I’m Becoming More Comfortable Talking to People!


What a crazy week this has been! Elder Byrd fell sick on Monday night, and we were cooped inside on Tuesday and Wednesday. That kind of inactivity can drive a missionary insane, so I spent a lot of time doing things that needed to be done around the house; made calls, and did a lot of personal study. I took this as an opportunity to look inside, and turn to God for answers to some of the deeper matters of my soul, about enduring to the end. I felt a very distinct answer, and an admonition to read my patriarchal blessing. I did so very thoughtfully, and it provided more answers to my questions that I hadn’t considered before. Looking back on the week, I can see my study journal is full of very valuable insight, specifically for me.
I have also learned so much about being an effective missionary from those around me. I want to recognize a wonderful ward missionary, named Evan, who told me early in the week, “You don’t need to sacrifice what isn’t needed,” which helped me to feel more confident in my efforts then later in the week. As he was helping us exchange back with the Yorktown elders, he showed his great example of being willing to talk to everyone. We were doing yard work for one of the Yorktown elders’ investigators, and he saw that we could use a hammer. Faithfully, he went door to door, undeterred by the awkwardness, and asked everyone if they had a hammer we could borrow and if they would like to meet us! He came back in a few minutes, with a woman who told us this was the strangest thing anyone had asked of her. To which he responded, “I’m just not afraid to talk to people!” The woman showed appreciation for what we were doing and showed interest in meeting the missionaries again to give them more service to do!
I’m becoming more comfortable talking to people! We have talked to just about everyone we see every day! I am starting to feel such a greater love for people! Something which confirms something I read in my patriarchal blessing. Read here for more information on Patriarchal Blessings I am really learning to follow Jesus’ example by becoming a servant!
Just so you all know, I am still a huge nerd! Elder Byrd and I have some Legend of Zelda music which we listen to sometimes, and we love to connect with people we meet who have similar intersts! (We even got the Breath of the Wild soundtrack from Elder Byrd’s little brother!)
Have a great summer!
-Elder Samuel Runyan

2 Nephi 2:25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

Exodus 3:16 (footnote b) – study material on God visiting His children
(I included a picture of some spaghetti I made which I was proud of because I put some sauteed onions and mushrooms in)

Tis the Season

Hello Family!

Sorry I’m slow to get to my email. I’m still a pretty slow typer.

     Overall, It’s been a pretty awesome week! Thank you so much for all the letters and packages! I gave Elder Staheli his present; that was really nice of y’all to send that! I hope the holidays are treating everyone well! I know it can be a stressful time, but I think a good way to make this season really mean something is to share the Light of Christ with others. If you turn outward, and help others to see how much Christ loves them, I can promise that life will never be dull.
     I hope everything’s going well with y’all! People really change and open up with the Christmas season. One thing that people do here to decorate their houses is put candles (usually electronic) in all the window’s. I think it looks really cool!
     Elder Staheli and I are working better as a team lately and we are really learning to rely on each other more. One of his goals has been to talk less in lessons so I can get a chance to teach more, and mine has been to speak and be bold in lessons, and we’ve really been doing that well with each other! We have to watch “The District” videos a lot as part of training. Although they are helpful, they make some of the things they do seem like doctrine, when in reality every mission is different and so is every missionary. A lot of the things they show are for an “ideal” mission; “ideal” ward, “ideal” members, even “ideal” investigators. In reality, going on a mission really requires adaptability, and willingness to work with anyone, no matter how “ideal” they are.
     I’ve been having troubles with my bike lately. The tire rubs against the frame, because the axle is pretty much messed up. I’m taking it to the shop and it won’t be too expensive of a fix. Until then, we really have to watch our miles and try to get rides from members, but that’s mission life! I like walking anyway, because it’s easy to go up to people and talk to them.
     It’s been really hard to get people to follow through with appointments, but we are praying for more opportunities to teach, and some of our best lessons have been with strangers on the street! The Light the World initiative has been great to share with people because everyone has a cell phone, and can look it up.
     One tender mercy I’ve experienced was when teaching an investigator, I had a prayer in my heart that he would recognize the Spirit and we started talking about how the Spirit works. He started asking great, spiritual questions like “Do all the members in your church have this ‘ability’ to teach like this?” and we explained that he was feeling the Spirit. It went really well and he decided that he wanted to get baptized, but didn’t want to chose a date yet. That was probably the best outcome I’ve had from a lesson yet, and it was really reassuring because all I needed to do was testify of what I know to be true and that Christ loves us. This morning, I studied my Patriarchal Blessing and that was a great comfort to me.

     I wanted to show y’all what people in the ‘hood like to do to their cars. Elder Staheli absolutely loathes these cars, and says they’re called “donks”.


It’s a big tradition to put a cover on your missionary planner, (and it keeps it from falling apart.) I finally put one on mine which Elder Steheli helped me do. The front is from the December Ensign and the back is a picture that we have literally all over the house.


     Merry Christmas everyone! I can’t wait to see you on Skype!
Elder Runyan