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The Mormoning - Tales Of Wade

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So, as many of you know, Wade has left for his mission trip to Bulgaria. Right now he is in Utah and is being taught the Bulgarian language for his mission trip. He is sending me weekly email updates, and he asked that I post them here on the forums.

 

Hope you all enjoy!

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Elder Pritchard Week 1

 
 
Hey! This whole week has been crazy, I miss you all!
 
I email on Thursdays following today, I get out of the MTC Jan 16, prepare yourselves.
 
The language is hard, but I shall rise to the occasion.
 
So I'll give you a rundown of how everything has been.
 
Landed at the Salt Lake Airport on Wednesday, was picked up by my friend who just got off of his mission, his name is Ben Butters. We went to go buy more dress shirts for me and I bought more slacks as well. When I reported to the MTC, I was greeted by a Missionary that helped carry all of my stuff. He gave me a rundown on everything and simply told me the gift of tongues is real. I dropped off my stuff at my room, I have 3 roommates and sleep on the top bunk on one of the sets of beds. There are 2 Elders in the room that are going to Poland, and then my Companion and I are going to Bulgaria. My district is 4 sisters, and us 2 Elders, I'm the district leader, things are happening, it's super busy.
 
Some info on Bulgaria, there are 24 missionaries, 300ish active members, there are 5 people in the MTC that are going to Bulgaria, one is going to Macedonia, but she is learning Bulgarian because its the closest language she can learn to Macedonian, her country has about 8 missionaries.
 
When I went to class, I was immersed in full Bulgarian, the language is beautiful, I have the alphabet down, at this point were just learning phrases and studying words. That's all we can really do right now, it's super hard, like really really really hard, but I know that I'll get some down by the time I leave here.
 
Had a whole bunch of workshops on our purpose as missionaries:
 
Our purpose:
 
Invite others to
come unto Christ by
helping them
receive the new restored gospel through
 
Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement
Repentance
Baptism
Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and
Enduring to the End.
 
Thursday:
On Thursday we had more courses about missionary work and an introduction to our schedules and how we would do things. We had a meeting between the Polish missionaries and us Bulgarian missionaries. It was on this day that I was assigned to be the district leader for the Bulgarians.
 
 
On Friday it became more of a normal day, we read our scriptures, studied ways to teach, learned more about the language (which we do almost every day). The foods pretty good, we get fed breakfast, lunch, and dinner, a good variety of things.
 
 
On Saturday we studied and memorized passages, in Bulgarian. We had soccer Saturday in the morning, where Croatia, Finland, Poland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Iceland, Holland, Bulgarian, Czech missionaries play against the Ukraine and Russian missionaries.
 
There are a lot speaking Ukrainian and Russian, so they have a bigger team, we play with about 100 people in one game at the same time, it gets pretty intense, unfortunately we lost, and we had two Elders get concussions on our team, but all is well.
 
Sunday was awesome, we had sacrament meeting, leadership meeting, and all of that good stuff. 12 Polish missionaries were leaving the next day, so they gave talks in Polish, it was pretty awesome. that night the whole zone went into there room, we played a remix of one of the Hymns and danced around.
 
Monday was a normal day, more language, more language, more language, oh and we got notified this day that we would be going to Los Angeles the next day.
 
On Tuesday, 4 of us missionaries met at the travel office at 3:30 am, we went to the airport, got on a plane to L.A., went to the Bulgarian Consulate, we used Lyft to get there and back, it was fun, we ran into a Sister who just got back from her mission in Tahiti, we saw her at the airport, we got back to Provo Utah the same day at around 6:45 pm. Everything we did was public transportation, so that was fun. We had devotional from someone of importance (I'm sorry! I forget who it was!).
 
Wednesday: A normal learning day, we did the normal language learning and its still super hard.
 
On Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving, we had an Apostle Elder Uchtdorf came to speak to the whole training center, his wife also spoke to us. We had amazing food, turkey, mashed potatoes, all of the good things, we had 3 devotionals, one dedicated to music. Today we had a service project where we prepared 350,000 servings of breakfast meals for those who don't have the money to eat breakfast. We started our Christmas this night as well, with Christmas lights and music, it was pretty cool.
 
