Gilbert Arizona Temple until Phoenix Temple is built

Gilbert Arizona Temple until Phoenix Temple is built
Wherefore, Be of good cheer and do not fear, for I the lord am with you, and will stand by you, and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the son of the living God, that I was, that I am and that I am to come. D&C 68.6

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Re: How is Arizona???

Things are so much better in the mission field! I love it down here! So on my flight, you wont guess, i was sitting two rows in front of Rn Watson! How crazy is that?! And getting down to Phoenix was hot! It was like 108 that day! We went to the temple site and then the mission home. That night i just hung out with President Griffin and we got to know each other pretty well !I think we are going to stay really close while we are out here! He told me that he set me up with a companion that had the same qualities as me and someone that was a lot like me. Then the next day we had all 250 missionaries meet in a chapel in Glendale which never happens. Maybe like once or twice a year. My companion is a 25 year old Samoan that was born and raised on the islands! He got recruited and given a full ride scholarship to play football at San Jose State but gave it up so that he could serve in the military because his family needed the money. That spoke loudly to me! We get along really well! He is quite though, unless we are in lessons. We jam out to some poly mormon music haha. But we are serving in an area about an hour north of phoenix called Prescott valley. Not the actual city of Prescott but Prescott valley. Its about the size of Cedar City is what they say. There are some nicer area but a lot of it is not very wealthy.Honestly, i would be fine if i never left here! We share an apartment with two other missionaries that are cool as well! We get up at 6 and run every morning and it sucks haha. No its good but im not a runner. When i got to the area they already had a baptism set up for this Friday, a family of 5! Other than that we work with a lot of less active families! I love showing families my favorite mormon message video its called "The Hope Of God's Light". Please watch it and think about fast and prayer for this upcoming Sunday! Its really powerful !I hope you guys all have a good week! I love you! 

The MTC....

Re: Hello

Hey guys! The MTC is great! I really do like it here! It is actually really nice adjusting to the missionary schedule! Everything is always just go go go and you feel really productive everyday! So when i first got here, my companion (Elder Bradford) is from Kaysville. He just graduated and we werent from the same background at all haha. He is into composing music and playing instruments and stuff. He has a super dull personality but i think it might be because he is homesick and depressed. So for the first few days, i could tell that something was bothering him. I thought it was just getting over saying bye and that it would wear off a little bit. Friday night, it was about 8 o clock and he asked me if we could leave class, this is when he told me what was going on and we went and talked in the Residence Hall in our room. He lost his mind and fell apart, so we prayed about it and i gave him a blessing, hoping that this would help him out with being away from home. I tried to inspire him about the work that we were doing and that it is the right thing. I tried to get him to picture the people in Arizona and hoped that having him imagine the happiness he would bring them would change his mindset, but he wasnt in a compromising state. He ended up having his cell phone with him in his suitcase. And that night i came back from the bathroom and he was using it. I figured i wouldnt say anything because if he got the phone taken away he was going to go home for sure. But once he used it for the first time, the next day (Saturday) we left class twice so that he could go back because "I NEED to call my mom." I was trying to be a good companion and be there for him but i kept having to leave class so that we could call his mom, we were falling behind in our learning and our lessons werent very good because we werent learning. And when we were teaching he had no emotion or expression and our investigator didnt care what we had to say because of it. Elder Bradford continually became more and more negative and it really started bothering me. It was frustrating but iu wanted to be there to help him. He decided to call the Branch President and tell him that he was thinking about going home, but President Hunsaker encouraged him to stay. Sunday Morning i had to cover for him because President Hunsaker held a meeting with all of the Zone leaders and District leaders and he asked all of us District Leaders if we were having any issues in our District but Elder Bradford said he didnt want me to say anything in front of everyone. So i got put in a bad spot. Elder Bradford had given up at this point and yesterday morning we dindt go to call from 8 until 12. I missed class because he was talking to The District President about going home and then saw a counselor. Then we went back to the District President to finalize Elder Bradford going home. I helped him pack his bags and take them to the front. His dad came and picked him up. I went back to class and i found out that i was able to focus a lot better. I became companions with Elder Tomadakis who is from Spanish Fork, he is going to Rancho Cucamonga. But we taught a lesson to a new investigator and it went really well! I really like the rest of my District! We get along super well! I have seen quite a bit of Bountiful guys down here and i even ran into a Sister Byington! She is from Boise but i dopnt know where she is serving. We got a picture together though! Today we are going to the temple in about 4 hours so im excited to go back! In gym the other day, i dominated the soccer guys in their own sport. You know im reppin out here. Im running this place with an iron fist haha. But i made good friends with a guy named Elder Evans, he is from around Nauvoo and knows TONS about the Scriptures and history. So i have been talking to him every night and learning a ton. He left this morning for Florida today! All is well! The food is pretty good here although i stick to Salad and i have already lost 5 pounds haha. The two guys that are going to Arizona with me are companions and then my new companion and two other guys are going to Rancho Cucamonga. We all leave together Tuesday morning! We leave here at 4:30 A.M. and our flight leaves at like 8:06! So be expecting a call anywhere after 6 or 630 i guess! I love you guys! -Elder Byington

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September 15, 2014 - Conquering the Mountain

In Elder Byington's words: "We climbed this really cool rock area! Our area is off to the right behind a hill. What you can see is the very outskirts of our area, and where we are is another area."

Elder Byington at the Glendale Temple

September 1, 2014 - Elders Usana and Byington

Elders Usana and Byington - presumably on P-Day!