Monday, September 19, 2016

Song of the Road

Friends and family!

Hey everyone! These weeks just fly so fast it seems. My mission is
getting faster and faster and I can't believe it. I'm so not ready to
be a normal person again haha. This week was really good for us here
in Sterling Virginia! We actually had a lot tosh we accomplished this
week! I have some exciting news I'll share later in the email :)
Monday of last week was super relaxing...just another nice day spent
at top golf :) I really love that place. My swing is getting good!
After pday we went to visit our member mike Jimenez. He is awesome.
Tuesday was district meetings and we had combined district meeting
with the leesburg district. It was a lot of fun! I presented about
faith and its role in our lives as members of the church. Without
faith we can't see or preform miracles for other people's salvation!
Without faith In Jesus Christ we cannot overcome our trails and
weakness. My good friend elder prince talked about divine potential.
It was really really good. After district meeting I went on exchanges
with elder hild. Haha he is fetching funny. We went and did some
service for this Vietnamese lady. Her house is crazy.
I mowed the lawn and moved a few things around in the yard while hild
just chilled on a lawn chair. I was ticked! Ha. Hoa feed us this weird
fruit. It tasted pretty good though. She was begging us to go to this
restaurant with her to eat this weird stuff called "FUH" hahaha no
clue what that is! That night my good friend Eder from the Langley
ward took is out for pupusas. Wednesday we taught this awesome lady
. She is so cool she reminds me of a few people I've
taught. She is a single mother of a two year old son named bastion.
They are from Haiti. Super smart lady. We taught her the plan of
salvation. She wasn't very open for us but when the lesson ended she
really seemed to open up. She loved studying about Joseph smith. That
afternoon we taught this less active guy from India.
he looks at me and says "your name means song of the road...."
Hahahaha he is a total homie. We love spending time with him.
Thursday we read the scriptures with the Esquivel family. They were so
excited to read with us actually which is a huge change. Friday we
went to the mission home for a district leader training meeting. All
the dls in the mission got instructed by president. It was super fun.
I learned a lot and it's always good spending time with president and
sister huntsman. I love them so much! :) we ate dinner with this less
active family. . They are awesome. Saturday we played soccer
and then drove out lovetsville Virginia to help with a big service
project. It's in the middle of nowhere near West Virginia. I loved
every minute of it. We also took Dave to a Spanish baptism in
leesburg. He loved it! Sunday we had to teach a surprise lesson in
Sunday school. It was great! The best news I have though is at the end
of our elder quorum lesson Dave Marr our investigator getting baptized
on the 1st turns to me and says "Elder Routsong I've prayed about it
and I want you to baptize me." I was shocked. I almost cried. I love
Dave so much. This week was incredible! Love you all have the best
Elder Routsong

IDK about you but I am feeling 22 September 12, 2016

Hello hello!!

Hey everyone! I hope that your past week went really really well! This
week was good but it went fast and slow at the same time ha I don't
know how that works but it happened. Life in Sterling Virginia is
pretty good though. I can't really complain all that much. We have
great people we are teaching! On Monday of last week we went and
played some insane dodgeball at the church. Honestly if you want a
really good workout just play some dodgeball. We were all dying after
we finished. After pday we went to one of my favorite places to go
here! We went to Marie's house to celebrate another missionaries
birthday. She is known as the "mission grandma" she is from Sierra
Leone and loves the missionaries! We love her too! She fed us some
good food. Tuesday we had zone training in the morning and the zone
leaders asked me to teach on obedience. I talked about the 3 reasons
why people are obedient 1. They love blessing 2. The fear God 3. They
love God. It was a pretty good talk then I showed a funny mission
video that was made a long time ago. I then went on exchanges with
elder Marshall. We tracted for hours and hours. We tracted into the
gamarra family in our Ward and they fed us and offered to take us to
lunch the next day for some silpancho (Bolivian dish) it's mega good.
Brother Boehl called us to give a blessing to his wife who had
shoulder surgery. Tuesday night was busy! Wednesday was a very good
day! It was my birthday! I can't believe that i turned 22. It blows my
mind... How did I get to this age? All of age 21 was spent as a
missionary. Pretty crazy huh? The gamarras met us for lunch and it was
fun then I went and bought myself a tie to celebrate. We exchanged
back and then went to dinner at Texas roadhouse with some
missionaries. It was a good time! Elder Benard and I visited some less
actives that night the Reese family and the Clarks. They are great
families just need a little help! Thursday we went and did more
finding and went home teaching with brother Jimenez. They lady we
wanted to teach is less active and was very very unhappy that we were
there. It was sad how rude she was to us..but that's life. We all can
make choices. Friday we weekly planned it so boring! But we have to do
it! That night we got a weird phone call asking if we could help set
up a wedding in the church. It was weird and they wanted us to come
the next day. Saturday was freaking sweet we taught Dave Marr lesson 4
the commandments. It was so spiritual! We love spending time with
Dave. We brought a member whom talked about tithing for like 2 hours
haha it was so long! His name is brother Mitchell and he is this
little old guy who loves talking haha we love him! After the lesson he
took us to firehouse subs for lunch. We went on a blitz with the
Algonkian elders and people were so mean to us holy crap it was
brutal. I really don't have a lot of patience for people at the door
step. I really really don't. We went to the wedding we set up the day
before. It was weird. We didn't know anybody at all. I gained a
testimony of temple marriages as well. Thank goodness. Haha that
wedding just was weird for me. I only want a temple marriage cause I
didn't feel the spirit at all at that wedding. Yeah it was weird.
Hahah anyways enough about marriage.  Sunday we had Dave Marr at
church and he stayed the whole time he's also been reading the Book of
Mormon and praying! I can't wait for his baptism! Ah i know he is
making the best decision he will ever make in his life feeling
completely clean after he comes out of the waters of baptism. Dave is
incredible to me. I look up to him so much. He has taught me so much
about life and the gospel. I feel like a completely different person
from before my mission. I feel the spirit! I see gods hands in my life
and in others! I feel so great! The mission is the easiest hard thing
you will ever do. I love the people of Virginia!  Thank you so much
mom and dad for the birthday packages! My favorite gift was my uvu
shirt hah! Have a great week!
Elder Routsong

Another Week September 5 206

Hello hello!

