Monday, March 30, 2015

A Pretty Uneventful Week

So I'm looking back on the week and there really wasn't anything that entertaining to report home about. Monday and Tuesday were spent in part by my companion packing his bags (he was getting transferred down to Kennewick training) and then him saying goodbye to some converts and members. The goodbyes were extremely touching since he had accomplished so much and was such a great missionary. A large part of Wednesday was spent inside a church building waiting for missionaries coming from all ends of the mission so not much happened there. Thursday and Friday were spent planning, be it for the zone or our area, and since my current companion is new to the zone there was a lot to talk about. He just finished 5 transfers in his previous area and so he is bringing in a lot of new ideas and dedication to helping the zone get places and I'm excited to see what happens.

On Saturday we had a pretty cool experience with our Zone Leadership Council where the district leaders and sister training leaders come together and we discuss the upcoming transfer and where we want to get to. It was a neat experience for my companion and I since we had spent a lot of time discussing what we thought should be the next step for the zone but since we didn't want to impose on the council and their ideas we went into the meeting with no intentions of voicing our ideas. The cool thing was, though, by the time the meeting was done, they had spelled out better than we had our ideas of what we wanted to have happen. It was very reassuring receiving such blatant confirming revelation of what we needed to be doing. The Lord has a lot in store for the Columbia Basin Zone and I'm so stoked to be a part of it.

The other cool part about Saturday was we had the chance to help out at the Othello Sandhill Crane Festival ( So apparently this time every year there is this bird called the Sandhill Crane that makes its way through Othello and is a big deal among bird watchers (I think it’s like a rare bird or something like that, I'm not sure; most of my interactions with birds are when they are grilled and then put on my plate). But anyways people come from all over to look at this bird and so they have a huge festival set up to celebrate it and increase awareness and things like that. Normal festival festivities. So they had one station inside making masks for kids that essentially involved plastering childrens' faces. As funny as that sounds, that’s about what it was. They have these sheets that turn into paper mache and then can be put together to make a mask so we spent 3 hours doing that Saturday afternoon. It was a pretty fun experience. Definitely one for the memory books.

Other than that that’s all there really is to report. The quote I'm going to share is technically a scripture but when I read it I instantly heard my dad reading it to me and then a slight twinge from a slap in the back of the head so here it is. It is found in the 15th chapter of the book of Proverbs, specifically verse 20.

"A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother."

So remember kids, do what your parents tell you. It'll make you wise.

Until next week,

Elder Kupferer

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Week of Barbeques

Summer is most definitely coming here in the Columbia Basin. The winter ended early so it has been warming up extremely fast and as such, the barbeques are starting to come out. Well, I guess, more barbeques are starting to come out. There are a few devoted people who will have a barbeque if its 20 or 120 outside but on the whole there has been a lot of barbecuing this week. Sunday (a week ago) our bishop gave us each half a chicken smoked to perfection, followed on Monday with some carne asada we threw together as a zone for a zone p-day which was a blast. Friday, we had dinner with another couple that gave us some more barbeque (there was sauce dripping off the chicken - it was unbelievable). Sunday (yesterday) followed up with almost a double-whammy of more BBQ when a guy we had tracted into the week prior invited us to his daughter's 1 year old birthday party and more or less commanded us to have some steak with them. It ended up not panning out for one reason or another but it was for the best because that night the bishop's brother had us over for dinner and smoked even more chicken to perfection. We each had a whole chicken and then took two more home for later. It has been a glorious week of sauces and seasonings on the barbeque for Elder Kupferer. He just has to run 5 miles a day now to work it all off.

And in other news, my companion and I got to experience what it was like being on the other side of the door this week. We were sitting there finishing our comp study one morning when we hear a knock on our door and much to our surprise there was an elderly couple from a local church inviting us to their services. If I wasn't on a mission and already had a prior engagement at the time, I think I might actually go. They were super nice. It was a little different on the receiving end of proselyting like that. I just felt bad because there were two more sets of missionaries in the apartment complex the couple would have to knock into.

So in regards to the more spiritual side of things as opposed to the sauces and seasonings of summers' barbeques, this week we had a really cool experience with a guy named Dave (not actually his name.) This past few weeks since the family we were working with got baptized, we didn't have much to do so we have been finding a lot. It was kind of frustrating because we had tried so hard but we weren't seeing much come of it, until this week. Long story short Dave's best friend just got out of jail and they are both looking to turn their lives around and come closer to God. Dave's friend had grown up in the church and so they decided to turn there for some answers and help in leaving the past behind and we had the opportunity to teach them. We saw them twice this week and it was a super inspiring lesson. We did our best to teach simply and were able to watch as Dave made the connections himself and was taught from on high and apply what he was learning. By the end of the lesson, he - for all intents and purposes - invited himself to be baptized on a specific date we had mentioned previously to him. I am so stoked for the chance to meet with him more often and continue working with him. It was a great blessing for us to see that we work hard and do what we can, then the Lord will make up the rest and bless us on His time table with what he deems fitting. I am glad we were deemed fitting enough for such a special opportunity.

