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  1. Elder Pritchard - In remembrance of Dad Jun 8, 2020 Some unfortunate events have definitely made it difficult to reach outwards and open up to all of you at home. I made a post on Facebook soon after the event but I know that isn't enough. My father passed away on April 10th, Good Friday. I know I will see him again. That's the most simple way to put it. I remember the shockful feeling as I was sitting on the top floor of the mission home in Sofia as my mom had called me and said "He's gone Wade, he's just gone". I remember the missionaries around me hearing those words and them looking at me. I stayed calm on the outside the whole time, and started organizing my thoughts. I called my mission president, walked to his apartment, and sat with him and his wife for a few hours as I processed the whole thing. While pondering there the following thoughts came to my mind. Have I wronged my father by not being home? Do I go home now? How will my family react? What will I do? How will my family be able to be closer together? I won't get to spend time with my dad for a litteral lifetime. I made a few choices. My father would want me to be happy, he does not want anyone in the family to be sad or depressed. He wants me to press forward and make him proud. I should never be comfortable with my place in life. My dad wants me to progress by going through hard things. I know that he is in a period of time in which he is at peace. What does this passing mean for me? I'm staying on my mission until my return in November. This is a very difficult decision. But the Lord loves effort. I remember in the past, my mission president said something that has stuck with me. "The accomplishment of easy things make men weak and stupid." My future holds a period of time of stress due to the very quick transition I will make. I will start school immediately after returning, start working, and take care of any expenses that are needed. My stress is due to the lack of money. But the Lord always provides a way. I will always choose the harder right. I will struggle. Here are some important things regarding my dad, I truly believe the following to be true. The spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life. And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow. Alma 40:11-12 Tell me not, in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream! For the soul is dead that slumbers, And things are not what they seem. Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art, to dust returnest, Was not spoken of the soul. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow "There is no end to glory; There is no end to love; There is no end to being; There is no death above." I will miss my dad so much. I will work very hard, I will make my dad proud. I will never let him down. As long as I live, his memory will never pass. I love him without end. I love you Dad.
  2. Elder Pritchard Pictures Apr 6, 2020 No email! Just pics from last week because the church is really bad at making emails work. PICTURES
  3. Elder Pritchard - Quarantined / AP / And More! Mar 30, 2020 Hello everyone! I don't remember when I last sent an email. The last few months have been action packed. I finished training in Stara Zagora, then I went to Sliven for 6 weeks, as district leader. Then I went to Stara Zagora again to train someone else for 6 weeks as district leader, then I went to Plovdiv to be a district leader, again. Three cities, all district leader. We had a great Zone Conference. We talked about repurposing ourselves in the Lord's work. Our Mission President said that we probably wouldn't be quarantined. Two days after that, we were partially quarantined. A few days after that, they sent half the mission home, including the sisters from my MTC group. The next day I was called to serve as an assistant to the president in Sofia. We were then fully quarantined, we sent all of the senior couples home. We had to bring all of the missionaries to Sofia due to Bulgaria closing its borders and closing city entrances and exits. I've had the opportunity to drive across the country and back. I've been to the airport about 7 times within the last two weeks driving everyone. I've made it home often at 12 in the morning, and have woken up to drive people at 3 in the morning. I am having a lot of fun. We are not going home. All 33 of us are staying put. Until we aren't. We our doing all of our lessons online, its more effective than teaching in person. It's interesting to see how the Lord's work in hastening. This email is a block of text because I really don't have time to write. I am way too busy. I love you all. Christ lives. He died for us. He knows our feelings, our struggles, and our hardships. As we do that our called leaders ask of us, we will be okay. The Lord has never led us astray before, he won't now. Love, Elder Pritchard (Will send pictures when the Church decides to stop messing up my email)