This week was pretty pretty good! We had a pretty good amount of
success! Today at church was quite possibly the weirdest elders quorum
lesson I've ever been a part of but everything works out! Last Monday
we went and played some football! There is a missionary that asked me
to help train him to play at BYU! Ha I only coached freshman football
so I mustered up all my football knowledge and tried to help him out a
little at the field. He worked out hard and it was fun coaching a
little bit again. I loved my time with the freshman football team I
hope to do it again one day. We had more elders there and we played
some touch football before coming back home and pday was over. I also
got a haircut  by some lady who couldn't speak English...I said I
wanted a 2 on my sides and to keep the top the same. I about cried
when she took a 2 and shaved my entire head...I was so upset. So now
I'm basically a skinhead. That's why you didn't get a picture from me
last week :/ That night we went out with brother Jimenez! He is
awesome! He took us out to this Tex mex place and we had a ball with
him! He is probably my favorite member in the Sterling park ward.
Tuesday we had district meeting and I taught about our zone goals as
missionaries. We read out of helaman chapter 5 in the Book of Mormon.
It talks about two great missionaries and their miracles. I invite you
all to read it. That afternoon we went and did some service for this
little Vietnamese lady who's name is Hoa. She is a sweet little lady.
Haha her yard needed some serious work though. It took me forever to
mow that darn thing cause the lawn mower was taking a serious beating
haha. Elder Benard got caught moving like 100 of these big brick
things to her back yard hahaha it was pretty funny. She speaks such
broken English ha it's so adorable. She fed us this nasty old
watermelon and I about threw up. So when she wasn't looking I chucked
it behind her shed Hahahah. After our service we had to skip dinner
and go to the church because there was a youth baptism that the Ward
threw on us last minute. We filled up,the font and set up all the
chairs and made it look nice. We had a lesson at the church with our
investigator almumy. He is from Sierra Leone he is a very quite kid
but we are hoping he will get baptized like the rest of his family.
Wednesday we had some district service and met with a family who's
daughter just returned from the ft Collins mission. It was nice
getting to talk about Colorado. Thursday was a pretty tough day for
me. We went on exchanges with the ashburn zone leaders. They are cool
but we had nothing planned. It was rushed. We had a lesson with Syd at
the mall with a member of our ward. Syd didn't understand the
importance of why he needed to come to our church although we
explained it over 100000 times. We won't be meeting with him anymore
and it really broke me down. It was a hard night for me. I hate when
people deny salvation and the path to Jesus Christ. People have agency
though and can chose to act or be acted upon. I guess that's the
beauty of the gospel and of the plan of salvation... Friday we weekly
planned and then went out to work. About 6 we get a call from a member
of my district and he says his comp isn't feeling good and he needs to
stay in. I stayed the rest of the evening at the apartment with this
missionary asleep. It was brutal. When he woke up he told me all his
rejection stories of when he was at BYU hahaha. Saturday we play
soccer in the morning with a ton of non members. It's a lot of fun and
we also have a  good amount of missionaries that come play. After
soccer we had a lesson with Dave Marr about the gospel of Jesus Christ
(lesson 3) he loved it! I know he can make his October 1 baptismal
date. He is a great man! That night when we were tracting a ton of
young people started yelling at us. There were all super wasted. I
just laughed at them cause they are losers. Sunday was
interesting...Dave came to church and we taught gospel principals and
it went very well! The frickin elders quorum lesson didn't go so well
though. They talked about a lot of deep doctrine such as kolob and
many aspects of the fall. Yep. It was the complete storm. I was
worried for Dave. He dim fine though. He's such a stud! This week was
good and they just keep flying faster and faster. I'm shocked that I
turn 22 this I'm old compared to everyone in this mission.
Pretty crazy. Im glad I got through my struggles to come on a mission
and be an instrument in gods hands! Have a great week everyone!!
Elder Routsong

Big Week In Sterling August 29, 20916

Friends and family.

This week was pretty intense. Lots of change! As many of you know I
hate change! But elder King got transferred and I am training a new
missionary. So crazy! It's been a very productive week though :) I've
been focusing a lot on how God works with me this week. I have a
testimony of the atonement that's for sure. He loves me so much and
can teach me so much just by sending me a green missionary. Amazing.
Monday of last week I was still with my boy elder King. We had fun
going into DC! We checked out the Lincoln memorial and the monument. A
couple missionaries we went with have never been to DC before so those
are usually the first two places ya visit. After those we went and
checked out the air and space museum. That evening we walked and tried
to talk to people we were so dead tired from our trip to DC. I got a
call that night from elder snow sayin that I will be training the new
missionary. I was honestly pretty nervous. Tuesday was district
meeting and we talked about the importance of bearing our testimonies
and it was great I felt really good after it:) we worked the afternoon
in the heat and then elder King wanted to make visits to people to say
goodbye. He got so close with many families here. He loved Sterling
park. Wednesday elder King packed up,his stuff and I went on splits
with the Spanish elders it was pretty nice. Our elders quorum
president took us to longhorn steakhouse to send elder King off. His
name is Paulo he is a total stud. Thursday was transfer day. Woke up
super early to go to the trainers meeting. Also, I've been out for 17
months and I am training when elder adair was training me. Pretty
cool. But I met my greenie. His name is elder Benard. He is a really
cool dude. From bountiful Utah and played baseball and football before
his mission. It's weird he graduated in 2016. Man I'm freaking old
compared to everyone else out here...he is going to be a really good
missionary. That night we went out tracting and he took his doors like
a champion. Did a lot better than me when I was a new missionary! We
did a lot of teaching that night. We taught a Hispanic lady named
Blanca the restoration. She isn't understand the need for the Book of
Mormon. We taught Syd and told him he needs to get baptized. He is
struggling understanding our purpose. Pray for him and then we had a
lesson with a less active family. They are so cool I showed them some
funny videos haha Friday was great hahahaha I feel bad but I pulled a
prank on elder Benard....we had dinner with some members in our ward.
They dressed up like Muslims and we taught them. They freaked out on
us and at the end tried to force us to drink fake vodka hahahaha elder
Benard was nervous but he did a great job I'm glad he isn't mad at me
for it haha the arraya family is my favorite family in the ward. They
fed us a Bolivian dish called silpancha. So good. That night elder
Benard and I had nothing to do with our last 20 minutes before heading
home. We prayed and asked for a teaching opportunity and found a lady
sitting outside! Her name was Terry and we taught he about the Book of
Mormon. What a great experience! God answered our prayer. Saturday we
played soccer in the morning with our investigator almumy. We also had
a lesson with Dave Marr. This lesson with Dave was incredible! He has
struggled with addiction and lack of belonging and peace. We invited
him to be baptized on October the 1st and he accepted. I was so happy
I actually had some tears in my eyes.. Dave has struggled for too long
and he is finally repenting and accessing the atonement of Jesus
Christ. I love Dave. We also read the Book of Mormon with Eric and
then with the esquivels. They are both awesome we read 1 Nephi chapter
8 with Danny esquivel. Probably my favorite chapter of the Book of
Mormon. Sunday Dave came to church and loved it! People were very nice
to him and he is starting to give up coffee and alcohol. So cool. We
taught his Spanish guy named Francisco and he could really understand
us Hahahah we couldn't pass up the opportunity to teach though from
tracting! We also had a lesson with brief Rivera and his kids. They
are funny. They love Pokemon go. Wow this week we worked so dang hard.
And taught so much. I'm so grateful for this week. It was awesome for
elder Benard and I am grateful to be his trainer and to learn from
him. I love this gospel and I love teaching the gospel to those who
cannot find it on their own. Christ is my best friend and I know he
loves me. Have s wonderful week everyone! There is so much more that
happened this week but I've already written a novel Haha love you!
elder Routsong

