November 24, 2014

Hey all! Seriously, every week I've been in the field has been crazy.
We were doing a chapel tour, where we show the different rooms of the church to help them feel the spirit of it, and right after we got a call from the other Elders in Payson, Elder Messegee and Elder Woodard. Elder Stoker answered, and just kept going "NO WAY. OH MY GOODNESS." He wouldn't divulge anything, until he hung up. After anxiously waiting, he said Elder Woodard, a week-old missionary, was going home for health reasons, and that I would be emergency-transferred to take his place. So that night I packed my stuff up, went to the Assistants house where Elder Messegee was, and became companions with him! Crazy 24 hours. Then that night, we went on exchanges, and I went with Elder Tucker, back in my old area. It was sad to say goodbye to so many people I had gotten so close with.
We had a baptism on Saturday! David got baptized, and we got to go back and see it. It felt so good, and I got to be a witness for it. David was one prepared guy. He and his wife have held fast to their goal to get sealed in the temple. His wife gave one of the talks, and she started crying thanking us for all the time we spent with them and all the joy we've brought to their lives, which made me feel pretty dang good.
In the new area, one of my first lessons was with a pretty crazy-looking guy with very rugged and dirty clothes named Steele. He works at a place called the dream mine. I had no idea what the heck that was until Elder Messegee explained it after. Apparently, the story is an embarrassment to Payson, where a Bishop had a dream that there was a mountain nearby with gold, and he thought it was revelation from God, so he called upon his whole ward to help him and used tithing money to pay to mine it. They were all excommunicated. Some people still believe that there is gold buried there, and Brother Steele believes that the gold plates and the ark of the covenant are there. He also told us how he talks to Alma the Younger regularly, and invited us to come meet up with him some time to do so, which we respectfully declined.
I don't think I'll get a P-day this next week since I'll be flying around, so it might be a couple weeks til I write again. 8 days to Macedonia, I'm crazy excited!! It's so close. I'm stressing a little because it's my last American Pday and I don't want to forget anything I might need when I'm gone, but it'll all turn out well!
Elder Rigby

Top picture: Elders Stoker, Tucker, me, and Messegee, my new comp!
Lower picture: David, he is awesome! My first baptism

November 17, 2014

Another crazy week, just like always. Transfers were this week. On Wednesday we went up to Provo to a chapel just outside the MTC, and waited for few hours while Elder Herrington got trained on how to train. It was a kinda awkward time for me, since I only knew Elder Tucker out of the 30 other missionaries waiting for their companions. They don't even bother trying to get to know me since they know I'll be leaving soon. Elder Alex Hill (my cousin) had told me that his companion was getting transferred, which made the time go by even slower as I was watching out for him. After few hours of waiting, I spotted him! It was unreal. We embraced each other, and then talked to each other the rest of the meeting. SO many things are happening that I never thought would get to experience in Provo.
Elder Hill and I caught up but eventually he found his companion and went off. Elder Herrington met his new trainee and now he's off to Lindon, UT, which is north of Provo. Our zone was the last to be called, so at the end we finally met up with Elder Stoker (the new member of our 3-some with Elder Tucker). He's an awesome missionary! He's from Spokane, and he actually knew Elder Hardy from the MTC. He came from an area in the mission where he gave 50 lessons a week a few times, so he's pretty dedicated to getting our numbers.
The ASL (American Sign Language) calling for Elder Tucker is tough. The old ASL missionary went home, so it's all on him now. It's a 30-60 minute drive to teach anyone needing ASL in our area. We're still trying to figure out how that's going to work. We went to a meeting with the bishop of the deaf ward, which was one of the coolest things ever. The ward mission leader was there too, and they were both on top of everything in their ward. They were more dedicated than any bishop or ward mission leader I had ever seen before. We went and tried to visit some deaf people with the ward mission leader after, but we couldn't catch any of them.
All three of us are sick right now. I just gave Elder Stoker my cold, and Elder Tucker had the flu. He didn't want to take a break at all. We were in a lesson with an investigator named Amanda, teaching her about the Restoration, really trying to get the Spirit there. She finally agreed to a baptismal date after months of trying. When the lesson was over, as we were walking out, Elder Tucker bolted to the side of the house and puked his guts out. Talk about dedicated. He said he felt ok most of the lesson, and then at the very end when we were praying, it hit him hard and he couldn't hold it back. But he stayed diligent through it, and we got to help someone out because of it!
My language study got a whole lot better this week! The day after we met Sister Lasson, the old ASL missionary, she happened to run into a return missionary from Bulgaria, Brother Maddox, whom I met when I was in the MTC. Somehow I got brought up, and she gave him our number. He called me up and asked if he could skype so I could have someone to talk to while I'm in Provo. We skyped the next day, and it felt so good to speak Bulgarian again. Hopefully, it'll help me not to lose all of what I learned in the MTC.
We had a marriage this week! One of our investigators, David, got married to his live-in girlfriend, and they have a kid together. We really had to put the pressure on them to get it to happen. It was beautiful to see. David had an awesome experience getting the Book of Mormon confirmed to be true to him through the Holy Ghost. He's the most golden investigator we have. His baptism will be on Saturday, and you can tell he (and we) cannot wait for it.
It's surreal that I leave Payson in less than two weeks. I love the people here so much, and it feels like this is where I'll be serving. I'm going to miss all the conveniences here, but there's work to be done in Macedonia! December 3rd, I'll be there. I'm so excited.

Elder Rigby

Elder Rigby and Elder Hill (my cousin) reunite!!

I really liked the snow... for about 5 minutes. It's COLD in Utah.