  4. Elder Pritchard - Merry Christmas!!! Dec 25, 2019 Merry Christmas! It's been a couple months since I have sent a group email. In September, I moved to Stara Zagora and was assigned to train a new missionary Старейшина Van Weezep. My time with him mostly consisted of traveling between Stara Zagora and Haskovo, providing support for the members. We had a Christmas concert provided by the missionaries which was so wonderful to share the Christmas spirit with others. Last week I moved to Sliven and am the district leader for Sliven, Stara Zagora and Plovdiv. I will be traveling a lot as most of the missionaries are in Plovdiv and the area that I specifically cover consists of Sliven, Yambol, and Veliko Turnovo. This will be a fun time of sleeping in hotels and being always out and about covering a 230 km / 150 mi radius. I'm serving with a newer missionary Старейшина Lewis, he's really easy to get along with. For Christmas I am in Plovdiv with the other missionaries. The pictures I'll attach tell better stories than I ever could, so please check them out. I love you all! PICTURES
  5. Conference Pictures Sep 23, 2019 PICTURES
  6. Elder Pritchard - Apostle Visit, Baptism, Transfer Call Sep 23, 2019 My wonderful brothers and sisters, These last few weeks have been the best weeks of my life. We flew to the capital of Bulgaria on Friday the 13th to meet Elder Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles For those that don't know, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is the second-highest presiding body in the government of the Church. Its members travel the world as special witnesses of the name of Christ and serve under the direction of the First Presidency. So it's very special for an Apostle to visit here. We had our zone conference on the 14th. We were split into two groups. Our Area President Elder Golden and his wife spoke to us and Sister and Elder Renlund got to speak to us. It was very great to have an almost 20 person meeting with all of them. Although most of their teachings were sacred, some of the principles we learned about were regarding attitude versus effort, and how time and faith work with or against each other. On Sunday the 15th we attended a conference at Hilton Hotel in Sofia with all of the Bulgarian members and listened to talks from Elders and Sisters Renlund and Golden. For those of you that don't know, out of respect for leadership, you stand for them (no duh, right?), well imagine everyone standing up at once with absolutely no noise besides a piano when Elder Renlund came in. Everyone had the opportunity to meet Elder Renlund after the conference. The spirit was so strong. The members learned a lot, they were definitely called to repentance, and it's very amazing to feel the love the Savior has for each and every one of us. The Lord wants us to be as he is. One of the people that we have been working with was baptized on the 21st and confirmed the 22nd. His name is Rogers Mutanda. I've had the wonderful privilege to work with him since the Holy Ghost has led me to him in June, and I also had the opportunity to baptize him. He has been my first live baptism. We've had a wonderful journey together which unfortunately will come to an end. I've received my transfer call and I will be living in Stara Zagora again. I will be training a new missionary who gets here on Wednesday. I'm truly excited. My companion and I will be covering two cities by ourselves. He will learn to catch up quick! The feelings I have today are feelings which will remind me of Varna forever. I'm leaving Varna. A place which I've learned to have an absolute love for the people here. This is the first time since I've left home, in which I feel like I'm leaving home again. I will miss this place way more than words can describe. I've made a huge footprint for those that will come after me. Varna will always be a place in my heart, forever. Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear; But with joy wend your way. Though hard to you this journey may appear, Grace shall be as your day. 'Tis better far for us to strive Our useless cares from us to drive; Do this, and joy your hearts will swell-- All is well! All is well! Love, Elder Pritchard PICTURES
  7. Elder Pritchard - Preparing For The Apostle Sep 9, 2019 Здравейте Всички! I hope all is well! The work has been amazing these last few weeks and so I will cover just a few of the events that have happened and that are going to happen. Someone I'm teaching is getting baptized soon, he is really excited to make this wonderful covenant with God and follow the example of Jesus Christ. It is indeed very exciting to see him progress so well! We have new laws in the European Union we have to follow regarding notifying people that we want to keep an official record that we are teaching them. It's been such a blessing because people understand truly what our purpose is. A few people were teaching loved it and we can see that they are growing closer to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A lot of lessons have been going on and let me tell you, I am very blessed to be able to have the confidence and competence to talk to everyone and invite them to learn more about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. President Nelson is 95 years old now! He's the only person I know that's older than my dad! Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is coming to Turkey and Bulgaria this week. We will have a missionary conference with him and then we will have a country wide conference with him! We fly to Sofia on Friday and return also by flight on Monday, so there's an action packed week ahead! That is all I have to report, I hope everyone is living their best life, because we only get one mortal life and as all the old people say, time sure does fly. Stay young in spirit, stay old in wisdom! Love, Elder Pritchard PICTURES