 
My address is
 
REDACTED
 
I think about you all every day, I know I have a purpose here, and I have been called of God to invite others unto Christ.
 
See attached pictures!
 
Love you all,
Elder Pritchard
 

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Elder Pritchard Week 2

 

Here we go!
 
As I settle in, time flies by, it's crazy that I'm already on my third week. The language is coming quicker now, I'm always busy, life is great. Dare I say, the best day of my life?
 
Language-wise, the class has been memorizing verses, grammar, and pretty much everything. It's pretty overwhelming, but a good kind of overwhelming.
 
I went to the Temple last Friday and today. I was overwhelmed by the spirit in today's session. I thought about everything you do, is being done through the veil.
 
We are starting our TRC (Teach an Interested Person) meetings, which means we are teaching people that are only allowed to speak Bulgarian, naturally, they are return missionaries, I mean, who would speak Bulgarian in Utah? Its pretty insane though, the language flows so well, not mine, theirs, but it's so cool to listen to them speak, then I have to take a shot in the dark, look at my paper, and just read it off because I'm not good at the language yet haha.
 
I'm in the process of setting up my phone for the mission, and of course, it's not working as intended. I got a new one already and am setting it up tonight, so hopefully, that works out. Our district is really close with the Polish district, we have the best zone in the whole MTC. No one has anything on us.
 
I've been participating in the choir for devotionals since I've gotten here, the Spirit is so strong when everyone is singing. I must jump back to last week when Elder Uchtdorf was walking around after speaking, he was going everywhere shaking everyone's hands, all the missionaries started to sing 'I Know That My Redeemer Lives', it was so overwhelming. Our choir (organizer?) is so fun, he tells a lot of cool and funny stories, that in itself is a good reason the be in the choir.
 
The MTC President and his wife spoke to us for Sunday's devotional, they are both converts, which is really cool. We had a seventy speak to us, Elder Clayton, he was pretty funny, he had all of those that were baptized after the age of 8 stand up. A really good portion of missionaries stood up. Then he said, if you are a convert to the church, stand up. Naturally, everyone stood up. Everyone has had to convert at some point in their lives. We all struggle, we all fall, but with the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can rise.
 
I know that Jesus Christ is my savior, that I have been called to Bulgaria for a reason, and that I must keep pressing onward. I know we all can grow closer to Heavenly Father, and as we do so, we will be blessed immensely.
 
I love you all so much, I'm so happy to be here!
 
Until next week,
Love,
Elder Pritchard 
 
 
 
Check the attached photos, plus the link! 
 

 

 
Edited by SgtDeadly12

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Старейшина Pritchard Week 3

 

Good day!
 
So this is going to become the same thing over and over again until I leave in January, the weeks will be the same generally. The Spirit is as strong as ever, the district is becoming super close. The oldies of the Zone leave December 17th, So then the new oldies will be the Polish and the Bulgarians. We got 15 new missionaries in our Zone on Wednesday, some Czechs and Slovaks came in. I don't remember what other countries came in, but if/when I find out, I'll update y'all.
 
I got sick since last week, but I'm feeling like a 25 out of 10 already, so I'm back to the grind. We had a second TRC, it was super cool, even though I don't understand anything that the people say, I can sense the humor in what they are saying.
 
It started snowing, its pretty lit, my companion always complains that its cold, its really not that bad, you walk from building to building, surprise surprise, the buildings have heating.
 
I'd love to share something with you. Obviously its the Christmas season, yes it's December.
 
 
 
I hope you all watch those videos and notice that we can be the initiative to bring all of Heavenly Father's children closer together, I pray that all of you take to heart on how you can serve others and follow the Light The Work Initiative.
 
I love reading all of the emails you all send me, I have an IPad in the MTC (they are standard now while in the MTC), which means I can read your emails all day every day, I just can't reply until Thursdays.
 
Which means, email me, email me, email me. It might be hard for me to respond, but I will try.
 
Guess what, its the best day of my life.
 
I hope all is well!
 
Love,

 

Старейшина Pritchard (To help you out, Star-Eee-Shee-Nuh)
 

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Sorry, I fell behind on posting these. The good news is that I have a LOT more to post. Here is the first one.

