Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mormon Night at Dodger Stadium

Elliot has always been a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers, resisting his father's efforts to make him a fan of the rival San Francisco Giants, the current world champions.  So, if Elliot were not currently in Wichita Falls, he undoubtedly would have been at Dodger Stadium a week ago for Mormon Night.  More than 4,000 members of the Church attended the game, which did not go so well for the Dodgers, who lost 7-2 to the Washington Nationals.  But the Church-related activities were terrific.  According to the Deseret News,
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve was on hand for the evening and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Joshua Creek, an LDS recording group, sang the national anthem, as well as “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch.
The Dodgers also invited a number of Primary-age children and other adults to join them on the field prior to the game. The children were then invited to “take the field” with the Dodger players as they took their positions at the beginning of the game. Each child was given a baseball that the player had signed.
Sounds like it was a great event.  And on a personal note for Elliot, Elder Jerry Garns, an Area Seventy who is a member of our ward and our former stake president, caught the first pitch from Elder Cook.
Elder Jerryl Garns, an Area Seventy who caught the first pitch, also expressed his pleasure with the evening, noting that several of the members had used Mormon Night at Dodger Stadium as a friendshipping opportunity.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Wichita Falls Sailing Club Dinghy Race

This looks like a fun event in Wichita Falls!  On August 3, the Wichita Falls Sailing Club will sponsor a dinghy race at Pawnee Point in Lake Arrowhead State Park.  Lake Arrowhead is a reservoir on the Little Wichita River, about 14 miles southeast of Wichita Falls, and is a primary source of water for the city. 

Lake Arrowhead looks like a great place to go sailing, and the park is beautiful.  There's a great video of the park (below), which features footage of adorable prairie dogs.  I'm not sure if the park is in Elliot's area but maybe he'll get there someday.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Elliot's July 25 email

Here's the latest email from Elliot.


Sorry that the Tour's over dad. But that reminds me, MSU (in my area and where I'm currently sitting at a computer), has like the best college cycling team in the nation. I haven't heard too much, but I hear they are really big on it. Pretty cool.

All of the meetings this past week were really great. I feel re-energized to do the work and try my hardest. It's crazy to think about, but my year mark is really only a few weeks away. It may not be going very fast for you mom, but it's flying by for me. I just want to do all I can.

We only had 2 days to work here this past week, but it was really good. We got a new investigator and taught quite a few lessons. Elder Andersen is really awesome. We're able to get out and just have a good time with the work. There's a very good chance he'll be heading out here in a week and a half, but we'll see. Whatever happens I know it'll be God's will and that things will always work out. The area’s going good. We have like 10 investigators or something like that, and we're working on finding who of those will actually progress and narrow it down so we can better focus our efforts.

I love y'all and hope ya have a great week!


Elder Elliot Adair

Monday, July 18, 2011

Elliot's July 18 email

Here's the latest email from Elliot.


Yeah I got the package mom! Thanks so much. I love the tie and I colored in the tornado pages in the coloring book. I don't think we'll have to worry too much about tornadoes right now, I'm more worried about the drought. It's so hot out here and everything is brown and dead pretty much. Everyone's lawns are just dirt and weeds right now, except in the rich part of town. This past week it rained for like 30 minutes, but that just made everything humid and even more gross. We need like a lot of rain.

This week is LTM again so I'll be in Oklahoma from today to Friday night. It's tough leaving our investigators, but everything usually works out. I'm excited because I'll actually be staying in the Spanish 6 South West area for the week, which is my greenie area. That should be a lot of fun. I taught a lesson in Spanish yesterday and I felt a bit rusty. It's tough being in English areas for this long with my last 3 companions being English, but that's all good.

