Alma 29:9

I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas in Durham

This week has been a great week!  This week we should have a baptismal interview with one of our investigators.  If she passes she will be baptized on Jan. 10.  She is the daughter is of a returning less active mother and a non member father.  Her father owns a pizzeria in Durham that is really good and he knows a lot of players for Duke really well and has a lot of autographs from previous players, some of whom are now famous NBA players.

Christmas with the Johnson's was fun!  We spent the whole day with them.  We don't really have any New year's plans.  My jeans do fit. Thank you!  Elder Wion had a good time with his family as well. We don't really have anything special planned for New Year's.

I am glad that William had a good time for his birthday.  It seems that a lot of people have their birthday around Christmas time.  I'm not too surprised that Grandma and Grandpa are heading to Arizona again.

That is crazy that Brian's mission went over 3 weeks! How did that happen?

I love that thought about the scriptures. In 1982 the Ensign made a 7 part series about how the Bible was made.  It is a miracle that the Bible actually exists.  In all actuality the Bible did not reach the public until the 1600s a mere 200 years until the Restoration began.  Something I have learned on my mission is that without the Reformation and the translation of the Bible, there would be no Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I hope you are having a great week.


Elder Lakey

Monday, December 22, 2014

Skyping for Christmas

This week has been a good week!  We still have some baptisms lined up for January at the moment.  Our investigators are doing alright.  We did find a new investigator last week.  It snowed on Saturday for about 2 hours and then it turned to rain and it all melted.

It sounds like the Christmas party was fun!  I will try to Skype at 11 am my time which is 9 am your time.  I will send a short email again to confirm or change it if anything happens.  I will send a short email before then to confirm.  It will be exciting to see you then!

It is crazy to think Jonathan is in the 7th Grade!  It seems like he should be younger than that!

I really liked that thought, of preparing for the 2nd coming, we had a member give a talk on Sunday where he compared celebrating Christmas to preparing for the 2nd coming.

I know this is short but I figured we can talk more in depth about my week over Skype.

I hope you are having a great week.

Elder Lakey

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas is Giving

Everything is going well in Durham.  We had 2 investigators at church on Sunday!  We won't have a baptism until January the first one being on the 10th.

I am enjoying Christmas a lot!  On Saturday they had the Ward Christmas party and it was well put together!  They made the whole place look like Bethlehem!  We got a lot of non members out to it!

We know where we are spending a part of our Christmas Day but we haven't figured out the whole day yet. We should be Skyping.  And we also have a Christmas Zone Conference this Wednesday.

I'm glad to hear that you got to meet Elder Roberts!  He is amazing!  Who all was there from the mission? It sounded like a fun trip.

I'm glad to see everyone is doing well.

I love that thought, because I think that the BEST way to spend Christmas is giving to others!  I still remember very well the time you donated gifts to that family in Ogden.  I also remember very well the Holy Spirit being there!  That idea of giving back is something I want to continue when I get home!

I hope you are having a great week!


Elder Lakey

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Packages

This week has been a great week!  Thank you for the package it was great!  Elder Wion didn't know what a stocking was so he started to open it before I could explain what to do with it.  I am sure I will receive one from Grandpa soon. (It seems that every time you ask me if I have received a package and I say no, it appears later that same day).  

I loved the Christmas devotional, I really enjoyed Elder Christofferson's talk, we are having our Ward Christmas party this week.

It has gotten cold this week, but no snow.  It is suppose to be in the 30s and 40s this week, but I will be fine.

We had one investigator show up to church on Sunday.  She is a daughter of a returning less-active mother and a non-member Jewish father.  It looks like I should have another baptism or 2 before I leave Durham.

It sounds like Mom is busy this time of the year.  I know that Christmas should be simple, but I don't think there is not much you can do about that if you are the Relief Society President.

I love how you talked about peace in the temples.  It seems to me that peace is the biggest feeling I feel in the temple.  It seems that time stops and that there is no one around you, but God.

I love you and I will email you again next week.

Elder Lakey

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving in Durham

Thanksgiving with the Rangnow Family.

Thanksgiving was good.  It was nice and simple, we didn't do much that day.  We ate with the  Rangnow family.  It sounds like you had a good Thanksgiving.  I guess it is nice to have both sides of the family living by each other now!

I am not being transferred.  Our investigators are doing ok.  We did not have any investigators go to church.  But, we do have 4 baptismal dates.  We do have the Christmas party coming up, that should be fun!

I love that thought.  Christmas is my favorite holiday because people act differently, they usually act more Christlike.  I believe that is because people think more about Jesus Christ this time of the year.
Christ is responsible for Goodness in the world, that is why the Church is doing the #SharetheGift  the more that Christ is talked about the better people are going to be.  For Christ can only those who are trying to follow him.

I hope you are having a week.


Elder Lakey

Monday, November 24, 2014

A very busy week

This week was a good week.  We had two investigators show to church on Sunday, so we hope they will get baptized either the end of December or beginning of January!  It was a very busy week!

I'm sorry that I haven't posted any baptism pictures lately I will try to do that later.  Elder Evans was the one that did the baptism.  And Clifton Durham is doing great we have 3 baptismal date with other investigators, that he is being the primary fellow shipper for!!  He also passed the sacrament for the first time this week!

I do not know if I am being transferred yet. So I don't know if I am leaving or staying.

That sounds like fun for Thanksgiving!   We are eating with some members on Thanksgiving on possibly playing some football.

I like that thought because in all honesty members make or break baptisms.  The best investigators are found through members, the best lessons are when members teach and bear their testimony and the best church meetings is when members interact with investigators.  There is something special about when members and missionaries come together.

That is funny that it snowed and the power went out, I suspect there were some really bored boys.

I think that other than some Mannheim Steamroller I should be good.  Thank you for the package!!

I love you and I will email you again next week.

Elder Lakey

Monday, November 17, 2014

Another Great Week in Durham

This week has been a great week, we have been really busy lately.  We hope to have some baptisms around Christmas time!  But there are some obstacles in our way (as usual in missionary work).