 

Elder Pritchard Week 4!

 

Здравейте!
 
Every day that I'm here, I gain so much.
 
Honestly, there's not much to say at this point, as you could imagine, every week we have the same stuff on the same days, it's always fun, but to write about it, is a different story.
 
We adopted the ASL (sign language) missionaries in our zone unofficially since I've gotten here. They left this week. The Dutch and Mongolians also left.
 
We got new missionaries in the zone, Slovaks, Czechs, and Dutch.
 
We had TRC yesterday, which means we taught members that served in Bulgaria, in Bulgarian. It was super fun, hard, and the Светия Дух (Holy Spirit) was so strong. If I know the words, I can easily put the sentences together, but its really hard for me to recall the words.
 
My district is super tight, we all get along well.
 
I'm down to answer questions and all of that good stuff. Take note, the 15th, I'll be halfway through the MTC. It's lit.
 
I also got my new tag, the attached photo is a whole bunch of missionaries reporting to different areas. My name is on the left side, the tag under my name is my name in Bulgarian.
 
I am taking more things to heart every day. Jesus Christ is our Savior, He lives.
I know that that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is restored in its fullness, today. The power that existed in his earthly ministry, is here today. That I, along with many others, am called of God to preach the Gospel to every nation, kindred, and tongue.
 
Press onward, ever onward.
 
Love,
Elder Pritchard
 

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Старейшина Причард Week 5 (It's Wade!)

 

Good day!
 
One month down!
 
A month has flown by, it's been insane.
 
The Finnish, Croatians, and one Dutch left on Monday. They were so cool, it sucks to see them leave, but that's the MTC for ya! The Polish and Bulgarians are now the oldest district in the zone, and one of the oldest districts in the MTC. and to think, we still have four more weeks here. The funny part is, those four weeks will fly.
 
Yesterday, we received new Finnish and Icelandic missionaries. They are awesome. It's crazy that they are coming in right before Christmas, but they will be blessed immensely.
 
We also had our last in-person TRC yesterday, so for now on, on Fridays, starting next Friday, we will be teaching lessons over Skype with Bulgarians, I don't even know how to hold a conversation, so God speed.
 
Today, we have the opportunity to clean the Provo Temple for three hours, I'm looking forward to it. The Temple will be shut down for holidays.
 
 
 
I know that Jesus Christ atoned for our sins, that Heavenly Father loves all of us, and there's still a lot of work to be done of the earth today. Everything will happen on God's timing. As we strive to build a relationship with Heavenly Father and pour our heart out to him, we will be blessed immensely.
 
Love,

 

Elder Pritchard
 

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Старейшина Причард Week 6 Merry Christmas!

 

Merry Christmas!!!!
 
Spending this amazing time here in the MTC was so awesome.
 
On Christmas Eve, we had a Nativity scene. A whole bunch of little children acted it out and sung for the whole MTC. What guts they have! The MTC President and his wife are so funny. They had couches and everything moved into the auditorium, and they were dressed all comfortable. After the Nativity, we ate then watched "A Christmas Carol".
 
On Christmas day, we watched "My Broken Horse Christmas" and "It's a Wonderful Life".
 
I got to Skype my parents on Christmas. It was so awesome to see them and talk to them. Check it out, my whole family is still healthy! Something about blessings? It's true!
 
I spoke some gibberish for my parents, they loved it. I sure do miss them!
 
Now check this out. Our Christmas Devotional was given by Susan Kae Bednar and Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Elder Bednar spoke about how we receive revelation. Most of the time, we pray for an answer, about what we should do, and then we wait. We keep waiting till something happens. The way we should approach it is by asking our Heavenly Father for guidance, for an answer, but then take a path, and start doing what is right. The revelation you need to receive will put itself into your mind where it needs to.
How do you know if your receiving revelation? Stop worrying about it, all good things come from God. How do you know if your being prompted by the Holy Ghost? Stop worrying about it, all good things come from God.
 
David Archuleta came to the MTC and sang for us that night, it was awesome!
Christmas at the MTC was amazing, and it was so spiritual.
 