Just a side note about the lesson. On the outside looking in, it was a pretty comical sight the night we taught them. They both had rough pasts and looked the part, then there were two missionaries - relatively the same age - dressed in white shirts and ties, and then their grandparents looking on. It was a sight to behold.

And for the quote this week it comes in two parts. Part one is the principle applied from the movie "Field of Dreams" (did I cite that right? I guess I wasn't paying enough attention in English class). The Pasco North Stake has been working very diligently to establish a good system of correlation and unity with the members and the missionaries in hopes of the following:

"If you build it, they will come."

With that system in place, they are showing to the Lord their diligence and desire to have people to teach and more people come unto Christ through baptism. Last night we were meeting with a member so my companion could say goodbye (he is getting transferred Wednesday) and we made a comment about it and in an offhand response he said:

"Who needs a program? Just do it."

Since I respect and admire both of the men with whom these quotes are involved, I will stay out of this one and just do my thing down here in Othello. But may you all leave feeling inspired to try something new and then go out and

"just do it."

Elder Kupferer

Monday, March 16, 2015

An Application in Finding

This was a pretty long week but rather rewarding at the same time. Tuesday we had a zone conference down in Pasco so we had to get up at way-too-early in the morning to drive down for the car inspections at 8 that preceded the conference itself at 9. As per the norm, the conference itself went rather long but it was all great stuff. We received some great instruction of a few new things to try to help take us to the next level of missionary work. I feel as though our mission president is extremely pleased with where the mission is at right now and so he is able to help lift us up out of the basics of missionary work and start showing us what the next step is to continue increasing in our abilities as missionaries and become even more fruitful. We also had a break in the middle for a 30-minute rebuke fest from the mission president's wife essentially telling us all we are getting too fat and need to start eating healthier. I'm sure that’s a bit over exaggerated from what she intended but that’s what I got from it. Maybe I need to lay back on the tacos and start running more....

Anyways afterwards I went on an exchange with one of the assistants and stayed down in his area and since they live with the Kennewick zone leaders I was able to see a lot of my friends from last transfer. That was nice being able to see them all again and reminisce about the fun memories together coupled with how investigators are doing. But the next day we left and went on our way back to Othello for a week of almost solid finding. Since we have had a lot of success with baptisms recently we were busy teaching and not too busy finding so we put our shoulder to the wheel as it were and went to work. We were able to apply the principles we learned the day before and saw tons of small miracles the entire week. We found more investigators than ever before in my entire mission and saw lots of cool miracles in other areas as we were blessed for our diligence. Notably the greatest miracle from that was the lessons with our recent converts. All three of them have taken hold of the gospel and truly begun to apply it in their lives. Their understanding of gospel concepts and principles is astounding. Sweet is the peace the gospel brings into families lives. The most marked difference was found in the family of the 10 year old child baptized a few weeks prior. About 2.5 months ago when the teaching process began, the parents had no testimony whatsoever of the gospel (hence why they weren't going to church and their son didn't get baptized at 8). But as we continued on with the teaching process, the Spirit worked on them like none other. Friday night in a lesson with them, we started off with a scripture about prayer and by the end of the lesson, the mom was talking about how the home felt so much different (in a good way) now and how she is going to fast next week and get sealed as a family one day. It was a great experience for us to see first-hand the amount the restored gospel of Jesus Christ can help families and individuals not only grow closer to each other but with our Heavenly Father as well.

The quote of the week doesn't make any sense to me so I want to toss it out there and see if anyone has any sliver of an idea about what it’s trying to teach. It was on a billboard in town and says this:

"He who throws dirt loses ground."

Still trying to wrap my head around it. I think I might be overthinking it. But anyways here is an actual quote for you from zone conference this week. We were coming back (feeling rather fat might I add) from the lesson from the President's wife about nutrition and regrouping with some other groups that had gone out in breakout sessions and as we were making small talk about it our President said:

"This morning we taught you how to have faith, and she just taught you to feel guilty."

We were able to apply the faith principles, now we just have to get around to throwing away the box of Cap'n Crunch sitting above our fridge and apply those principles....

And with that, I sign off for another week. Hopefully when I write to you again, I will be a few pounds lighter. Until then,

Elder Kupferer

Monday, March 9, 2015

35 Hours

35 hours you ask? What can that even mean? The number of hours Elder Kupferer spent tracting? Or maybe the number hours Elder Kupferer spent reading the Book of Mormon? Possibly contemplating the fact that somehow February is already over and we are 1/4 of the way through March? Sadly, no. 35 hours is the number of hours Elder Kupferer and his companion sat in meetings and planning sessions this past week, not including driving time or pondering time whilst in the car.  Since there was so much that went on, this week will be presented in more of a list style than story mode as I usually do. I apologize if there are any people that get frustrated at the change or can no longer tolerate this blog, but there’s a lot I have to type and not a lot of time to type it so let’s start on Monday shall we?