The biggest miracle story this week was that we had an investigator who attended church last week, but ended up in the hospital this week.  So we figured he wouldn't be able to come to church this week.  When much to our surprise he came!  He was feeling much better too!  We also set a baptismal date with him yesterday!  We also found some more African investigators to teach.

It has cooled down a lot in Durham, it is in the high 40s low 50s which is actually colder than it usually is this time of year for NC.  I love the weather but Elder Wion who has lived in Vegas for the past 8 years hates it.

That is a great miracle story of family history!  I have looked at the family search before and so much has already been done that I do not know where to start.  Is this Jonathan first time going to the temple?

I feel bad for Rascal it seems he always is getting injured. How do you keep Rascal from using his paw then?

I guess now that both sides of the family live south of us now, you can visit both of them on the same day.  It weird to think that no one lives north of us anymore.

I like that thought, the best way to grow a testimony is to share your testimony.  When our testimony is sincere and truthful the Holy Ghost will come upon the investigator and will touch their hearts if they let the Spirit in.  That is why 18 year old missionaries who only received 12 days of official missionary training are able to get people to be baptized.  It's not the missionaries that convert people it is the Holy Ghost!  I do not know any other religion in the world that puts some much trust in some one so young with so little formal training!  It is a miracle unto it self that the Church grows,when we live in a day where the biggest Christian churches in the world are shrinking!

I love you and I will email you again next week.


Elder Lakey

Monday, November 10, 2014

Losing Weight in Durham?

Things are doing well in Durham.  Our investigators are doing well, we had 2 investigators show up to church and we are teaching that retired Liberian General now.  We should be teaching some people from Africa soon!  Elder Wion is doing great!  The ward is willing to do missionary work but most are really busy. Half the ward are medical students who are doing residency at Duke hospital.

Some of our investigators are referrals some are not, the more recent investigators have been referrals.  We do not have any baptismal dates, there is one person that wants to be baptized, but we are holding off on him for a little while (It is a long story).

Duke is amazing!!  It looks like a castle, I took a lot of pictures of it.  There is a reason why the tuition there is so expensive.  They also have a really nice cathedral and gardens as well.  

We do have some plans for Thanksgiving, we will be eating with some members but I don't know the details yet.   

That is great you got to clean the temple!!  I bet that you did get to see a lot of things that no one else gets to see.

I don't need any dress pants, ties would be nice but then I would need another tie hanger. I would like a pair of jeans, with the waist size being a little smaller than the last pair you sent. I have to wear a belt with my other jeans right now.  And it is a good idea to hold off on a package until after transfers.

I like that thought, I think that in this mission, obedience is hit on more than any other gospel topic. I have found that while missionary work can still move on and baptisms can still happen if you are disobedient, you can't be as happy as you would be if you are obedient. Happiness and obedience go hand in hand.

I hope you are having a great week.


Elder Lakey

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween in Durham

This week has been a good week, we found 3 new investigators!  If it makes Jonathan feel any better Halloween is a bit of snooze for us as well.  We were stuck inside our apartment all night because we are not allowed to proselyte Halloween night.

Elder Wion has lived in Vegas for 8 years.  While he does have an accent, he does not speak any other language but English, because Liberia is the only country in Africa to be colonized by America.  We have some Liberians in the ward who say that in Liberia everyone flies 2 flags.  The Liberian one (which looks a lot like our flag) and our flag.  He remembers Africa very well.  I think we should have a lot of different opportunities with Elder Wion here.  We may even start teaching a retired Liberian General soon...

The last week it cooled off a ton. I really enjoyed it but Elder Wion did not.  We should be touring Duke today.

It is getting colder but I like it cold. I wouldn't mind the general Conference talks.  I would also love some Mannheim Steamroller Christmas CDs.  (But I will not be celebrating Christmas until after Thanksgiving) .

I really enjoyed Elder Christofferson's talk at General Conference.  It seems like a lot people have been talking about it.  We talked about it yesterday in Elder's quorum.  It seems to me, that Satan attacks the doctrine  free agency and the atonement more than anything else.

People like the idea that they don't have to change for Christ and that Heaven "is what you make of it"(a pastor once told me that), but what people don't realize is that we must change for Christ in order to be happy in Christ's presence (see Alma 5 and Mormon 9).  The Gospel and The Atonement is meant to change our natures or else we would hate righteousness which means we would hate Christ and the Celestial Kingdom that is why God in his mercy (yes it's merciful) sends unrepentant and unchanged people to the other kingdoms of Glory because they would enjoy it more there than they would in the presence of God.

I love you all and I will email you again next week.

Elder Lakey

Monday, October 27, 2014

New Companion

My new companion is Elder Wion.  He grew up in Las Vegas, but he was born in Liberia, Africa.  He has been on his mission for 6 months.  We found some Liberians this week, some of whom knows Elder Wion's family and friends!  So that was a miracle!  

That is crazy that President Rosenlund is the new Stake President!!  He will do amazing!!  That is great that Elder Teh came. I bet it was really spiritually powerful.

That is good to hear that Grandpa is finally home!

As of right now we do not have any plans for Halloween. The ward is putting on a trunk or treat at the church on Wednesday.

I like that thought about prayer!  Prayer needs to be a 2 way conversation.  I like the expression  talking to God like someone talks to a friend.  Prayer needs to be personal.

I love you and I will email you again next week.

Elder Lakey

Monday, October 20, 2014

Transfer Week

This week has been a good week.  It is also transfer week.  Elder Evans is being transferred.  It was a bit of a surprised that he is leaving, he didn't stay in Durham that long, he is the only non-leader elder that is being transferred out of the zone.

I hope the work can continue to go well in Durham, there is a lot of potential here.  Elder Carlson of the Seventy at stake Conference said that there are 20,000 people in this stake that are willing to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The theme of the conference was Hastening the Work.  We did get a new stake president, I don't really know the new one, but he seems to be a very humble man.

I don't know what Elder Robert's plans are when he gets home other than that he will be looking for work.

That's great to hear that Grandma is now mobile again!

