just sat and listened, and helped him the best we could. He had been reading the Book of Mormon since Sunday, and didn’t really understand it but definitely understood and felt the power it had brought him. We watched the Mormon message “The Hope of God’s Light” and he couldn’t even believe how similar it was to his life. He kept saying, “How did you know?” We prayed with him and he loved it. We walked away thinking “did this just happen?”
The next day after dinner we felt like there was somewhere we needed to be, some appointment we had, but we couldn’t for the life of us remember. We drove around and ended up by his house, so we stopped by again! We had another great lesson, and helped him understand more about the Book of Mormon. He said that his ex had emailed him, and noticed a difference already in how he felt. He said, “things are still crazy and horrible but at least it’s headed up now and not down.” So he has already seen what the gospel can do for him, and the way it changes people’s lives. We are pretty excited to keep teaching him!
Since our first meeting, we have helped him cut waaay down on his drinking, and taught him a lot more. He loves and understands just about everything.… He is really excited to get baptized, as soon as he quits drinking!! He also came to church, and loved it all! He almost got up and bore his testimony at church, but he didn’t. He has such a light in his life now, and wants to stay here and join the Church, instead of going to Japan like he planned. So cool!7
Sister Karina Osgood serving in Peru gives another inspirational account of receiving the light of Christ.
The talk title, “Grateful in Any Circumstance” comes to mind when describing some of the events of this week. When you have no control. What do you have within your power? You have the power to be grateful.
On Thursday I got my wallet stolen, which had my driver’s license, my bankcard from home, 40 soles, and my temple recommend. While we were buying some things a man came up behind me and grabbed my wallet that I had placed on the counter for just a split second. There is not a very high chance, in Peru, of getting something like that back, especially when we have a rule that we can’t post a notice with the police. I prayed to ask for help in getting it back, so there is no headache for everyone involved back in the states. But overall I just had to be grateful that all that I lost could be replaced and that the circumstance in which I lost everything did not put me in danger. At least I didn’t lose my 8,000 some odd pictures! Also, the home address on my license wasn’t current, so the thief did me a favor.
This same day it hailed on us, but I just contently put on my raincoat and my comp and I ate some Oreos while we got attacked by hail. Sometimes we just have to laugh at bad luck. So, hail was just something for me to be happy about because I am getting hailed on at 14,000 feet. What an honor! My counsel, as learned from a year here and most especially at 14,000 feet with health challenges, occasional depression, and the fight to get motivated to face the elements and the altitude is to laugh, let it roll off you, and if you can’t control anything external, seek to change yourself.
My last story to conclude my week sums up the lesson of gratitude. We were at the Hermanas’ room the day after my wallet got stolen and I was recounting what had happened when all of a sudden one of the Hermanas revealed what she had in her hand. MY WALLET. She said that a non-member had found it on the road, looked inside it and saw that there was a temple recommend in it. He recognized the church logo in English and decided to give it to his member friend. His member friend, a ward member in another ward, gave it to the Hermanas in his ward. Everything was there, expect for the 40 soles. It was a miracle, and even though it is sad that someone stole my money, I just wish him well and even told my companion that I hope he buys 40 packets of Fochis (which are chocolate covered raisins that I like). God lives, and He knows what happens. 
A scripture that I can share is Psalms 27:14 “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”8
Sister Holland Sorensen shares a story of being that light to someone in need:
I remember a quote from President Monson that goes something like, “The sweetest experience is to follow a prompting and later find out that you were an answer to someone else’s prayer”.
This week, I had the chance to be that answer. We were back from our Zone Training and were quickly trying to plan out how to fit everything else into our day. As we thought about it, we almost decided to not go to the further end of our area to teach some of our recent converts. Eventually, we realized we needed to go see them, even if that was the only lesson we taught that day. So we went. As we sat in this member’s home, Brother “M” (the father) walked in, sat down, and proceeded to excitedly tell us that his friend wanted to meet with the missionaries. He said that he had been praying that we would come tonight because he had no other contact with us. He excitedly said we could and should go see his friend as soon as possible! We set up an appointment that made him so pleased. We were so happy that we had followed the Spirit to go there that night. I know that Heavenly Father is guiding His missionaries with His Spirit! We just need to be worthy in following His promptings!9
Sister Rachel Croft, serving in Thailand tells of an experience where they were touched with the Light of Christ:
We had a cool little (or big) miracle yesterday. We were contacting at a market, and we met a Christian lady. After telling her about the restoration she said, “Where can I get this book?” We were close to our house and decided to run home and grab one (we didn’t have one on us. shame shame) When we went back to the market and called her we couldn’t find her. We were sad, but texted her and hoped she would call us when she saw our text. We were going to eat at a member’s house (celebrating 24 years since this amazing sister has been baptized) and we were a little bit late. As soon as I finished praying over the food, she called us back. And so we had to run back over to the market still with very empty stomachs. :) We were waiting for her for a bit so we just started talking to some other people. As soon as we did a woman ran up to us and said, “I’ve been looking for your church for a week. I’m really interested and I want to go.” It was such perfect timing and really was a miracle.
I am so grateful to be a missionary. It has its challenges for sure. There were moments this week when I felt very inadequate—we have weaknesses. But sometimes I like to think of it as proof that this is God’s work. It’s like the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. The fire was so hot it killed the men putting them in the fire. :) It had to be the hand of the Lord. That’s the miracle of missionary work. It’s not anything that we do. We simply have the chance to obey, to invite, and to help, to see the miracle of conversion take place through repentance and living the principles of the gospel. There couldn’t be anything better.10
I want to end this message with some closing remarks by President Uchtdorf from last years General Conference.
“I testify that this is true. If you seek God’s truth, that which now may appear dim, out of focus, and distant will gradually be revealed and clarified and become close to your heart by the light of God’s grace. Glorious spiritual vistas, unimaginable to the human eye, will be revealed to you.
“It is my testimony that this spiritual light is within the reach of every child of God. It will enlighten your mind and bring healing to your heart and joy to your days. My dear friends, please do not delay the moment to seek and strengthen your own personal testimony of God’s divine work, even the work of light and truth.
Your personal testimony of light and truth will not only bless you and your posterity here in mortality, but it will also accompany you throughout all eternity, among worlds without end. Of this I testify and leave you my blessing in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.11
Have a great Holiday Season and live close to the Light that it brings. From My family to you, we love and appreciate you and are grateful for the acquaintance we have with you. You are special and truly a gift to missionary work and service.

Bishop Bryan Gygi  
Office: 801.240.5795
1.  Quentin L. Cook, “Let there Be Light”, Ensign, November 2010.
2.  President Dieter F Uchtdorf, “Living the Gospel Joyful”, September 2014 General Women’s Session.
3. Carlie Palmer, “Let There Be Light”,, 12 August 2014
4.  Elder David A. Bednar, “Patterns of Light: The Light of Christ”
5.  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Hope of God’s Light”, Ensign, May 2013.
6.  Sorella Heather Gross, Milan Italy Mission, 17 September 2014
7.  Elder Xander Moffatt, Irvine California Mission, 29 September 2014.
8. Hermana Karina Osgood, Peru Mission, 22 September 2014
9.  Sister Holland Sorensen, Legaspi Philippines Mission, 6 October 2014
10. Sister Rachel Croft, Bangkok Thailand Mission, 15 September 2015
11.  President Dieter F Uchtdorf, “Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth”, Ensign, November 2014.