Marmf August 22, 2016

Hello hello!

Everyone I hope this week went well for You! This week was really
tough on me but the end of the week made it all worth it. God retaught
an important lesson to me this week. It was unfortunate but it had to
happen! Before I dive into this week I wanted to tell kari and Kayla
how proud I am of you for starting back at school this week! Kayla uvu
is such a great place! You are going to have so much fun there. I
can't wait to be in the same school as you again! I have the best
sisters ever! The weather has been savage here the last 2 months. High
humidity and high heat. It's crazy. We are working hard though and
trying to make things happen in sterling park. I'm really starting to
love the members of this Ward. On Monday of last week we went to my
favorite place Golf. The lady that works at the desk
always recognizes me haha. I'm getting pretty good dad! We have to go
golfing now when I come home. That night it rained really hard so we
walked to a less actives house and had a lesson with him. He is a pile
and won't come to church but we are making progress with him. His kids
aren't baptized so we want to get the whole family involved with the
church. It's just a tricky situation. We walk so much! Tuesday I was
on exchanges with elder Marshall! He is a stud. All our appointments
cancelled right in our faces. We walked 16 miles tracting and trying
to find people. It was hard. Marshall and I were dead. Wednesday we
did about the same we tracted for hours and hours and hours. We taught
a couple people but nothing too miraculous. I was being very impatient
cause things were not going the way I liked. We were looking for
potentials for the last couple minutes of the night. Then it started
to pour rain like crazy...we biked 12 miles home in the pouring rain.
It was so dang fun!! Hahah super dangerous cause it was a very bad
thunderstorm too. But awesome. Thursday was full of tracting and
tracting Hahahah that's all we did this week. Friday and Saturday was
straight knocking. Man people's hearts are very hard it's sad. We had
dinner with a less active family and they are super cool we taught
them and they are really wanting to return back to activity. We hope
and pray they will. Saturday we had dinner with the Isbells. They are
the best. A shooter family and I can't wait for dad to meet them
hahaha. But Sunday was the best day for sure. We had church and a
random investigator shows up and wants to learn more. His name is
almumy. Then we went to see the Isbells and they bought us backpacks
for our work. It was so nice of them! They also gave us combat knives.
Hahaha awesome. Jackie spoke at the new and returning member fireside
and I got to see many members from my last wards! It was incredible.
God retaught me this week about how sometimes we have to work through
the tough times to get to the really really good stuff! Sunday was
that stuff!! I was so happy! Jackie is doing pretty good! Her son
Josiah is crazy! I love the kid. I hope you all have a wonderful week.
I know this gospel is true and I love and believe it with all my
heart. Jesus is my best friend and has helped me so much in my you all!
Elder Routsong
Sorry my email is short and kinda lame. We went to DC today to look at
the monuments so I didn't have a lot of time to write

And Another One August 15, 2016

Friends and family!!