Just over two weeks and I'll be out of here.
 
 
I love all of you!
Until Next week,

 

Elder Pritchard
 

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Elder Pritchard Week 7 2019

 

Howdy y'all!
 
I miss all of you so much!
The countdown to the field is happening, I have two weeks left in the MTC!
 
I'm pretty happy with myself teaching, you can feel the inspiration at the right time. It's funny, you come prepared to teach a lesson regarding a certain topic, and when you get in the lesson, you feel the prompting to teach something completely different. Act upon your promptings!
 
We had our first Skype TRC lesson, the person we taught is a painter in Bulgaria, he's a member, and I understood a good portion of nothing about what he was saying. But what I do know, is that sharing scriptures is not hard, and speaking about the message is not too difficult.
 
For our Tuesday devotional we had the general president of the Sunday School of The Church, Tad R. Callister come. It was awesome to hear from him. He talked about how we should act when receiving revelation. There is obviously something important behind revelation if it keeps being brought up. In General Conference, President Nelson spoke about how we should strive to receive our own revelation. Elder Bednar told us to not struggle with not feeling the moment of revelation, Brother Callister talked about what we have to do to receive it. Revelation is important, Heavenly Father desires for us to receive guidance and answers, we have to do our part and put ourselves in the position to receive it.
 
Brother Callister has written three books which I own, The Inevitable Apostasy, The Blueprint of Christ's Church, and The Infinite Atonement. As you can imagine, I was pretty excited to hear someone speak who has written books that I actually read at home.
 
 
 
I leave the Missionary Training Center on January 15th.
 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
ADDRESS REDACTED
ADDRESS REDACTED
 
Please do NOT use my name, Elder Pritchard on  packages but only
write W. Pritchard somewhere on the box (not in the address)
and send an email to the mission office (REDACTED) with a
picture of the package and its contents. Letters and postcards can be sent with
the full name of Wade Pritchard.
 
I'm off to the Temple today, I encourage anyone who has not been recently, that is able to go, should go. It's an amazing experience.
 
That is all. I know that my Redeemer lives.
 
Love,

 

Elder Pritchard
 

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Старейшина Pritchard Week 8 I Feel It Coming!

 

It's real now, it was before, but this is intense.
 
Last Friday we received our flight plans, which changes the whole perspective. I wanted to leave the next day! I don't dislike the MTC at all, but when you get teased with your travel plans, you want it to happen immediately.
 
ITINERARY REDACTED
 
It's truly exciting! I'm supposed to be leaving the MTC at 03:45, so almost the same time it was when we had to leave to get our visas in L.A. on our sixth day here.
 
On Sunday, we had a devotional, I forgot the speakers' names. Това е okay. My companion accompanied a special musical number during the devotional, so I was the page-turner. Let me tell you, I am the best page-turner to ever walk the planet. You would not be wrong to assume that everyone wanted to talk to me after the devotional, the other people were definitely not as important as me.
 
On Tuesday, my companion accompanied another special musical number in private for the devotional speaker. Sister Hunt. who is in my district, sang. Due to the wonderful talents of the district, it gave me an opportunity to meet the Relief Society general president, Sister Jean B. Bingham, and her husband. Now for all of y'all who aren't familiar, the Relief Society is one of the largest and oldest women's organizations in the world, with about seven million members, and climbing.
 
After they played, we promptly left and went to get food, we then listened to Sister Bingham and Brother Bingham speak to us. Their devotional was truly inspiring. Remember, we all have our agency, we choose what we desire.
 
The days fly by so fast, it's insane. I found out from my teacher when he left Bulgaria
 
 
Until Bulgaria, Love,
 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
ADDRESS REDACTED
ADDRESS REDACTED
 
Please do NOT use my name, Elder Pritchard on packages but only
write W. Pritchard somewhere on the box (not in the address)
and send an email to the mission office (EMAIL REDACTED) with a
picture of the package and its contents. Letters and postcards can be sent with
the full name of Wade Pritchard.
 
Until Bulgaria, Love,

 

Старейшина Причард
 

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Старейшина причард Week 10 I Made It!
 
Здравейте!
 