This past week went by super fast. Our investigator with a baptismal date is doing okay, but her husband (boyfriend?) has been really sick so she doesn't want to leave him to go to church. It's been tough, and we've had a quite a few canceled appointments, but we did still get 3 new investigators this week. It was cool because one of them we met after one of our appointments fell though, and we met him on the street next to the one we were on. We ended up walking and talking with him for about two+ miles, right to where our next appointment was. That one fell through and we met another guy tracting close by that had met with the missionaries a while back and wanted us to come by again! It's all just cool because even though things fall through, God knows where he really wants us and is able to help us get there. I know this work is the best thing I could be doing right now, and even though it's tough, it's worth every effort.

Los amo!

Elder Elliot Adair

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wichita Falls: Drought's Impact on Cattle Business

Today's Wichita Falls Times Record News includes a report on the ongoing drought's impact on the cattle industry.  From the story:
Wichita Falls has exceeded 100-degree highs 39 of the past 40 days. There was a string of 100-plus degree days before that. By this date in a normal year, Wichita Falls would have received about 16 inches of rain. This year it has been just over 3 inches. Forecasters are not optimistic about substantial rain between now and September.
The drought has forced ranchers to sell at auction cattle they would not ordinarily sell. 
[Joe] Parker [a local rancher] said in a typical drought, cattle raisers will usually sell older or less productive livestock to take pressure off pastures and stock tanks.
"Now, they're even selling their good producers," he said.
Being forced to sell off their good producers jeopardizes ranchers' ability to stay in business, as they will be forced in the future to replace the stock they are now selling, likely at a higher cost when that time comes.

As always, the real solution is rain.
[Parker] summed up the solution to the cattlemen's blues in a single word — rain.
"If we can get some rain, we can heal," he said.
Here is a video from the news story.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Elliot's July 11 email and pictures

Here's the latest email from Elliot, with a couple of new pictures.


Hope y’all are enjoying Yellowstone! [The Adairs are in Yellowstone National Park for Lori's family reunion.] Tell everyone that I say hi and that I love ’em.

I took a picture in honor of the Tour de France this week that I'll include with the email. You should get a kick out of it. [The Tour goes through the Pyrenees mountains, which explains the picture of the street sign.]

This past week was pretty crazy. Really busy the whole week through and way hot. Friday we traveled to Norman for the Youth Conference performance they put on, we left at 3 and came back at like 1 in the morning. It was all approved of course, but man I was so tired Saturday. But we had a good day Saturday. Elder Andersen and I tried a less active member who was a part of the Spanish Branch that was here. Well he invited his neighbor to hear about what we believe. We taught the first, she liked it all and felt the Spirit, we invited her to be baptized on the 13th of August (happy birthday Keith) and she accepted! It was so awesome. She lives super far away from our apartment, in fact she lives closer to the Wichita Falls North Elders who have a truck, but it's still in our area. It's probably like 7 miles one way, but it's all good.

We bike super far all the time, but I love it and it gives us good opportunities to talk to people. You just kind of get used to sweating all of the time, and we have to take showers before our dinner appointments. It's difficult, but it's worth it. I'm still having a lot of fun and it's nice because people always offer us water which gives us chances to teach them as well.

And we also tracted out Mt. Everest this week.

I love y'all!

Elder Elliot Adair

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Church News: "New Mission Presidents Blessed for Exercise of Faith"