It is starting to get pretty out here, a lot of the leaves are still green though.

It seems like my sports teams are doing well while I am on my mission. I will just have to do a dvr sports marathon when I get home.

I like that thought, we had an investigator this week that wanted to know how The Church can help her out spiritually. We read  Moroni 6 with her. We explained it is impossible to keep our baptismal covenants without the sacrament.

I love and I will email you again next week.

Elder Lakey

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Durham Baptism in Durham

Things are going well in Durham.  Brother Durham got baptized!  He invited a friend to the baptism and when she came, we found out she was already a member! She was less active member who lived in the ward but wasn't on the ward roster, (you would be surprised how many people I have found on my mission who were members that lived in the ward but were not on the ward roster) and now she is going to church again!  So the baptism was basically a 2 in 1!

The temple and the movie were amazing!  There was another new temple video.  Every time I have gone on my mission it's been a different video.  I also got to see Elder Roberts that day, that will probably be the last time I will see him while he is a missionary.  Meet The Mormons was excellent! I would recommend it to everyone, and now I can say that I have watched South Park on my mission, because of the movie.

I'm glad to hear that Grandpa is doing better!  I have been praying for him and so has the mission President.  I know it isn't easy right now, but the Atonement gives us the strength to face our challenges and grow.  I know that is true on a mission, because I have felt it.  I know that Christ lives, because I have felt it and I know that this Gospel is true, because I have felt the effects of it in my life and other people's lives as well.

Elder Robbins talk was excellent! I do not know about the women's conference talk because I never saw it. Stake Conference is this week and we are getting a new Stake President and we are having 2 seventy coming.

That is good that Kiley and Josh are working.

The same day as Brother Durham's baptism on Saturday, my old companion Elder Brinkerhoff got married so that was pretty crazy!

I hope you are having a great week. I love you a ton!  

Elder Lakey

Monday, October 6, 2014

15 pages of notes

This week has been a great week!  Brother Durham will be getting baptized this Saturday!  He also went to all five sessions of General Conference with us!  He really enjoyed Elder Bednar's talk.  We did get a text from Adrian saying he would come to General Conference but he never showed up. 

I loved General Conference I took 15 pages of notes on it!  I really liked Elder Christofferson's talk on how Free Agency actually works and the dangers of the idea of Moral Relativism (it reminded a lot of my debate days where many debate kids would advocate that philosophy both inside and outside of debate rounds).  I also liked President Monson's talk because of the simplicity of it and the fact that walking with Christ is what our church is focused on.  I also liked President Uchtdorf's priesthood talk.  

We will watch Meet the Mormons on Friday.  We also get to go to the temple on Wednesday.  This week and last week we have been so busy with stuff that we actually haven't had much to proselyte.

I did finally receive the package from Grandpa last week.  It looks like it was stuck at the mission office for awhile.

That is great that you been able to relax little bit this week.  I hope Dad had a happy birthday!  What is Josh's plans now that he has graduated?  And what has Kiley been up to as well?  Also what was your favorite conference talk?

Wow it sounds like quite the week for Grandpa!  What was the complication?  I will keep on praying for him.  Is there a significant chance of further complications?  It sounds like it was a miracle that he recovered!

I will keep praying and loving you.


Elder Lakey

Monday, September 29, 2014

Praying for Grandpa

This week has been a good week.  I wouldn't say we are unstoppable nor that we didn't have any contacts when we got here, but things are picking up at the moment.

Brother Durham is doing great!  He should be interviewed for baptism this week!  We have not had a chance to meet with  the 4 sisters/investigators yet.  And Adrian has dropped off the face of the earth.

I am excited for General Conference, we also get to watch Meet the Mormons next week so that should be good!

I'm sorry to hear about Grandpa Lakey, I got a call yesterday from President Bernhisel, who told me a little bit about the surgery. I will be praying for Grandpa!

I like that thought.  As a missionary, we focus first on helping people build their testimony in Jesus Christ and we help them do that by having them read the scriptures, pray, and go to church. These things help us develop a personal relationship with God.

I love you and I will pray for Grandpa.


Elder Lakey

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bugs and Baptisms

It's great to hear from you!  I'm emailing you a little early today because they are spraying our apartment for insects today, so they kicked us out.  Things are doing well out here, although funny enough I have had a head cold for the last week myself.

Adrian and Brother Durham are still coming to church!  Brother Durham should be baptized on October the 11th, which is his birthday! Which is super exciting!  I am not sure if Adrian will be baptized in October, he is doing well but we have got some difficulties with him.  We did find a some new investigators. They are a 4 sisters who live together.

The temple dedication sounds like it was a great experience!  That is awesome that Jonathan was in the cultural celebration!  What did he do in it?  On the church website they showed a little bit of the celebration, but not too much of it.  I like the look of the new temple much better than the old temple.

The weather is starting to become nice here.  It is actually starting to cool down.  Now it is in the 70s with some days being warmer and others being cooler.

That is a lot of indexing names!  It must be fairly easy to index if he wants that many names!  But, I hope that goes well.

I like that thought about temple recommends.  A temple recommend represents that you are living up to your side of the covenants you made with God.  As a missionary we are supposed to have a temple recommends our entire mission but it expires right before we leave the mission.  And we get interviewed by our mission president for a recommend that will only be valid for a month or two and there is a good chance you won't use the new recommend at all(Mission president temple recommends are only good as long as your on a mission).  That shows us just how important a temple recommend is.

I love you and I will email you again next week.


Elder Lakey

Monday, September 15, 2014

Smoke Break

This week was a great week!  Our investigators Brother Durham and Adrian came to church last Sunday and are doing really well!  Adrian even brought a friend, but I don't think think he was too interested because he took a 2 hour smoke break during church.  And Brother Durham decided to join the choir and they practice after church!  They should both be baptized in October.

We found those investigators by looking for leads in the area book. (None of them were in the area book, but we met them because we were in the area that the area book leads were located.)  We also found some new investigators this week.