  • Okay Monday didn't actually have anything going on besides P-Day. Sorry to let you down. We did teach 4 lessons in 3 hours and found a new investigator though. One of the daughters of the family we were supposed to have a lesson with got admitted to the hospital the night before so that freed up our night to do some late night tracting.

Tuesday - now the fun begins.

  • Pancake Palooza - If you remember back in October-ish we were asked by the seminary teacher (who gets paid because he is a full time teacher; still amazes me that they have those, and not just poor souls that wake up at o-dark-thirty to teach the class in addition to a regular job) to come make pancakes because all the students were inviting their friends from the high school to come over and eat some pancakes as a good way to get kids familiar with the church a little bit and the concept of seminary. And who doesn't like pancakes?
  • Preparing Stake Reports - Once a month we meet with the Stake Leaders of the two stakes in our zone and normally this would have been taken care of Wednesday but the stake presidency asked to change to the correlation night to Tuesday so we had to finish it last second.
  • Ward Council Training - This week was our ward conference and so the Stake Presidency took the opportunity to train the ward councils a bit and provide instruction. We were lucky enough to be able to sit in and gain a lot of valuable insight into the council system that we were able to apply the very next day.
  • Stake Correlation with the Othello Stake - About what it sounds. We had the time to discuss a new plan of action on things we wanted implemented to help the missionary work. Since it was a late night meeting we didn't end until after curfew. Thankfully a member of the mission presidency was there to approve it.


  • Zone Leadership Council - A chance for us do discuss with our District Leaders and our Sister Training Leaders how the zone is doing and things we can do to improve and help others. We applied the principles we had learned the previous night about counseling and it was a great meeting. Hands down the best one I've been a part of. We were able to witness firsthand the revelation that comes in when people truly counsel together on a subject.
  • Correlation with one of our bishops and our two Ward Mission Leaders - all at separate times, might I add.


  • Mission Leadership Council - Where the zone leaders and sister training leaders get together and have a party of the spiritual kind with our mission president while discussing various trainings and ideas he wants taken back to the missionaries. As always, a great opportunity for receiving training and revelation as well as seeing old friends again.
  • Dickey's Barbecue Pit - Some of you may remember this restaurant because it was in Irvine some years back and I remember hearing they had one in Kennewick so we went on a hunt to go find it. Totally worth it.
  • Blown tire - About 5 miles from the nearest town with no lights and nothing but highway on one side and crops on the other our tire decides to blow out; not slowly leak air but completely blow. So, we got to fix a tire in the dirt in the middle of nowhere at 8:00 at night with another 30 miles before we got home. Made me appreciate my dad forcing me to learn how to change one and the 120 lumen flashlight I had.


  • Zone Training Meeting Planning - My companion and I sat down with the STLs to discuss how we wanted zone meeting (the chance we have to train the missionaries in our zone) to go. It was a long and arduous process and I'll spare you the details but needless to say it ended up being a great learning opportunity for us.
  • Les Schwab - Spent 30 minutes getting new tires on our car. I have now planned for meetings in Les Schwab twice.
  • A baptism! The highlight of the week. About 2 months ago a single mom with two daughters still living with her walked in the church having recently moved from Moses Lake in need of help and since she was baptized when she was around 9 she remembered the church and how much it help. One of the conditions of her receiving help was that we teach her and her daughters about the church and help them gain fellowship in a new town. Our ward did great. Instantly they had friends everywhere and all kinds of support, but the daughters were still a little hesitant about baptism. That’s when I jump in. They have taught them several times by this point and they weren't progressing much so literally our lesson plan was follow up on the reading (which talked about baptism) and go from there. Well, as evidenced by me writing this, it turned out pretty good. From that point on most of their concerns were resolved and so it was relatively smooth sailing from then on. The daughter getting admitted to the hospital the Sunday before her baptism was a little scary but it turned out to be a great experience. Their testimonies had developed so much and the gospel had really worked on them and helped them change for the better. It was a great experience working with them.


  • Zone Meeting - The culminating event of the week. A 3 hour meeting to try and help other missionaries develop skills to become better finders and teachers (and therefore baptizers). There was a lot of time spent going into this meeting and thankfully it all paid off.
  • Weekly Planning - Normally this takes place on Friday but since we had other business to attend to we had to postpone it until Saturday.