How shall I start?
 
My last day in the MTC included a lot of pictures with people and no sleep. We left at around 3:45 A.M. and took transport with missionaries going to California and Albania. Our flight to Chicago was with the Albanians. We were at the Chicago Airport for about five hours. My companion and I were eating food when we heard two custodial workers speaking to each other in Bulgarian! We were able to talk to them for a few minutes.
 
We got on our plane to Germany, usually, I can sleep on planes, but not these flights. We landed at the Munich Airport with minimal time to spare, rushed to our next flight and took off. It's nice to be in a smaller plane where you take off in five minutes and climb quickly. Europe is so beautiful. We landed in Sofia and were promptly greeted by our mission president, his wife, and a few missionaries. 
 
We got to the mission home, which used to be the Cuban embassy. We got familiarized, took pictures and then I went street contacting with my Trainer Elder Dinning. He is so awesome and is really helping me with the language, we've been working hard and having fun. I've been assigned to Sofia with him. Bulgaria is so beautiful, the people are straight forward which is so nice. It's good to get right to the point. The next day we had orientation and all the good stuff. The Lynch's are a senior office couple here, and the food they make is so good.
 
On Sunday I was able to bear my testimony in church. There were a good amount of people there. There are a few American embassy workers and their families that go so we have translating equipment for them. It's awesome. 
 
We don't wear our name's outside. We can contact how we want. 
 
There's a great amount of work to do here, and we're in it. I'm so excited to be here. The food is amazing, my companion is cool, and Bulgaria is special.
 
I'm excited to be here, I know this is where I'm supposed to be. 
 
Love,

Elder Pritchard

 

PICTURES

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Elder Pritchard Week 11 Living the dream!

 

So this week was really awesome. I've been working really hard and were receiving a lot of people of interest.
 
So a few of us missionaries went to НДК (National Palace of Culture), its a recreational place on Tuesday and did this thing called white-boarding. We wrote a question "what brings you happiness" and everyone writes their answers as they walk by. We received a lot of contacts doing this. It's really successful.
I had my first zone conference! I learned a lot, and the standards here are definitely high. This mission means business. We work hard, we have fun. Everything works out.
I went on exchanges with another Elder. He almost got in a fight because a car almost hit him. I gotta kick out of it. The person hopped out his car so I just grabbed the gentleman and put myself in his face, I told him no, he calmed down very quickly. He got back in his car and drove off. 
Church was really good, I'm starting to understand more.
We're teaching some stubborn but very intelligent people. It's hard to get them to get to church, but it's only been two weeks, I'm sure that they will come around.
 
I miss you all at home, and in the MTC. It's really amazing being here, I love the people, and occasionally, they love me back.
 
Until next week, with my love,

 

Elder Pritchard
 

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Elder Pritchard Week 12 One Month in Field!
 

Howdy!

It's a good day to have a good day!
But it's an amazing day to make it the best day of your life!

This week is pretty standard, I've been working hard, getting contacts, and it has been awesome!

We've been contacting this guy for a while now, he was born and raised in Bulgaria but lived in the States for 20 years. He moved back to Bulgaria and he's a higher up in this winery business in Bulgaria. He's not a member, and not necessarily interested in the church. But he's been really good for us by networking with other big people in other companies as well. It's good for us because if we're able to bring the wealthy unto Christ, the Church will have a very stable foundation. We need that here. We're going to visit his winery on the other side of the country this Saturday, it's a big event so we're looking forward to it. My mission president is excited about it, so its all around a good thing!

On Sunday, we had a branch conference, which happens once a year. My favorite person in the branch is the first counselor in the mission presidency. He's born and raised in Bulgaria, he served a mission in California and is definitely a strong member.

He conducted the conference. He read a scripture that mentioned bringing 3,000 souls unto Christ. He waited, and then said, "You know, we almost did that here when the church was first established." A lot of people started to laugh, but one lady got uptight and started ranting about, "where are these people now" and so on.

It was kind of sad, does she not realize that we have to be members on other days besides Sunday? That it's just as well as her job as it is ours to bring these souls to come unto Christ? Even though I don't understand Bulgarian that much yet, any time the first counselor smiles, I know someone is saying something not so intelligent. So I always ask someone what just happened. I'm never disappointed.