We are not sure what we are doing for General Conference yet.  Nor have they announced anything concerning the temple trip.  I just heard about the movie Meet the Mormons last week.  There is a movie theater in Raleigh where it is going to play!  I am really excited for it and maybe it will come to Durham.  I think it will be a great missionary opportunity.   No idea if we will be allowed to go to it or not.

That is super exciting to hear that the Ogden Temple is being rededicated soon!  They say temple open houses make for excellent missionary work.  And that is awesome that Jonathan was in the news!  Did they actually interview him or something?  

I'm glad that Grandma is doing well!  I did not receive any package from Grandpa Lakey yet.  And I'm excited that Greg is going on a mission!

I love that thought because only through the Gospel of Jesus Christ -faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end- will we get happiness.  Because only the Gospel can make us Righteous and Christlike and only through being Christlike can we be happy.  This is essentially what we tell everyone the first time we meet them.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most powerful force in the universe.  Because it's the only thing out there that can make us happy and righteous.

I love you and I will email you again next week.


Elder Lakey

Monday, September 8, 2014

Another great week in Durham

This week was a great week! We had two investigators come to church last Sunday which was great!  They both want to be baptized and hopefully we can do it in October, but with General Conference and Stake Conference in October it's going to be tricky. We did get one new investigator last week, but he might be YSA so we may give him to the zone leaders.

Transfers are this week but Elder Evan and I are staying together for another transfer. Sister Doty is going home, so we will get a new sister in Durham 2nd ward.

School has already started at Duke so people have stopped moving in. We actually didn't do any service this week, but we are suppose to do two service projects tomorrow. I guess it just comes in waves. 

I haven't gotten to visit Duke on foot, but I really want to. Their Library has a first edition Book of Mormon in it! It seems like many General Authorities went to Duke though. On Tuesday, Elder Evan's bike axle broke so we took it to downtown Durham. Downtown is really trendy with lots of different types of restaurants.

I'm sorry to hear about Grandma, I will be praying for her. It seems like things been a bit rough for her the last couple years.

That is awesome that Jonathan is going to be at the Ogden cultural celebration! That should be a great time. I need to see a picture of the new temple.

I really like that thought. As a missionary we need Hesed! To be a missionary we have to love The Lord and love the people. If we do missionary work grudgingly, then investigators will notice and they won't convert. If we baptize people without loving them, we are denying ourselves the opportunity to convert ourselves to Jesus Christ's gospel.

I love you and I will email you again next week.


Elder Lakey

Monday, September 1, 2014

Service Projects

This week has been a great but exhausting week.  We have done five service projects this week, including one this morning.  Three of the service projects were moves.  We are not doing anything special today other than relaxing.

This week have had a lot more missionary success.  We found couple more investigators, had three people commit to baptism and had an investigator show up to church after she told us earlier in the week that she wasn't going to make it!  That never happens, usually people say they are going to church and don't, not the other way around!

Duke is beautiful, the best way I can describe it is a modern day Hogwarts, everything looks medieval.  I really hope I can tour Duke sometime soon!

I don't know how big football is in Durham.  I know all the employees for Duke got free tickets on Saturday to the football game, so a lot of people went to that.  The bishop also drove up to Connecticut for the BYU game.

That sounds like fun to be camping and that it is starting to cool off there.  Here in North Carolina you can go camping just by walking a mile away from your house if your in the countryside.  However, the weather hasn't cooled off yet.

I did get the package you sent me. Thank you so much! 

That is great that Jonathan is doing well in school. I do remember those teachers.  Don't tell him this but those three teachers were problem my least liked ones my 7th grade year.

I like that thought, Christ doesn't weaken our challenges he strengthens us to meet our challenges if you let him.

I love you and I will email you again next week.


Elder Lakey

Monday, August 25, 2014

Growing Spiritually

Things are going alright in Durham.  This week we biked a lot and found two new investigators.  We are figuring out the bus system slowly but surely, it is sometimes a headache to get from one place to another by bus.

I saw Duke University for the first time this week, but unfortunately I did not have my camera.  The whole campus looks like a castle, even the hospital (which is huge) has turrets on it.  It is one nice university but I would hate to see the tuition on it.

I can't believe Matt is home and that school is starting up today!  Does that mean I have been out the longest in the ward on a mission?  Thank you for the shirts they will come in handy!  That should be about all that I need!

I like that thought (Learning through Life's Trials) because, I'm like most other missionaries, in that the mission is the hardest thing I ever done.  But because missions are tough, it forces missionaries to grow spiritually.  I think people may grow the most on their missions than at any other time.

I love and I will email you again next week.


Elder Lakey

Monday, August 18, 2014

20th Birthday in Durham

Thanks for the birthday presents, it was just what I needed!!  I did not tell any members it was my birthday, so nobody really knew about it.

Work was rather slow this week.  The ward had us go find some less actives this week and none of them were interested in returning.  We do have some investigators, but they are progressing very slowly, so we don't have much to work with yet.  

I have been enjoying Durham the ward reminds me of Jacksonville.  There is lot of young families in the ward and they feed us well.
I am figuring out Durham, the GPS is my best friend, I have literally put hundreds of active, less active, potential and former investigators on it.  We will start using the buses this week.

Jonathan should be fine at school, he will just need a week or two.  I was nervous myself but there is nothing to be nervous of.

That is crazy that Matt Clough is home, they say that even in America, Spanish speaking missions are very different than English ones.

As a missionary the highs are really high and the lows are really low, but our part of the vineyard is geared towards us.  Harrison just got his first baptism on his mission and it was someone from one of his past areas. He was so excited for it.  Only he understands how that feels to work so hard with her for her to get baptized.

I too want my mission to go slow.

I love you and I will email again next week.

Elder Lakey

Friday, August 15, 2014

Enjoying Durham

This week has been a good one. I have really been enjoying Durham a lot and I like Elder Evans as well.  I think one of the reasons I enjoy Durham so much is that Durham is a research town most of the ward is either connected to Duke University or the Research Triangle.  Many of the members are students at Duke and are studying a lot of the things I enjoy learning about.