Hey! Hope your week was awesome! Another week down...time flies when
you work hard and are having fun! This week was so hot and humid I
thought my skin was going to melt off on Saturday...
This week was kinda slow because everyone decided that they were going
out of town or just straight up couldn't meet with us but we still
managed! On pday last week we played some basketball in centreville
which was a lot of fun. I'm getting better and better at it so
hopefully I can play some good pick up games when I'm back home hahah.
That night one of our members introduced us to his neighbor. His name
is Gaile and his wife is Kay. They are super friendly people. We dos
service for them all week. It was super fun getting to know Gaile he
is so funny! Tuesday we had zone training and we learned more about
being in unity with God and our mission. It was pretty neat. Something
I really liked is "it is better to be a Shepard and not a sheriff." It
sticks out to me cause honestly I'm a sheriff and I call people out on
dumb things rather than being patient with them and helping them
understand. Haha sometimes God just needs us to know things! It was
really cool. We also talked about patience with ourselves and with
gods timing. Seriously another one of my weaknesses... Hahahah zone
training was just for me I guess. After zone training I went on
exchanges with Elder Hild. He is awesome. Probably one of the funniest
kids in the mission he is such a goober! He is so smart when it comes
to the gospel so we had a very fun time out working that day. Our
member dinner was with one of my favorite families in the Sterling
ward. They are hilarious the Boehl family. Hahaha it's just like being
back home ha the things they talk about and they are so nice to the
missionaries. We left their house with two big bags of food! We have
to walk everywhere cause my bike is broken so it takes FOREVER. my
feet hurt. But the work still goes on! Wednesday we worked all day for
Gaile. We worked in the siding of his garage. We is replacing it all
with duroc. So it's a long process. Removing all the wood and hanging
it up takes forever. It was fun though. He isn't s member of the
church so we taught him a  few gospel principals as we worked. He also
had s neighbor there who's name is George. These are two old men haha
both over 65. They loved hanging out with us and we learned a lot from
them. They talked about classic rock and growing up in hippie
California and all this cool stuff ha. By the end of the day we were
so tired. We worked all day everyday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday and
Friday. Hahaha we replaced all the siding and starred to paint. It so
some good labor! Friday morning was cool though! Elder King had a
doctor appointment in McLean so a senior couple came and took us to
the appointment and then to this really fancy restaurant after. It's
called Founding Farmers. It's the best food I've eaten out here. Holy
cow. Look up the place on the Internet. After working with Gaile and
George on Friday Ann and Ronnie Williamson from the tall cedars Ward
came and took me to Pf Chang's. We had such a fun time with them. I
love the Williamsons. They are my mission parents for sure. I love
them. Mom and dad I can't wait for you to meet them! Saturday was the
hottest day of my mission it was 95 with like high humidity. The
weather app said it felt like 115 outside. We mowed Eric's lawn in
that garbage. I almost passed out it was so hot my skin seriously felt
like it was going to melt. We read the Book of Mormon with Eric and he
loved it. Sunday was good too! We had Eric and Syd at church. Elder
King and I taught Sunday school a bout being honest in our dealings.
Syd loved the lesson. Elders quorum was the highlight of my week
though. Syds father passed away many years ago and he has always
wondered what he could do to help his father. Our lesson was on temple
work. God literally answered his question after all these years....he
teared up a little bit. It was amazing to see. We tried to put him on
date for September 10th but he is still nervous. It's okay! He is
learning! I love the gospel so much. Sometimes I forget the power that
it has on my life and in others lives. I'm grateful to be a missionary
and my mission has taught me so much about myself and how to overcome
trial! It's the hardest thing I've ever done but so worth it! Love you
Elder Routsong

Cya Elder Elder Neyman August 8, 2016

Friends and family!

Hey! How is everyone doing?! This week was pretty good. Elder Neyman
went home on Tuesday so it's weird not being in a trio anymore. He is
doing pretty good though. Elder King and I have been having a lot of
fun and working hard. Monday of last week we had zone activity. We had
this huge nerf war in the gym. It was a lot of fun. It was a good Last
pday for Neyman. That night we said bye to a couple members and
everyone was feeding us. It was awful. We always loaded up neymans
plate to tick him off haha so dang funny. He knocked his last door and
it was so crazy. The lady accepted a Book of Mormon and we are going
to send the Spanish missionaries over soon. President came to our
apartment and interviewed him before going home. Tuesday morning we
woke up at 3 a.m. To help bring neymans stuff to the car. I was so
dead tired. Later that morning I taught district meeting on how to
live our purpose as missionaries inviting others to come unto Christ.
It was pretty good. Elder King and I walked like 8 miles to work in
our area. It was a good day though. We taught Syd about how families
can be together forever. We brought a recent convert with us and he
was asking him so many good questions. Syd is finally started to
understand the gospel. Wednesday elder King was sick. We couldn't go
out and work. Thursday we had mission leadership council. All the
district and zone leaders go to this meeting and talk about the goals
and needs of the mission. We got to hear from president and sister
huntsman and usual! I love hearing from them. Sister huntsman talked a
lot about having patience. She mostly touched on having patience with
ourselves. It was exactly what I needed to hear I was being wayyy to
hard on myself lately! We also got to hear from their son who just got
home from his mission in France. He was so spiritual. He talked about
"why we should use our time wisely" when we use time wisely we are
doing the will of Heavenly Father. He also touched on "burying our
weapons of war" like the anti-Nephi-Lehis. Since he spoke to us I have
been trying to think what my "weapons of war are" I know we all have
things that hold is back and things we struggle with but God will help
us bury them and never bring them back. He helps us as we access his
atonement daily! Yeah Mlc was wonderful I learned so much. Friday we
walked and tracted a lot. The very last door we knocked on was this
lady named Sonya. She knows a less active member of our Ward. We are
trying to teach her over there so hopefully it happens! Saturday we
played soccer with our investigator Almumy. He is so dang good at
soccer and I suck so bad at soccer. Hahaha we also mowed a less
actives lawn and then fixed my bike. We knocked more doors. This old
dude answered the door shirtless and all hairy. He kept yelling "OFF"
really loudly at his dog haha we started talking to him and he said he
was atheist. And that we are snake dancers...BAHAHA. What the heck? It
was so funny. Sunday we had church and we talked about some pretty
deep doctrine. Syd was there and he completely loved it. We were
walking around later yesterday night and these girls almost hit me
with their car. They roll down the window and say "do you think that
black lives matter?" I was like "yeah we are all God children" then
they hand me their iPhone and tell me to put in our phone number haha
I did. They text us later and say that they are all Jewish and come
from the tribe of Judah. Hahahaha it was so weird. Another guy I
stopped on the street told me not to talk about Jesus on the streets
cause it's disrespectful........I wanted to tell him that Christs
entire ministry was preaching in the streets....oh some people just
don't understand hahaha thank you everyone for you support and love.
It keeps me going every day. I love this gospel and I am grateful for
my savior Jesus Christ. He is my best friend and he has blessed me
with so much. I know he lives. Have a great week everyone!!
Elder Routsong