November 10, 2014

In Payson, Utah - Week 3.  I got my travel plans! I'll go back to the MTC the morning of Nov. 30th, which I think is pretty hilarious after being out almost 2 months. Elder Chingas, Sister Hassell and I will leave the MTC at 2:30 AM the next day, fly to Denver, then New York for my visa, spending the night there. Then to Austria the next day, and finally to Macedonia! I'll get there Dec 3rd.

We had exchanges on Thursday, and it was my turn to go with our district leader, Elder Messegee. Apparently, he is supposed to evaluate me and stuff, but it just felt like a normal companionship. On Friday, when we switched back, we met in a restaurant that gives us free food called Wildflower. We got there first, and when the other Elders came, Elder Tucker ran up to us and said "I got called to speak ASL!" (American Sign Language) Apparently, he took 2 years of ASL in high school. The old ASL missionary in the mission is about to go home, so he is replacing her, and will probably do that the rest of his mission. He's really excited about it. We met up with them at BYU in the library. I was hoping to run into someone I know while we were there, but no luck. Apparently, we'll be spending a lot more time out there with Elder Tucker's new calling.

One of our investigators, Andrew, has had quite a bit of bad luck come on him as he's been getting ready for baptism. He had the flu, then he had a seizure and cut open his head on the ground and had to get stitches, and then he messed up his leg. He barely was able to make it to church yesterday, with a cut up face and a cane so he could walk. But that guy is determined. He was supposed to be baptized a week from today, but he wants his family to be there, and they'll all be there in December, so we pushed it back another month.
We just got home one day this week when our phone started going off. Elder Herrington answered it and it was Will, one of our Less-Actives in the Hillman Branch. The conversation went like this:
"Hey guys! Wanna hear a joke?"
"Uhhh...sure Will."
"What did God say to Abinadi when he got to heaven?"
"Well Done! Alright I gotta go, bye."
I thought I was going to die of laughter! He just called us out of the blue, just to tell us that joke. It was the most random thing ever, but I guess it means he likes us.
[In the Book of Mormon, it says the prophet Abinadi was bound, then burned at the stake.]

While on our exchange, I used a member's bathroom, and there was a scale, so I figured I'd weigh myself. Holy cow! This time of year last year, I weighed 145, and now I'm at 180. These meals everyday are taking a toll on me. I'm done for if this goes on for 21 more months.

Transfers are this week, and Elder Herrington is taking off. I'm going to miss him. It will be strange. Elder Tucker and the elder replacing him will be the new zone leaders. A lot of change. 3 more weeks here, then I'm off to Macedonia! You all enjoy your week!
Elder Rigby

Top picture: At mutual! We went to 3 mutual youth meetings this week to talk about missionary work, and get them excited for missions. At one, they made us all scarves, which will help me survive a little longer with this cold.
Bottom picture: BYU Missionary. See the Y above campus!? I have to admit, I never thought I would have a mission picture anything like this.

November 3, 2014

I'm loving Payson!! So I just had my first full week in the field! I've gotta say, it's a lot more busy out here than it was in the MTC.

Monday was my first P Day here, so I finally got to buy groceries after 6 days of living off of my companions' food. I'd like to think by now I'm a professional Quaker oatmeal, eggs, and toast cooker. We hardly have to cook anything at all for ourselves, since we get dinners every night and lunches most days. It's awesome.
For our district activity, we got and carved some pumpkins from Sister Dumas, a less active member we've been doing service for. I tried to carve Elder Herrington because he was wearing a ridiculous costume, but it didn't turn out too well.
The help of the members is seriously the best. We just get phone calls from people saying that they have a friend that's ready to have the missionaries come over. We haven't had too much trouble finding people, our main concern is getting members in the lessons. They emphasize true fellowshipping in the Provo mission, where the member that's in the lesson will be an actual friend to the investigator. We only had about 4 lessons of these lessons last week, which was abysmal. We're working on coordinating better with our members, because a lot of the time they just forget. We need to improve, but all in all, it's a good problem to have.
I didn't talk too much about the people we teach, so I'm going to try to do that more this time! Two of our investigators, Andrew and David, have got pretty similar situations. They both want to be baptized. They both have less active wives that we're also working with. But things keep happening in their lives that's keeping them from going to church. We've had to keep pushing most of our investigator's baptismal dates back, which is getting pretty frustrating.
We cover a branch in one of our stakes that's a community for people with psychiatric problems. It's always interesting whenever we head over there. A less active man we've been teaching legitimately thinks he's a werewolf. They all have interesting histories, and really enjoy it when we come over. A lot of the lessons we teach over there are the Word of Wisdom because a good amount of them struggle with smoking.
Halloween was awesome!! Apparently people dress up as missionaries here for the holiday, so our mission president has us all go in chapels as districts the whole night and watch a movie so we don't get blamed for anything. I never thought I would have to watch The Chronicles of Narnia so soon! We all enjoyed it a lot, but probably because it's been so long we've seen anything like it. Then we played a game of Apples to Apples, and before we knew it, 4 hours went by. Apparently, it was a costume party, so I just threw on Elder Tucker's Hawaiian skirt.
Payson has been great!! I found out I go to Macedonia Dec 1st, I'll get to stay another night in the MTC, and then I head out with Elder Chingas and Sister Hassell. So I've got another month to enjoy in Merica! I'm looking forward to being in Macedonia, but I know that there's work for me to do here for the time being.
Have a great week!  Elder Rigby

Brigham Youngblood, John Taylormade, Asian Import, Wilford Rodriquez Woodruff, Parley Pookie Pratt, and the Lamanite Peacenik twins.