Well, that's all for me.
Another day, another contact.

I hope y'all had a good week, I love reading emails, I plan to keep responding!

Love,
Elder Pritchard

 

PICTURES

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Elder Pritchard - Expansion To Contact

 

How wonderful this week has been!

We've been teaching a good amount of people and are finding people on days that is usually harder to. The other day we were walking towards the university and we saw about 100 camouflaged uniforms with rifles. My trainer said "this is not good", which I replied, "aren't you from Texas?" Against someone's will, we walked towards them anyways.

It was a staging point for a parade. That's all. They all had AK variant rifles, it was really cool. Баба Марта (Baba Marta) is a celebration of the beginning of spring. It's really culturally cool because everyone buys bracelets for their friends. I've collected quite a few which makes me look like a bracelet man. Eventually, we take the bracelets and hang them on tree branches. What about the rule that says no bracelets unless for medical purposes? No idea. I'll learn the language through the culture.

My mission has been given access to Instagram this last week, and the mission president has been instructed to not give instructions with it. So we have free rain with how we can apply the Gospel. If you want, you can follow me on Instagram '@wade_pritchard'. Of course, we've had access to Facebook for a while.

That's all I have to report for now. I'm with my companion for one more transfer, and we're having zone conference tonight and tomorrow. We went bowling today as a district and it's the best day of my life. 

Until next week, 
Love, 
Elder Pritchard

Also in one of the pictures, is my name is Farsi, or Persian.

 

PICTURES

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Elder Pritchard - Half Past Pie

 

Hello!
It is so amazing to see all of my friends starting to go on missions. Kairo, Britton, Joselyn, Emma, and Caroline. How amazing it is to see you press forward in the Lord's work. You are playing a huge part in the work to bring the Gospel to all nations, kindreds, and tongues. I always read my friends Hudson's and Carrington's emails, and to see the work going all over the world is truly inspiring. California is producing platinum missionaries, and will continue to do so (even though some of you have only been in Cal. for a short amount of time). To look back, and to see all of the relationships I've had with very wonderful friends, fills my heart with joy.

There is not much for me to report on this week. I ween on two forms of exchanges with missionaries the last week due to necessity to attend certain lessons with transport. It was a great week with a great pie day. I didn't eat much pie, but I definitely get to taste a few, they were excellent.

My companion and I went to a senior couple's apartment for dinner with a member and two friends. They were really awesome and we had a lot of fun and were able to bring the Spirit into the home.

This is all I have, teaching, teaching, and more teaching. The language shall come. The Lord's work shall hasten.

Romans 8:6
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Until next week,

Love,
Elder Pritchard

 

PICTURES

 

Entire Album

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Elder Pritchard - Transfers - Embassy - Escape Room - General Conference
 

Well, the last two weeks I did not send an email. I apologize but I'm definitely not sorry! I've been super busy with calling home, and just doing fun P-day stuff. 

Last Monday, a few of us went to the U.S. Embassy and had a tour, it is so cool to be in the foreign services, they get to go everywhere! I learned a lot. For example if I do something dumb, I can't just run to the embassy and boom, I'm protected. Also, U.S. Embassies are not U.S. Soil, so the movies are lies. Woe unto the liar.

The last two Mondays I've also done some really fun escape rooms! One was an ancient Egypt like escape and one was a bank robbery escape, super fun!

General Conference was so amazing, the talks were definitely made for us in this day. How beautiful it is to have eight more temples announced! That means as of now, they have 47 Temples to finish! A temple was just dedicated in Rome.

Now regarding missionary work. We have found some amazing people who are eager to learn about the Gospel. We've taught a lot about the restoration. One of the people we are teaching is really close to baptism.

We had transfer meeting with the whole mission over video chat, and so it is, I'm being transferred to Stara Zagora and will be serving with Elder Gregory!

I'm really excited to be leaving Sofia to continue to press forward in the Lord's work, for this is the Lord's Church! 

Until my future email, 
Love, 
Elder Pritchard

 

PICTURES

 

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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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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! 

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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

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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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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