Its Already August? August 1, 2016


Hello hello how are you all doing this wonderful week?! This week has
been super hot here in Virginia. Like record breaking heat...crazy
stuff man. We are killing elder Neyman this week he goes home on
Tuesday. Crazy stuff. We are going to miss him a lot. I'm grateful to
have had elder Neyman as my companion not once but twice! He is a
great missionary and I'm grateful for his patience with me and also
for his wonderful example that he is! I've learned so much from all my
This week was a little slower than most cause people wanted to say
goodbye to elder Neyman. But it was still a blast! And we had some
Monday of last week we played football and chilled for pday it was 110
degrees with about 80% humidity. It was straight crazy. We only played
football outside for like 30 minutes haha that night we taught piseth
and his mother. They are Cambodian. He is a member but his mom is not
we teach in English and he translates to kamir. It's pretty awesome.
Two of us taught and elder King was helping his daughter with math
homework haha blessings of being in a trio. Tuesday we had district
meeting and I taught about the atonement we all read out of the
testaments each account of the atonement. It was a good lesson! That
night we taught Syd. He is great but he is so long Winded! We taught
him the gospel again and he is so spiritual. Wednesday we helped a non
member move more of his stuff out to Haymarket. It was so much fun! We
really enjoy hanging out with David. We were moving some mirrors for
him and elder King stepped on one and totally broke it hahahaha he has
been known for breaking the Fredericks things. Haha David yells "OH NO
YOU DIDNT!" Haha it was so dang funny. We laughed it all off over some
slurpees after. Thursday was a dang hot day too. We went this guy
named Eric's house. He is dang funny. We mowed his lawn and read the
scriptures with him. Eric is a cool guy he just never comes to church.
We went with some members to this kabob place and ate some middle
Eastern food. It was mighty good but it didn't sit well with me so I
was feeling so sick. After dinner we taught Dave. He is our most
progressing investigator. He is incredible. He is ready for the gospel
because of all the hardship and trial he has gone through... Divorce,
alcoholic, barely gets to see his kids. He just wants to find
happiness..we talked about the atonement with him. It was starting to
make sense to him! Super spiritual lesson! Friday we taught the Perira
family. They are hilarious. We usually read the scriptures with them
and do some funny activity but we watched s video about hope with
them. They are a crazy but good family we love spending time with
them! We also helped and inactive family set up their sons birthday
party. We must have filled like a thousand water balloons for them.
They darn kids kept throwing them while we're trying to fill them!
Elder Neyman was getting so ticked haha. Saturday was awesome. My good
friends Eder and Brenda from the Langley ward came and took me out to
dinner! I love spending time with them. They made me miss that place
so much. I love the members of the Langley Ward!! I hate how sometimes
in life we don't have the best attitudes about our circumstances but
then we look back and realize we learned so much from our experiences
and it wasn't even really that bad. That was my time in the singles
ward. I love that place. That night we went and helped a member of our
Ward clean his gun collection. should see what this guy
has... It's so sick! Elder King put on this tactical vest and he
smacked elder King with a hammer! It was dang funny. Church was good
on Sunday we had no investigators show up we were a little
disappointed but that's just life on the mission I guess. Elder Neyman
had to pack the rest of the day. We are sad to see him leave on
Tuesday morning. This week was good. I've been thinking a lot lately
about how merciful the savior is. Countless times we fail again and
again. Showing our weakness again and again. I'm so grateful that he
has patience with me and my mistakes. I love the savior and have felt
his redeeming mercy in my life. Sometimes it's hard to recognize but
it is always there. If we pray for forgiveness and guidance the lord
will multiply our efforts to help us progress. His love is infinite
for us. Have a great week everyone! Thank you for all your love and
Elder Routsong

Two Weeks in Sterling July 25, 2016

Friends and family!

How's everyone doing this fine week?! Life is good here just super hot
and super humid. I swear Satan is giving me a hug every time I leave
the house cause it's that fetchin hot! But the work goes on! We are on
bike and it's such an adventure haha. Three missionaries on bikes
calls for some shenanigans. Elder King almost killed himself while
trying to hop a double curve yesterday hahahah his week was pretty
good though. Last Monday we went to the mall and played some hardcore
basketball. I loved every minute of it! Our mission is so good at
basketball it's crazy. Sometimes it gets a little heated. That night
we had a lesson with our most progressing investigator Syd! He is a
stud. We talked about lesson 3 the gospel of Jesus Christ. Syd is from
Iran and converted to Christianity when he came here. We love working
with Syd he is such a humble guy. He drive school busses for special
needs kids and works at a piano store in the mall. Such a smart and
humble man. The lessons are always so spiritual. Tuesday was a super
good day though. I taught my first district meeting since September of
last year. I enjoy being a district leader more than a zone leader. We
talked about setting goals and having faith to push us to achieve
goals. When we set goals in faith we access the potential that
Heavenly Father has for us! So cool! We ate lunch at one of my
favorite places called Caroline bros. it's mighty good missionaries
eat free. Then we went to a inactives house and taught them while
filling up water balloons for a birthday party haha we were in church
clothes and just soaking wet. But it was a good time. Wednesday we
taught this African guy named John. We he works at this African store
in the mall and was totally high on something. He kept asking elder
King "boy what's in your stomach?" Haha later that day we helped a
part member family move out to Haymarket. The non member is named
Dave. He is so sick! We love spending time with him. Thursday we had
zone conference and talked about the role of the spirit in our
conversion. I love being with president and sister huntsman. They are
the greatest! We had exchanges with the Zone leaders after conference
and had a blast out tracting. We met this cool Hispanic family. They
showed me Pokemon go. It was sick. We had another spiritual lesson
with Syd. We talked about baptism he said he isn't ready but I know he
is. He offered one of the most humble prayers I've ever heard. Such a
spiritual moment for me... I can't even describe it. Friday we weekly
planned it was boring and Taught s less active named Eric. He was
cool. Saturday we taught a recent convert Danny. He is sick. Sunday we
had a great time at church. Syd came and everyone loves him! It was
awesome. It was so hot outside though..we were dying. All in all this
was a great week! Love you all!!
Elder Routsong

Sterling July 18, 2016

Friends and family!!