The work has been rather slow due to fact neither me or Elder Evans know much about the area yet, it is also difficult to get around because Durham is a rather spread out city, but we are planning on experimenting with the bus system here.  We live in an apartment complex that is own by a member that lives in the Roxboro branch and many other members live in it as well.

I am glad that summer is almost over!  I know that kids don't enjoy the summer coming to an end but I do, due to the fact it should get cooler, even though it has been a really mild summer.

I can't believe I'm about to be 20 it seems so crazy to me!!  But I really don't need anything at the moment for my birthday.

I really enjoyed that story you told me about the MTC missionaries.  Many missionaries  had to sacrifice a lot more than I did to go on a mission.  A lot of missionaries have a lot more challenges and difficulties than I do.  I really appreciate what you did for them.

I love you and I will email you again next week.


Elder Lakey

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hello Durham

I am now in the Durham 2nd ward, which covers the northern half of the city of Durham. It is where a lot of suburbs are with a good sprinkling of Duke students.  Unfortunately, the ward boundary ends about two blocks before you get to Duke University.

I am half bike and half car just like Jacksonville. Durham 2nd is a really established ward, members feed us every night and the church attendance is literally double that of Pembroke!  Many of the members are young families doing post grad research at Duke and being paid to do it no less.  I am with Elder Evans who as been out as long as Elder Hjorth has.  We share the ward with Sisters (as usual).    We will be half bike half car, we split the car with the sisters.

I am sorry to hear that it's been a rough week. I will be praying for you all. Are you all still sick? I have been doing well, I haven't been sick since the first couple weeks of Pembroke.

As far as a birthday present goes, the only thing I can think of is making sure that when they give permission to release Ipads to the mission that we can buy one, but I think that is about it.

As far as I can tell most people that join the church and stay active in it start investigating when they see the good influence of friends and family who are members.  The church is true, but that doesn't mean a thing if we don't live the Gospel that makes us Christlike.

I love you all and I will email  you again next week.

Elder Lakey

Monday, July 28, 2014

Farewell Pembroke

Honestly not a lot to report, it has been a slow week with a lot of lessons canceled on us. Sherman is getting the Priesthood next Sunday though.

I still don't know where I am going.  I am a little sad to be leaving Pembroke, I took some pictures with some of the members, but I am also excited to go to my next area.

I'm glad that Kiley had a great wedding.  Where is she going to live at?  And what are going to be her plans now? 

That is crazy that Sis. Embry is home from her mission!  I remember home teaching the family when she left! 

Is Rob making the Hills new house the one students will be building for the year?

I like that thought (Gordon B Hinckley “Lord, Increase Our Faith”).  I was reading an  Ensign article the other day on what to do when you don't know what to do.  And the answer is ask the Lord for guidance and go and do what ever he tells to do even if you don't know why to do it.

I love you and I will email you next week.

Elder Lakey

Monday, July 21, 2014

One more week in Pembroke

This week has been a good week. We did meet some new investigators this week because they wanted a free bible from Lumbee Homecoming.

I do not know where I am being transferred to yet, hopefully I find out by next Monday.

I did receive the package, thank you so much!!  The voice recorder is exactly what I was looking for.  The cookies are in good condition too.

It sounds like things are really crazy back home.  I didn't know Kiley had dogs, it sounds like they prefer dogs over kids.  I still can't believe Kiley is getting married!  

That is crazy that Austin and Andrew are having their homecoming and farewell on the same day!

I'm really sad to hear about Daulton and Jaxon.  It is really sobering when someone you knew that was your age back home has died.

Those who follow Jesus Christ have to be united, if they are not united they will fail.  One thing I have found to help me become more united is feeling empathy towards others.  I feel that only Christ can give us empathy.  How else can we develop empathy for others if we haven't been in their situation.  But empathy can only come if we truly want to love our fellow human beings.

I love you and hopefully I will have some more news for you next week.


Elder Lakey

Monday, July 14, 2014

Good News from Pembroke

Sherman's baptism was great!  He was so happy!  He actually gave a lesson the next day in church on baptism.

We haven't had any investigators yet from the Lumbee Homecoming but media referrals take some time to get to us.  

Elder Hjorth is doing good, we actually found last Thursday that he is training next transfer which means I am officially leaving Pembroke at the end of July.  We are losing a lot of Elder this upcoming transfer including Elder McHan.

I would really love some new shoe laces and I would love for a audio recorder.  I have tried the whole writing in a Journal and I hate it and I just can't do it.  Plus my handwriting is pretty bad still so it's difficult to read it anyways.  Same thing goes for typing or else my emails would be longer.  So I want make an audio journal.

I like that thought from Dallin H Oaks you sent.  I was reading today and how Jesus is the vine and we are the branches.  If we are not humble then we are not relying on Jesus, which means we cut ourselves off from vine and we will wither and spiritual die.  Humility is the key to having communication from God.

I love you so much and I will email you again next week.

Elder Lakey

Monday, July 7, 2014

Lumbee Homecoming

This week has been a crazy week! The Hurricane did not do much to us though. We got a little bit of rain from the Hurricane, I don't think Jacksonville was hit as hard as most people thought it would be either.

Fourth of July was also rather quiet, but Lumbee Homecoming was crazy!! We literally gave out over a thousand pass along cards.  We hope a lot of people respond to the card and request to have missionaries over. We should be stopping by someone tonight who we met at Lumbee Homecoming. The event was huge and there were people everywhere. I was wiped out by the end. We mostly stayed by the booth, while the sisters walked around. 

Sherman is doing great! He 
will get baptized on Saturday the 12th!! Many of our other investigators were out of town, so we will see how they are doing this week.

It sounds like you all had a fun 4th of July! Does that mean Jonathan will start learning karate? Anything more on Kiley's wedding?

As a missionary you have to love The Lord. He gives you strength and spiritual capacity needed to be a missionary. He also provides you with the proper motivation to do missionary work. It cannot be understated what The Lord does for you.

I hope you have a great week and I will email you next week.