  8. Elder Pritchard - Still Breathing Aug 5, 2019 Hello! Another week gone by! Nothing too crazy. We had a service project last week which was really entertaining! Besides that, there's not much going on. I missed some pictures from the last week that I'll add here. Today I'm going to Sofia for zone conference. So more 7 hour traveling! We are preparing for the Apostle to come in September. Hope all is well! Love, Elder Pritchard PICTURES
  9. Elder Pritchard - And It Came Why hello there everyone. It's been a few minutes, and guess what, I'm not giving you all the information! I started a new transfer and have stayed in Varna with a new companion, Elder Hatch. It's been wonderful! The mission president came here to visit the members, and we went out to eat. His daughter and her husband came to visit. So we all roasted President Davis together! I have way too much fun on my mission. My birthday was wonderful, the missionaries threw a surprise party for me which I was not expecting at all. What a wonderful district. We took a mission trip to the Rila Monastery, it was most beautiful! The city I'm serving in is a color shirt no tie mission. So it's much easier to stop people. We are expecting an Apostle to visit in a few months, so we will have the opportunity to meet him! I apologize for not writing more frequently, I've been very busy, and life has been life. I intend to get back on track, but we shall see! I love all of you so much! Elder Pritchard PICTURES
  10. Elder Pritchard - As it goes Здравейте! I hope all is well with y'all! I don't have much to say, but I have pictures! We've been working hard and having fun, as always. Zone conference is coming up so I'll be going to Sofia again! Tell me not, in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream! For the soul is dead that slumbers, And things are not what they seem. Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art, to dust returnest, Was not spoken of the soul. - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow PICTURES
  11. Elder Pritchard - I Love Varna Okay ladies and gentlemen, these last two weeks have been my favorite two weeks. Last week, I dropped off Elder Gregory in Sofia then went with Elder Clawson to Varna, which was a seven hour bus ride. No worries though, I survived. We obviously don't get to follow the handbook almost ever because we physically can't. In theory we're supposed to get in by 9:00, but seeing that we always travel, common sense kicks in instead. But I think I like it that way haha. Varna is so beautiful and is by far the best city I have served in. It's right on the beach which I love so much as it reminds me of California. The people are so awesome here and missionary work is great. The branch (congregation) has a great branch president who is on top of everything. I brought someone to church and he didn't wait a minute to welcome him and invite him to do things. I love it here, I love my companion. I love it all. When I first got into Bulgaria, I made a joke that it's only uphill from here. That seemed to be true with my first, second, third, and now fourth transfer. But I know after this transfer, it's only down hill haha. I'm not emotional, just realistic. Although I may stay in Varna for more than one transfer, I don't think I'll ever have this great of a group of missionaries in one city, let alone the district. We all have so much fun. In the States I would say we have the best in the west, but here in Bulgaria, the best are in the east. We do service every other week at an ostrich farm in a village about thirty minutes away from Varna and oh how fun it is, we always are working on different projects, so that's fun. Every Saturday our group runs a 5K together which is so fun. I think I'm gonna start to enjoy running. Last week I went to Sofia with my group on a seven hour train ride. It was so fun. We all get along so well and just have a great time. It's not because they are all Sisters, I promise. It's because they are not all Elders. I don't mean to roast males, or men in the Church or whatever. But it seems to stay true, that when there are people at my age, the females are the ones that are more intellectual and mature. Right now, our whole group is perfect. So the purpose of this Sofia trip, was to see Elder Patrick Kearon of the Presidency of the Seventy. We were able to listen to Sister Kearon and Elder Kearon talk to us about a whole bunch of matters regarding missionary work. President Martino of the Area Presidency also came again, so we had the opportunity to hear from him as well. I reminded Elder Kearon about the conference he attended with Elder D. Todd Christofferson in Concord, California and how his talk helped change me. I honestly have not attended a more intellectual conference, to this day. There was a German at the conference as well, but nevertheless, I won't remember his name, even after Elder Kearon told me. I returned to Varna by bus with two Sisters and my MTC companion who I went on exchanges with. It was really fun and I never have been so excited to get back into my city. That has been my last two weeks! It's been so great and currently, I'm going to Plovdiv by train to go on exchanges for a few days. I hope all is well for everyone, this is probably the best email I sent so far as it is the best day of my life. "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." - The Apostle Paul Love, Elder Pritchard PICTURES