This week was so fetching crazy! Like straight crazy! Last Monday we
went with president and sister huntsman and all the other zone leaders
in the mission the to senate offices in DC. We met senator Orrin G
Hatch. He is the longest lasting republican senator in congress. He
was literally opening a session of congress when we met him haha. He
had a great spirit with him. He told us about his mission and is work
on battling socialism and changing America. On Tuesday we had our pday
and we went to the zoo Hahahah it was awesome. My goal was to tick off
the gorillas there. Got one to hit the glass pretty hard. So I
accomplished my goal. Those things would kill me so fast if it weren't
for that glass... Haha after the zoo we just hungout and wrote emails.
We had dinner with Bentley and he fixed my bike! I am grateful for
Bentley he is so awesome and a great ward mission leader. We got
transfers that night and I figured I won't be a zone leader anymore!
Yay! I'm dropping to a district leader and going to sterling park with
elder King and Neyman! I loved being a zone leader but 11 months of it
was hard! Wednesday we had district meeting and elder Merrill had us
do a nerf war haha then I packed and had dinner with eder who is a
stud. We played gatorball with sam. I hope he gets baptized. I said
bye to everyone in the Ward. was super hard for me to leave
Langley. I served there for 6 months and made so many friends. It was
really hard to leave. I know I didn't have the best attitude at times
but I loved Langley! I would go back. Elder McCray is so sweet!
Thursday we had transfers and I got elder King and Neyman. We stole a
mission jeep that was just sitting at transfers so now we have a car!
It'll probably get taken away... It's been super hot like 95+ and
humid. So I'm glad we have the car for now. That night we met a family
names the fredricks. They are cool but are moving so I won't have much
time to,get to know them! Friday we had to go to the office to drop
some stuff off and get a few things from my last apartment. We weekly
planned and tracted for awhile. We found a few good people to meet
with. And then we met brother Jimenez who is the cool guy in our ward.
Saturday we played soccer with our investigator Almumy. He is so dang
good! He wrecked my knee haha. We went to a baptism that I was waiting
for for 7 months. 7 months ago elder holdaway and I baptized a 13 year
old named tommy. He is a very smart kid. I love tommy. He has a light
that radiates from him! His dad ray didn't like the church. After I
left tall cedars I thought we had done. And now ray entered the waters
of baptism and is a changed man and a new follower of Jesus Christ.
What an awesome blessing it was for me to see! Truly brought me a
complete joy... Ray and tommy have a special place in my heart. Sunday
in the sterling park Ward was great! I met the Jensen family from back
in Colorado. They are both so sweet mom and dad! After church we
taught the Rivera family and they are sick! We had a rock concert with
them haha smoke machine and mic and guitars haha it was hilarious.
Such a good week. It is weird not being in a singles ward but I'm
excited to work here in sterling. I am grateful for my savior Jesus
Christ. He is my best friend. I love and enjoy the privilege of seeing
others come closer to him through sacred ordinances! I rejoice in my
god this week! Love you all so so much! Have a great and blessed week!
Elder Routsong

Orin Hatch July 12, 2016

Friends and family!!

Hey hey! Hope this week went by super great for all of you!! Mine was
pretty good! We worked hard and also had some really cool experiences!
Last pday we bowled and went to the airforce memorial to watch the
fireworks from DC! It was awesome but it was super rainy and cloudy so
we didn't really,get to see much of the show!,it was still super super
fun! Being in DC is so sweet on the 4th! Tuesday we had district
meetings and I went on changes with Bella vista and we tracted
forever! We also had a member who is planning to serve a mission. It
was a good experience! Wednesday the highlight was I went and threw
the discus with one of our gators! It was awesome! His name is
Benedict! He is such a beast! Throws the shot 62 feet! He is crazy. We
taught him about the Book of Mormon and faith! So Good! Thursday went
on exchanges and I was with elder Harding in Tysons. We tracted and
street contacted all day. We found three people and taught a few
lessons on the street it was probably one of the hottest and most
humid days of my mission. We were drenched in sweat cause we were on
foot. It was awesome. People were very nice and giving us water every
couple of doors we knocked. It was nice hitting the pillow that night
feeling exhausted. Friday we worked at a food pantry and had a great
time with all the people there. They brought in a ton of broken eggs
and we had to sort through them. It was super nasty... But always a
fun time! Saturday was sweet! Had breakfast with the high council and
then helped out at a baptism the sisters were having in our Ward! Kari
can hopefully take her to the temple when she comes to Colorado! It
was great! We've been working with a less active named gabe and we put
together a super smash brothers night for him along with the elders
quorum. So Saturday night was daaaang fun! We didn't get to play but
it was a blast being there. Sunday I said my goodbyes to everyone in
church and then on Monday we cut some wood and met with senator Orrin
G. Hatch. He is the most senior republican senator and third in line
to the presidency of the United States of America! He was powerful...
I loved getting the chance to meet him! This week was great! Today we
went to the zoo in DC! So dope! Sorry this email kinda sucks but my
pictures will probably be good!! Love you all!!!!!

Happy 4th of July

Friends and family!!