Elder Lakey

Monday, June 30, 2014

Half Way

Everything is going great, Sherman is being interviewed for baptism this week!!!  It is so crazy to be at the half way point of my mission!!! It seems like I should still be at the beginning of it!! 

Last week, one of the car tires blowed out on us and one of the other tires was needing to be replaced as well. And then after there that, the car began leaking coolant and was running hot. Later in the week, we were in a members car going to an appointment when their car broke down on the side of the road.

We don't have any plans for the 4th of July.  This week there is a huge celebration in Pembroke called Lumbee Homecoming and the church is setting up a booth for that.

That is crazy that Kiley is getting married!!! I totally did not see it coming!!! I hope for the best for them!!!

I like that thought ("As a Man Thinketh").  It reminds me of what Preach My Gospel says about virtue, and how our mind is like a stage and only one thing can be on it at a time. You will see things that you don't want to see, it is only a sin if you dwell upon those things.

I love you and I will email you again next week.


Elder Lakey

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Car Problems

I had a crazy day yesterday dealing with our car, so I wasn't able to email you because we were having car problems and it took us the whole day to fix.  

I stayed in Pembroke, my new companion is Elder Hjorth.  He is from Spanish Fork and he has been out 6 months so I am now the senior companion.

Sherman is doing great, he committed to living the word of wisdom! He should still be baptized on July 12th.  Our investigators are doing great, we have been visiting a lot of different people, but nothing note worthy.

That is great to hear about Jonathan in scouts.  I'm sorry to hear that his friends are moving away.  Where are the Cloughs moving to?  

I saw the pictures of grandpa, it looked like the kids had a fun time.  That is interesting that Jason is in the bishopric, I wonder how he likes it?  That is great to hear that grandma and grandpa finally have a house!

As far as a package is concerned I don't really have desires for anything specific right now.

I'm happy to hear about team USA, a lot of people are talking about them.  It not too surprising that RSL is not doing well. They seem to struggle when their best players are playing internationally.

Those scriptures (Alma 53:20-21) tell us what we need to do to follow God.  It is amazing to me how many people trust missionaries and look up to them, even those who are not members of the church!  And people only who trust missionaries due to the fact that many them do what is right and do what they say they are going to do.

Sorry for the short update for you and mom, I don't have much time today, but I will email you again next week.

Elder Lakey

Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day

Happy Fathers Day!!!  This week was a good week.

Elder Brinkerhoff is going home this week, but I do not know who my new companion is going to be.  I am staying in Pembroke, assuming nothing weird or crazy happens of course.  You never know what you are going to get in a new companion.  Due to the fact Pembroke is extremely country we do missionary work a bit differently then in many other areas in the mission.  I hope my new companion understands that and is willing to adjust.  

I heard Elder Mickelsen was getting transfer, rumor on the street has it that he is going to Wake Forest.  (Missionaries are filled with stories and rumors but they are not always right, but sometimes they are.)

Elder Corbridge's talk was excellent.  He talked about trying your best is all the Lord requires and not to get stressed or upset about things.  He also talked about teaching a lot and making sure everything we teach goes back  to Eternal Life.  The meeting was only for the Southern half of the mission so I did not see Sister Beard.

I bet the Scottish festival is fun.  Where was the Scottish Festival? The next county over is called Scotland County and it is also very Scottish.  How was the family reunion this year, what did you do and where was it held at?  That is crazy that Elder Greenhalgh and Elder Roberts are companions!!  I'm glad that Jonathan was able to teach the lesson today, and I hope he has a fun time up in Scout camp.  It is getting hot, it is suppose to hit 100 degrees this week!!

Putting God first is the only way to do missionary work.  The Missionary handbook says that your loyalties are first to The Lord, then to your Mission President, then to your companion. We have to be willing to sacrifice everything if needed for The Lord.  If we are not Loyal to The Lord then he can't give us the support we need to do His work.
I love and I hope you had a happy father's day.

Elder Lakey

Monday, June 9, 2014

Another good week in Pembroke

This week has been a good week.  Yesterday we met with a man named Sherman, he is dating a member in the ward and has started to go to church.  Yesterday, he told us he wants to be baptized, he is already reading The Book of Mormon and he is getting married on Saturday!  It is all a little crazy because he and his fiance announced yesterday that they were getting married in 6 days!!!  We set a baptismal date for July 12th.

This Thursday Elder Corbridge of the Seventy is coming to the mission.  He gave a well known talk called "The Fourth Missionary", you can find it on the internet.

I will be getting a new companion next transfer, because Elder Brinkerhoff is going home!!! I do not know anything else that will be happening next transfer.  

It is starting to get hot, southern summers suck.  Sadly Pinehurst is not in my area, so I doubt I will be doing anything for the U.S. Open. 

That sounds like fun that Aunt Jill is in town, it's good to hear Jonathan and Rebecca get a long.  That is great that Grandma and Grandpa are finally going to have a home!!

I like that thought, when Elder Parker talked to us about his conversion story he told us that converts don't look like much at first, but they will grow. Only God knows a man's fullest potential.

I love you and I email you next week, hopefully with some more good news.

Elder Lakey

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Packages are Good

This week has been alright, we had a lot of appointments fall through.  The investigator I told you about last week, we just found out yesterday he is moving up to North Carolina, but we don't know where yet. Not a whole lot happened this week..

Thank you for the package!! It had everything I needed!

That is great to hear about Austin Egbert's mission call!  Are William or Jonathan doing anything fun for the summer?  That is crazy that Josh and Hayden are graduating, hopefully they will go on missions in the future. I'm glad to hear grandma and grandpa will be moving in soon.

We do have a family history center in Pembroke, there was also one in Jacksonville.  I have looked at some our ancestors on it before.  Most of the North Carolina relatives are from the Asheville area, but I found some near a small town called Hillsborough, which is in the mission.

 I hope you are having a good week, and I will email you again next week.

Elder Lakey

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day

This week was good.  The investigators are doing alright. We set a baptismal date with someone... only to find out he lives a hour and half into South Carolina!! ( he works with a member in the ward in our area and we taught him on his lunch breaks.) A lot of people were gone on vacation, so we weren't able to teach much.