Elliot's mission is presided over by a member of the church and his wife.  We have profiled President and Sister Taylor on Elliot's blog before.  Much like Elliot and the other missionaries, mission presidents are called to serve for a period of time in a specific region.  And, like the missionaries, mission presidents have to go through their own pre-mission training.  On June 22-26, 2011, a new group of 128 mission presidents and their wives met at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, to receive instruction before traveling to their missions.  As reported on the Church website,
The couples come from all over the world—22 different countries—and will serve all over the world in 18 different languages. Their backgrounds are diverse, including businessmen in various fields, educators, lawyers, and even a test pilot for the F35 fighter program.
Many of the leaders of the Church spoke at the training seminar.  Three videos with excerpts of their messages are included after the jump.  Speaking to the assmbled couples, President Thomas S. Monson said:
You have been chosen from among the most faithful in the Church, and now you have the opportunity to go forth in the Lord’s harvest field. … I know of no field which produces more fragrant nor bounteous roses than the mission field to which you have been called.
Enjoy the videos after the jump.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mormon Profiles: "Hi, I'm Paris" offers members of the church an opportunity to create a personal profile and share their experiences as a Mormon.  One of the profiles currently featured on the site is of a young man named Paris Thomas.  His story helps to demonstrate the great conversion power of the Holy Ghost and the role that a young missionary -- like Elliot -- can play in helping people accept the gospel.  Here's Paris' story, in his own words:
Two missionaries from the Mormon church knocked on my door when I was 14. I was extremely skeptical about what they taught me and what they believed until one missionary asked me to pray and ask God if what they were teaching me was true. I prayed and The Spirit of God confirmed to me that what the missionaries were teaching me was indeed true. I have received many added blessings through striving to live the principles of the gospel which the missionaries taught me when I was 14, and that is why I am Mormon.
Paris also explains that he received his call to serve a mission of his own to England.  He will undoubtedly be a great missionary.

For more about Paris, enjoy his video profile after the jump.

Elliot's July 5 email and some pictures

Here's the latest email from Elliot, along with a screen shot of his current apartment in Wichita Falls.  Also, after the jump, you can see a couple of pictures of Elliot with several other missionaries.

Hey Family!

Wichita Falls is awesome. The ward is great and very supportive of missionary work, it's younger, and a ton of fun. Yesterday we had the annual 4th of July flag raising ceremony and pancake breakfast, although no fireworks last night, due to the drought. It's super hot out all the time, but we take required breaks throughout the day.

Being District Leader is not super different than being any other missionary in most ways. It does mean more responsibility for sure though. I have to make sure everyone is doing okay, conduct exchanges, teach district meetings, report numbers, and try to help out the missionaries in any way they may need help, as well as take care of this area. It's nothing impossible, it just means that I really have to do my best to always follow the Spirit to know how to best perform in this assignment.

This past week was pretty awesome. We taught a lot of lessons and got 5 new investigators. We have a lot of appointments set up for this week, and I think we'll see a lot of work starting to click. We even have one investigator committed to baptism, but not with a specific date yet. Elder Andersen is a really good missionary and we're getting along well. We've made a goal to just simply teach more lessons, and we're trying to stretch ourselves so that we can jump start this area. It's working so far!

So I'm doing good. Hope y'all have a great time at Yellowstone! Say hey to everyone for me!

Con amor,

Elder Elliot Adair

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Newhall First Ward missionary newsletter

Here is the most recent Newhall First Ward missionary newsletter from Sister Connie Hollingworth (pictured), with reports from Elliot, Javan Hatch, Merisa Hicks, Kyle Hill, Ian Loveland, CJ Norris, and Carlton Reininger.  We really appreciate Sister Hollingworth putting this together every month!  Enjoy the newsletter after the jump. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Elliot's new area: Wichita Falls, Texas

In his June 20 email, Elliot reported that he would be transferred to Wichita Falls, Texas.  My first thought was of the classic Glen Campbell song, Wichita Lineman.  But Elliot is not in that Wichita, and as far as I know there is no classic country hit song about Wichita Falls.  I know absolutely nothing about Wichita Falls, Texas, so let's take a little tour and see what's there.

The official website of Wichita Falls is a great place to start.  It says:
The City of Wichita Falls is comfortably nestled in the North East corner of the Panhandle/Plains area of North Texas. Wichita Falls is an economically progressive city home to commerce and industry with worldwide interests. . . . By most accounts Wichita Falls can be summed up with two words, pleasant and comfortable. This is a family oriented city conveniently located within two hours of two metropolitan areas with populations exceeding one million citizens; Dallas-Fort Worth and Oklahoma City.  Wichita Falls has a population of approximately 104,553, is the county seat of Wichita County and considered the population center of North Texas.
There's lots more about Wichita Falls, including many pictures and videos, after the jump.