Hello hello how are all of you!? Happy 4th of July! I am so thankful
to live in such a wonderful and blessed country! Today I am thankful
for those who are fighting to protect our rights! This week was pretty
good! Had a lot of things going on! Last pday we didn't really do all
that much just kinda hung out and shot some hoops. That night we went
to FHE at the church. We brought our investigator from Sudan! His name
is Sam. He is a boss. We had a water balloon fight and played a game
called gator ball. It's a mix between handball and soccer. It was a
awesome night. Tuesday we had district meetings. Elder Merrill is our
district leader and he is my favorite! We had a nerf war after our
instruction hahah it was so dang funny. After that we had lunch with a
member Jon he bought us kabobs and they were mighty good. After lunch
we went and spilt some wood for the community and delivered it to all
the neighbors. We love going to spilt wood it's hard work but we enjoy
it! It was like 90 degrees and humid while we were spitting and we
were dying haha but all the neighbors in the area where very
appreciative! Wednesday was a pretty alright day haha we did a lot of
finding and had a few member visits pretty typical stuff but that's
the best! Thursday we went out to lunch with the itos a senior couple
in the mission and they return home soon. They are so sick!!!  Then we
went on exchanges with the assistants in ft belvoir. We taught so many
lessons! Elder rascon and I went and taught these two guys named Dan
and Brian. They are honor gaurd at ft belvoir about my age as well.
Super powerful lesson on the restoration. They basically taught
themselves! I can't even write how amazing the lesson was
that good! The rest of the night we joked around with the aps. I'll
miss elder Blanchard when he goes home. He is so awesome. Friday was a
fun time as well! We had a zone service project for the McClean
community center. We helped set up a perimeter for a firework show and
also a little fair! It's going to be so awesome. I'm so sad we can't
go dangit! It was so hot outside but at the end they bought us some
pizza so we were happy. The lady in charge was asking about missionary
work and I told her about us and what we teach. She went through a
recent divorce and was sad I told her we would help her move out and
she lit up so fast! Ha I hope she embraces the gospel! The rest of the
day we tracted and people weren't home :/ Saturday we walked out of
our apartment and found fake poop at our door! It was so gross! We
didn't know who did it either. we had breakfast with our Ward mission
leader. He is a stud. We then helped a member in our Ward with a move.
It was fun spending time with the members. During our lunch break a
member from the leasing office came up to us and was like "you guys
need to call the cops for what happened to your door last night!" Ha
we knew it was missionaries and told them it wouldn't happen again. WE
FUNNY! Hahahahah sister missionaries made fake poop and put it at our
door....I'm still blown away. Our district went on a blitz and had a
fun time as well! Elder Murdock and I talked to a lot of people. It's
so sad how many people my age are atheist... We talked to this lady in
the street who was inactive. Her name was TK so we are going to try
and bring her to church some time soon. She seemed really nice. That
night we taught our less active gabe. We read from pmg about setting
goals and how if we have HOPE and FAITH we can accomplish them! He
wants to come back to church so badly. Saturday was just a good day it
was also super weird haha but probably one of my favorite days of my
mission. Sunday was good we had a lesson about enos in elder quorum.
Just so happens that enos is my favorite book in the Book of Mormon. I
love how many lessons are leaned in it. My favorite one I've come to
learn is that enos was an average joe who had a spiritual experience
and had his sins forgiven of him. It can happen to ANYONE! I love the
gospel and how simple it is! This week was great. I'm grateful for my
Heavenly Father and for my family! I hope you all have a wonderful
Independence Day! Love you all!
Elder Routsong

HI! June 27, 2016

Friends and family!

Hello hello everyone! I have to say that this week was pretty darn
good. I think it's the blessings that I am getting from not being on
my family cruise right now;) hahaha but seriously this week was great.
Monday was such a good pday last week. We went to top golf and I was
with elder risenhoover my former companion. He is a stud. I love
hanging out with the guy. A member from the centreville Ward who is
the area director for the pest control company moxie paid for our top
golf and for food! So sick! I also got to throw some shot put in the
morning. Felt really good but my form was really bad! That night we
had a dinner with our member Jon and he invited his two non member
friends. We ate some really good pork the way that the Danish prepares
it. We taught jons friends about the Book of Mormon and invited them
to read it! They loved it!! Jon also burned a wicker Hilary Clinton
thing and yelled "BURN WITCH!" The whole time. Super freaking funny.
Monday was great. Tuesday we had district meeting and elder Merrill
had a surprise for us (elder Merrill suffers from aspergers and loves
to play with nerf guns) he is my favorite! We had a nerf war and
talked about comp unity hahaha. The rest of the day I was in exchanges
with the Spanish elders. Elder cottle is the man! We have a lot in
common so we for sure had a good time out finding! We ate some
saltenas which were mighty good! We taught several lessons in Spanish
too. I can sort of follow along but it's spotty. Elder cottle is a
great teacher I felt the spirit even while I couldn't understand the
language very well. We had so much fun though after the day was over
just talking and hanging out with the falls church elders. Wednesday
was awesome. We had a brunch with one of our members at the silver
diner. It was super good and we invited him to pass out a Book of
Mormon. I know he will do it. After the lesson we brought one of the
senior couples in the mission some flowers. I haven't bought flowers
in like 3 years so we asked the sisters for help haha sister Ito one
of the older missionaries loved them! Her and elder Ito are our
favorite senior couple! That night we taught Tiffany the word of
wisdom but she still won't commit to live it. We will have to drop
her. She also bought us some of the most disgusting pizza I've ever
eaten. It was so gross we just plastered it all of the sisters car
hahaha. Thursday we had exchanges with the Vienna elders. Elder
Murdock and I worked super hard. Being in a bike area is so crazy. We
met this lady named lexa who is living in a woman shelter and having s
baby in two weeks. When we taught her the spirit was so
was amazing. It was so awesome. Friday we spent most of the day
splitting wood for a bunch of people in McLean. It was awesome. We are
basically in charge of bringing firewood to a bunch of people in the
area. It's super hard work...but dang fun! We also taught Sam. He is
sick. He is a Muslim guy from Sudan but he is very interested in
learning about our church. He asked some awesome questions to us. We
are going to bring him to church next week. He also has two roommates
names Mohammad they are pretty cool too. Saturday was so sweet! We
moved this guy in McLean who isn't a member of the church. He had the
nicest house ever...I swear. He and his family we're super cool. We
had a finding fest the rest of the day. Our zone did a super good job.
Elder McCray and I were out tracting and this guy showed us his 1929
ford model A. It was awesome. He also had a Mafia style 1954 Cadillac.
Blacked out. So sweet. A member took us to chipotle I haven't had it
in it was mighty good. Sunday we had meetings all day. But
elder Calderwood of the quorum of the 70 was at our sacrament. He gave
his testimony and it was so amazing....after the meeting he ran up to
us and gave us a hug! He was so amazing. Truly called by God. I love
the leaders of the church. That's was the highlight of Sunday. I love
Jesus Christ. I know that he lives and loves us! Thank you all for
your love and support! Have a wonderful week