Unfortunately it has been warming, but at least very little humidity yet. We aren't really doing much for Memorial day.

I know Lui from track and also mission prep, I like Lui a lot and I'm guessing he just got off his mission. Speaking of mission prep, we did a mission prep devotional for the youth. I hope we can do more things like that in the future. 

It sounds like it is almost a family reunion, right now back home.  Thanks for the package that is all I really need for now.  I finally was able to figure how to upload pictures, I will try to send some each week. 

I hope Jonathan can find some new friends when Cole moves, he will get to meet a lot of new people in Jr. High.

As a missionary you've got to love The Restoration, it is what we teach about to people all the time. The idea that God still sends revelation to us is new to most people, and it makes sense to them as well.

I hope there will be more to report next week.

Elder Lakey

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

An Excellent Week

This has been an excellent week! We got 9 new investigators in the last two weeks!!  And we should be getting more this week as well.  The best part is all but one were found through members, which means they are more likely to progress.  When we were walking to the church today, one of the new investigators saw us in his truck and pulled over to tell us he was excited for our next meeting!  So, things are looking good right now.  And yesterday it actually cooled off into the 60s and it is in the low 70s today, it has been very nice, but it was really hot before then.

I think it is so weird I graduated last year, it seems like forever ago!  The Pembroke kids get out June 12th.  I think Austin is going to Zimbabwe speaking Zulu.

I'm glad that Rob is still in the scouting program, he is one of the best scoutmasters I have ever seen.  I'm glad to hear Jonathan is trying out these new things for the first time.  

Thanks for rounding up the items I could use another set of jeans, I had one pair get ripped and there is no where in Pembroke to buy clothes.

I like that spiritual thought, often times the Holy Ghost only prompts you once, and that is all you will get.  If we want to make the right choices, we have to make the decision in our mind before the choice is laid before us.

I love you and I will email you again next week.

Elder Lakey

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mothers Day

It was great talking to you yesterday!

As a missionary the person's attitude is key to weather they will progress in the Gospel or not.  Many people love the message of the Gospel, but they hate that the Gospel tells them to change and become more Christ like.  In fact many churches out here tell people they are saved no matter what they do and they don't need to stop sinning.  If we accept that through Christ all things are possible, then you can repent and change no matter what has happen in your past.  I know, because I have witnessed people changing on my mission.

I would like some bright ties.  I noticed on your mission the color of your tie will change how people look at you, so bright ties should have people think that you are happy. 

I love you and I will email you next week.

Elder Lakey

Monday, May 5, 2014

Surprise visit from Elder Anderson

This week is going well.  I got to meet Elder Anderson on Saturday that was pretty crazy!  It was really crazy because it was announced the day before that he is coming!!  Elder Martinez and Elder Piper of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy and Elder Parker of the area authority was there as well.  The Charlotte Mission President and some of the local stake presidents were also there.

We will be using Skype for Mother's Day at a member's home. I do not know the time, sometime after church which ends 12 eastern. I'll call the house before I get on Skype.

That is great to be hearing about the Greenhalghs and their experiences!  That is also great to have Harrison's dad in our ward.  I'm excited to hear about Greg I know some people that are serving there.  Thank Eve for the package for me.

The weather is starting to get hot, it is in the mid 80s all the time now.  

Pembroke is an interesting ward, its hard to describe, it is just very southern. The people here do a lot of missionary work.

Prayer is good.  It works.  What I like the most about prayers is that you can receive revelation that will give you more wisdom, light and knowledge! 

I love you with all my heart and I will see you on Sunday.

Elder Lakey

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tornado Warnings

This week was a good week.  Elder Wagner will be in our tri-panionship for a week.  We will  cover Laurinburg during that time.  Elder Brinkerhoff and I are staying together for one more transfer, but he is being released from being district leader.  This is my first time not being with a district leader on my whole mission.  I will be with him till the end of his mission.  We will see if I see Taylee when she gets here.

Yeah, out here we get a lot of tornado warnings. But I have been safe.  I don't like freaking you out, but tornadoes are more common out here.  I had one in Jacksonville and one here, both were really small that did next to no damage.  

Yes, I do want the primary songs, Elder Roberts had their primary stuff and I really liked it and it is rather spiritual.  I would also like some beef Jerky.

I like that thought from President Eyring (“Raise the Bar”).  A very common saying in this mission is you can't lift higher than you stand and you can't convert beyond your own conversion. We help motivate people to do missionary work, by helping strengthen their own conversion.  I actually gave a talk yesterday about conversion and how to be converted.

I'm doing good and I will email you again next week.

Love, Elder Lakey

Monday, April 21, 2014


I had a quiet Easter, but I enjoyed it, I read a lot of Jesus the Christ on that day.   The Cantata went well, hundreds of people showed up!  We even ran out of places for people to sit!  I did not sing in it.  We also ate Easter dinner with a member.  I'm glad to hear that the #BecauseofHim Easter video went viral, many missionaries tried to get the video out there.

This past past we got to go to the temple, which is always great.  We found out yesterday that a missionary in the next area over, finally got his visa to go serve in Brazil.  He was here for almost a whole year!  He should leave next week and his companion will come and stay with us for a week until the next transfer happens.  I should be serving in tri-companionship covering two areas for a week that should be fun.

I'm glad Jonathan was able to pass the sacrament.  It's normal to be nervous at first, he will get used to it.  That is crazy that the 3rd ward split once again! Does that affect our boundaries and ward?  I should see Taylee in the mission sooner or later.

Thanks for the package it was well appreciated! I don't mind candy but I wouldn't mind some variety and also other snacks. I also would like more Inside Out Acapella and a CD from Handel's Messiah.

I like that message from President Uchtdorf, I believe that the Gospel of Jesus of Christ is the most powerful force in the universe. Why? Because I know of no other force that will change a person's entire life for the better in a drastic way without compelling the person to change.  Nations can't do that, nor armies, nor rehab, nor jail, nor any self help book. And that Gospel can be found in General Conference.  You can feel the Christlike love radiating from the speakers.