  • Ward Conference - Awesome to say the least. Both our wards meet in the same building and so the time schedules got changed a bit which meant church for us lasted about 5.5 hours. Lots of great things were learned, but having lost an hour of sleep the night before due to daylight saving time, it was a little rough.
  • More Weekly Planning - We didn't finish on Saturday so we did after church.
  • Correlation with our other Bishop - Again, about what the name implies.
So that was the week. Probably the longest shortest week of my life. The amazing thing though is that it wasn't as bad as we had thought it was going to be. With such limited time to work in our area we were worried about how we were going to make it all work but the Lord blessed us with miracles proportionate to the amount of meetings we had (I say that in a joking manner since miracles aren't correlated with meetings; that’s just how I felt). We were still able to meet a lot of great people and have lessons that were nothing short of miraculous in the little bit of time we did have. The Lord saw us trying to magnify our callings and He in turn magnified our efforts. Our area came out doing even better than we had hoped by the end of the week and we are excited to see what lays in store this upcoming week with only a zone conference to attend.

The quote of the week comes from our time with our Mission President at MLC on Thursday. He was discussing how the mission is expected to jump from the current 230 missionaries to 400 in the next 6 months in preparation for the mission split. It was at this point he proposed the following question that was quickly followed up by his own answer:

"How young is the mission going to be? Diapers."

And with that, I bid you all a very exhausted farewell until next week.

Elder Kupferer

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Little Bit of Everything

This was a good week. I thoroughly enjoyed all that went on and all that I learned this past week here in Othello. It started Tuesday with an exchange with one of our District Leaders who is serving in Mattawa. He is a young missionary and still learning from experience but it was a wonderful exchange. To give you an idea of Mattawa, think of the most middle of nowhere place you can imagine, multiply it by 2, and that about describes Mattawa. It’s a tiny little town of maybe 1,000 that's set up off a highway that is just kind of there. The only substance for the town is the 1000s of acres of farmland that surround the area. If it weren't for that, the town would disappear. It was a fun experience though. There wasn't much going on in the area at the time so for an hour we put on some gloves, grabbed a trash bag, and started picking up some trash. Two full bags later we continued on with our day but it was great for me to see the strong desire this missionary had to do well with his area. The rest of the night was great and the pool table in their basement just added to it.

The following day we had his district meeting in a place called Royal City in their seminary building (the church building is 10 miles down the road literally just sitting there, nothing around it) which is about as the middle of nowhere as Mattawa but it was a great district meeting. Remember this meeting because the quote of the week comes from it. That night after we went down to North Pasco (all in all I think we spent about 4 hours driving that day) to interview some people that our other district leader and his companion had been teaching. I was able to interview a lady that had only been meeting with the missionaries for maybe a month, 2 at best but had already developed such a strong desire to be baptized. She had church-hopped as a kid and in the recent past but she said she never felt anything or got anything out of it until she went with her boyfriend (now fiancé who was inactive at the time) to his church. She felt something special there and was so excited about all the questions she was getting answered and the opportunity it provided her to learn even more. It was a really special experience for me to be able to meet and talk with someone who had developed such a strong testimony that early in her search.

This weekend was also a great experience with Stake Conference. We were able to attend the Saturday night Adult Session as well as the Sunday morning so we had some great opportunities for learning. Saturday night they talked a lot about Ward Council and what makes effective councils and how to hold them and things of that nature which was great for my companion and me since although we don't run Ward Councils we do have Zone Leadership and Mission Leadership Councils that we run and sit on. The principles for both are the same. Anyways I'll spare you all that I learned but suffice it to say that it was a great experience. My comp and I were able to play a small part as well since we do have a small part in the Ward Council for the English ward we cover and so we were part of a demonstration that talked about the missionaries' role in it all. All we did was stand there but it was still cool. Sunday morning wasn't anything terribly out of the ordinary but it was still a great experience as well. The stake leaders here are great men and did a very good job with their teaching. One of the members of our Mission Presidency also gave a talk and made mention how there are currently 10 missionaries from mainland China, 1 from Syria, and 1 from Lebanon in the MTC learning English to go serve missions. If that isn't the hastening of the work I don't know what is.

So the quote this week came from a meme that was hung up in the seminary building in Royal City. Quick history lesson since it won't make sense to those of you that don't know won't understand this at all. The Book of Mormon is a compilation of prophetic writings much like the Bible (Matthew + Mark + Luke + John +.... = the Bible; Nephi + Jacob + Enos +.... = the Book of Mormon) and the man that compiled most of the Book of Mormon was named Mormon (hence, the Book of Mormon). So there was a picture of Mormon sprawled out over some records as he was compiling all of them together and the caption read thusly:

"Oh you don't have time to read the scriptures do you?”

“That’s cool. I only spent my entire life preparing them for you."

So if you didn't get it, I'm sorry. Ask your nearest Mormon and they'll be happy to answer. If you did get it, I hope I was able to brighten your day just a little.

Either way, enjoy the beginnings of March Madness.

Until next week,

Elder Kupferer