  12. Elder Pritchard - Keeping Busy Howdy! Two weeks ago, I wen't to Plovdiv for exchanges with differnt missionaries, it was super fun and I learned that I absolutely love Plovdiv! The only chapel that the church has built is in Plovdiv. Besides that, the week was uneventful. This last week has been crazy and I don't really have a lot of time to cover it all! Last Monday we left Stara Zagora and went to Plovdiv for two days. We did a service project for disabled children by helping this organization from Los Angeles build a little ranch for horses. The whole thing was built in six days, which was so awesome and was definitely built with intent and speed. We went one day early because one of the other missionaries were showed a gun. Great stuff! While we were in Plovdiv, my companion was brushing his teeth one night and a whole half of his tooth chipped off, so we had to leave the third day and go to Sofia so he could get his tooth fixed. While we were there, I went on exchanges with other missionaries and helped one of the members move a mattress to our mission presidents apartment. I saw everyone in Sofia in that one day, we had pizza with all of the missionaries serving there and it was great to see everyone again. The next day, we left Sofia and went back to our assigned city Stara Zagora by train. When we arrived, my companion was super sick so we stayed in the apartment, and he was sick most of the next day too, it was pretty bad. We went back to work, and it has been really great to be back in our city! But lo and behold, I'm going to Sofia today a zone conference with the area presidency. So looks like I get no break. But no worries, I love traveling! That's all I have to report at this time, still working hard! Still having fun! Until next week, Love, Elder Pritchard / Wade / Swade / The Pritch / Whatever name is created for me that I don't remember PICTURES ALBUM PICTURES
  13. Elder Pritchard - one last thing [Week 16 Bonus - Ed.] In Bulgaria, Easter is celebrated on the 28th, so happy Easter to all of y'all Americans!
  14. Elder Pritchard - Week something Здравейте! Ако имаш Исус Христос в твоят живот, ще имаш щастие. So many things happened over the past few weeks but to write about everything would be too much. I'll give a run down. My new area is really cool. We have to travel between Stara Zagora, Haskovo, Sliven, and Yombal throughout the week. There's two companionships to cover all of these cities. It's really cool because each city is one to two hours away from each other. We have a virtual branch which means all of these cities go to one call where we all have the same Sacrament meeting with speakers and all of that. It's great because the smaller congregations get support from each other. We had zone conference which we had to travel to Sofia for. Three hour bus ride there. We stayed the night then traveled back. Zone conference was great because of the insights we got within the mission. We also did a communism tour in Sofia. New missionaries came in so I'm no longer the newest kid on the block. We have 37 missionaries right now. 8 Turkish, 2 Farsi, and the rest Bulgarian. General conference was amazing, if there was any conference that I've watched in my very short time as a member that has been so inspiring, it was this one. I loved all of it so much. Elder Holland was absolutely great for sharing the message of dressing and punctuality regarding Sacrament meeting. President Nelson was on the dot with his 'Come follow me' talk, and this priesthood session was so powerful, the best priesthood session I've listened to. Along with the 12 temples announced in October, 8 temples were announced during general conference: Pago Pago, American Samoa; Okinawa City, Okinawa; Neiafu, Tonga; Tooele Valley, Utah; Moses Lake, Washington; San Pedro Sula, Honduras; Antofagasta, Chile; Budapest, Hungary. Now the members here in Bulgaria don't have to go all the way to Ukraine or Germany. They can now go to Hungary which is way closer. When I was in Sliven on Saturday I sang with others at a retirement home, the people there were so loving. I went to Plovdiv (which is the cultural capital of EU this year) last night for dinner. I stayed there for the night and oh my goodness do I love Plovdiv. The city is so beautiful. Plovdiv is the only city in Bulgaria that the church has built a meeting house from scratch. Well that's all for my chaotic time here in Bulgaria. I wonderfully don't have a lot of time to talk more, but it is so exciting here. Hope y'all have a great week! Love, Elder Pritchard PICTURES ENTIRE ALBUM
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