I love you a ton!! And I will email you again next week.

Love, Elder Lakey

Thursday, April 17, 2014


I am glad to hear from you. This week was a much better week than last week. We found some solid new investigators.  One investigator was one we discontinued actively teaching in the past and then last sunday he randomly shows up to church, and the other was a relative of a member (everyone is related around here) and she has already read half of the Book of Mormon and wants to do temple work.

We have an Easter Cantata on Saturday and we have been inviting a lot of people out to it.  Also we  have just received word today, that the Church has requested we share an Easter message with everyone we can reach online.  On Mormon.org there is a video called "Because of Him" it is about the Savior's atonement.  I want you to look at it and post the video to your facebook page and put #BecauseofHim.

I am glad to hear that Jonathan was able to receive the priesthood today!  I also glad Rob is still scoutmaster for Jonathan. I thought we finally thought he got out of Young Men's!  I think that is funny that the missionaries asked you for a list. We tried that as a mission a while back and a lot of members got annoyed at that idea, so we abandoned it pretty quickly.

Thanks for the package and I will email you again next week.

Love, Elder Lakey

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Grateful to be on a Mission

General Conference was great!  I like it a lot more as missionary than I did before my mission.  We invited some investigators out, but some of them forgot and didn't show up.  We had a lot of members trying to invite people to church as well.

On a mission we set two different types of goals. We have numerical goals, for example how many people we want to come to church next Sunday,  And we have action plans. Which simply put is plans to do certain things, like what you are planning on doing. I find action plans to be more effective than numerical goals.

I can't believe Jonathan is going to be a deacon that is so weird to think about!  I am sure he is happy to have a Wii U and I am happy to hear that he is getting the priesthood.

I really liked President Uchtdorf's talk on gratitude.  I never realized it's not about being thankful for all the blessings you have received in life, but rather that there is a loving God who gives us blessings.  And the biggest blessing of all, the Atonement.  I am grateful to be on a mission and I wouldn't trade it for the world. It is tough, and frustrating, but worth it.  I don't give out much details about my mission, because a mission is filled with setbacks and disappointments, and I don't want to fill the email with negative things.  But a mission is the greatest experience in the world!

I hope you loved General Conference and I will email you again next week.

Elder Lakey

Monday, March 31, 2014

No Hablo Espanol

This week was alright.  There was a leadership meeting for all the leaders in the mission.  Elder Brinkerhoff went to it, so I got to go on exchanges with some Spanish speaking elders.  I was completely useless, because I didn't know any Spanish.  I am very happy I was not called Spanish speaking.  One of the sister missionaries in the ward was transferred this week as well.

Yeah, it is great to be with the mission president. I think the biggest thing about being with him is the confidence he has in his missionaries.

That is good that Kiley is moved out and not having anymore roommate problems.  Also I did get the package, thank you. They always seem to show up the day after preparation day.

I am watching conference from the Ward building, and hopefully we will have some investigators there.  I feel really refreshed after General Conference.  It was great to go to the Temple, we should be going again in May.

I love that article from the April New Era.  I am nothing if I do not try to serve others.  All of a missionaries "power" only comes when trying to sincerely help others, or in other words when they have charity, the pure love of Christ.  However it takes time to develop Charity, hence why we are give time upon the earth to learn and grow.

I hope you are doing good and I will email you again next week.

Love, Elder Lakey

Monday, March 24, 2014

Proselyting with the Mission President

This week has been good.  The teaching is going alright.  We went proselyting with President Bernhisel on Wednesday that was interesting.  On Saturday, one of Elder Brinkerhoff's converts was endowed and sealed in the temple with his wife and kids.  We got permission to go to the sealing.  It was cool and surprisingly simple.  We also saw some temple workers from Jacksonville, so I got to talk with them a little bit.

Transfers are this week, I am staying in Pembroke and so is Elder Brinkerhoff.

Thanks for the spiritual thought!  Missionary work is the most difficult thing  I have ever done in my life. While many missionaries stay for the full two years, some missionaries will get burned out and become "trunky".  While I have way too much time on my mission to get trunky, there is no denying the fact that one can get discouraged on their mission if they are not careful.  But, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

I did not get the package you sent me yet.  I am glad Great Grandma is doing better, I have been praying for her and put her name on the prayer roll!  Tell Johnathan it is always cool to hang with friends on your birthday. I hope he can do better at the cello than I ever did.

I hope you are having a good week, I love you and I will email you next week.

Elder Lakey

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Book of Mormon is Amazing!

This has been a good week.  Our investigators are doing alright.  Unfortunately we do not have any investigators close to baptism yet. We had stake conference yesterday, we went to the adult session on Saturday and then they had an area broadcast on Sunday, where Elder L. Tom Perry spoke. The whole conference was all about missionary work.

In order for the work to hasten and to get 200 baptisms for the stake we need miracles. Good thing our God is a God of miracles. We will also need a lot of support from the members too. 

Hastening the Work is an all out effort for the church. Everyone must play a role in it.  If you think about it, many activities and aspects of church are a part of the work. What stood out to me about what Elder L. Tom Perry said was that he didn't add anything new. He just repeated what has been said for the last year and a half now.  Simply put, it is time to go to work.

There are also sister missionaries in the ward. In fact, Sister Cowley was in the Jacksonville 3rd ward with me for awhile and now she is in Pembroke.

I saw that President Reed's wife died, that is so sad. I remember President Reed telling me this was going to happen. I know their son Jeff well. He actually emailed me two weeks telling me he got his mission call to the Ventura California.  hope he will still want to go.

I'm sorry to hear about Great Grandma, I didn't realize that it was getting that bad. I will be praying for her.  Thanks for sending a care package, it is well appreciated.  I will see what I can do about sending the photos home.

The Book of Mormon is amazing! There is a reason why we encourage everyone to read it.  There is also a reason why Satan stirs people up to hate it.

I hope all is well back home and I will email you next week.

Elder Lakey