Happy Week June 20 2016

Friends and family,

Nother week down! I hope everything back home is going well! Mom and
dad I hope that you all have fun on your cruise I wish I could come
but we will take one when I come home ;) this week was pretty good we
saw a lot of things happen! For pday last week we didn't do much just
had a zone activity we hiked in great falls national park. For sure
the prettiest place I've seen in Virginia we had a fun time and
nothing bad happened which is super nice! That night we went tracting
and found nobody:/ it was pretty sad. Tuesday I went on exchanges and
it was super hot outside. We had zone training in the morning and
elder McCray and I presented on how to have the Holy Ghost in our
lives and in the lives of those we teach. It was great. After that we
walked to Arlington and went street contacting. It was awesome. Taught
a black baptist preacher who started to yell at me hahahah he was
pretty cool though loved the missionaries. Wednesday we had a powerful
member lesson with will woods. He is great. We all felt the spirit so
strongly he is amazing we talked about his me,her missionary work. He
is going to have somebody for us to teach soon. Thursday we had
interviews and I got to spend half an hour with president. It was
awesome. We talked about how to be a successful missionary. It was
great cause I've been working hard but not seeing much. We also had a
bbq with eder one of my good friends in the mission he is awesome.
Friday we weekly planned! Saturday we cut a ton of wood and delivered
it to members! It was awesome. So humid at was so much fun! We
also taught gabe! Sunday we had a pass off lesson with a guy named
Tyler who wants to get baptized! I also met someone from here who
knows the burton family! Anyways sorry my letter is short! Love you

Langley June 13, 2016

Friends and family,

How is everyone doing this lovely week?! I'm doing pretty good here in
northern Virginia! The weeks always go by so dang fast it's almost
like a blur. The Langley Ward had been progressing since last week.
Today we had almost 100 people at Church! Monday of last week we just
played some basketball. It's always fun to do! I've played so much
ball lately..after pday we had an appointment with Youssef and he
flaked on us. So we spent the rest of the night tracting into mean
Muslim people. It wasn't too much fun. But we got two potentials from
it. Then a security gaurd chased us out of the complex Ha. Tuesday we
helped Bentley plan and prepare a lesson on how to help people find
the gospel on face book. He presented on Thursday at mission
leadership council. He was pretty nervous but he always pulls through!
On Wednesday we checked up on several of the prospective elders in the
ward. They are mostly if not all less active and inactive members of
the church. It's pretty sad. There is so much potential in them. I
hope that they will choose to live the gospel one day. Our elders
quorum president is pretty worried as well so we have been teaming up
with him to find these people. Some weird Asian lady came over and
took some blood for elder McCray cause he changed his life insurance
ha if was weird having this Asian lady in our apartment. On Thursday
we had Mlc and Bentley presented. Everyone loved it. Everyone loves
Bentley. He is a stud. He works so hard. President talked about how we
need to be in tune with the spirit in order to do anything for our
Heavenly Father and for Jesus Christ. It doesn't matter how much
talent we have or what we've done in life. If we don't have the spirit
we are nothing... That hits me hard. Nothing...we must repent and
change in order to have the spirit with us. I'm still trying to figure
this out in my life. It will take a whole lifetime! After Mlc I drove
my son elder snow back to his apartment and played a prank on the
elders that live there. I hid all there Pokemon cards hahahahahaha so
funny. I went on exchanges with elder medina that night and we had so
much fun. We taught s member lesson and we're finding. He is from
Mexico and is so dang funny. We also had a metro contacting activity.
Because it was so hot out on Thursday we got together as a zone and
passed out water bottles at the metro ha people always think we are
weird giving away free water but they appreciated it! Nothing much
happened on Friday. It was the slow day of the week. We do go an serve
at a local food bank every Friday morning and it's always so much fun
and so rewarding to help out those who are hungry and don't have much.
We love going. Saturday it was hot! 100 degrees hot. And HUMID. BLAH.
we helped out a member in the McLean Ward cut up these huge trees! It
was awesome we were all dirty and sweaty! Chainsaws are fun. We taught
a less active gabe about the importance of walking with the savior. I
invite you all to read the conference talk "ponder the path of thy
feet" it is excellent! Sunday was great we had church as set up many
member lessons and had stake priesthood meeting. It was very
spiritual! Today we helped a member move out of the Ward and are
hiking great falls park! It's going to be sick! This week was
challenging cause not much happened. I'm still seeking to learn all
that Heavenly Father wants me to learn in this area. He has helped me
become a better man. He loves me. He also loves you. I'm grateful for
his plan and for his gospel and my best friend Jesus Christ. Thank you
all for your love and support! I miss Colorado and Utah so much. But I
know that I'm supposed to be here. Have a great week! Love you!
Elder Routsong

Transfer 4 in Langley June 6, 2016

Friends and family

Hello hello hello everybody. I hope that your week went really well!
Time is just moving on faster and faster. It seems like each Monday is
just a short time away. This week went pretty good. I still serving in
the Langley ysa Ward. When I am finished here I will have served for 6
months in Langley. God must be trying to teach me something about
singles wards and getting married hahahaha but I'll think about that
good stuff later. So for Monday of last week we didn't really do much.
I bought a sick new pair of running shoes and played just a few games
of basketball. It was Memorial Day and a member invited us and the
Tysons elders over for a bbq. It was awesome and the people were
totally crazy! Hahah that night we taught Tiffany with our Ward
mission leader Bentley. She has major concerns about the word of
wisdom. Bentley told her about his experience joining the church. The
lesson seemed to go well. We have been concerned for Tiffany cause she
has a lot going on and a lot of weird irrelevant questions. But we
keep trying! Tuesday we had district meetings and it was pretty
spiritual because we just had a brief testimony meeting. I loved the
missionaries in the district. We all had so much fun and were so
close. That afternoon we had to get a Tiwi put in our car. I was
pretty upset about that. That night we had a great member visit with a
guy named James. He is cool and I look forward to getting to know him
better. Tuesday night we got transfers....I honestly thought I was
going to leave. I won't lie...I was pretty upset I am staying in the
singles ward. I know that there is a reason I'm here though. This will
be the longest time I've spent in an area. Wednesday we had breakfast
with elder cline on his final day of the mission. It was sad. I'm
gonna miss that kid. He has been a great friend to me. Then my good
friend Marie took elder risenhoover and I out to lunch. She is such a
boss! She is literally the sweetest lady you will ever meet! That
night we went and taught Daniel. He is a good kid just really really
lost. He is 29 and just sits at home and plays super smash brothers.
We shared with him the "hope of gods light" video. It's so awesome.
About a guy who investigated the church for 2 years. It's a powerful
story. We applied it to him and told him that he needed to find
answers in his life. We had a member named Mikey there he did such a
good job befriending him. Thursday was transfer day. As zone leaders
this is literally the busiest day of the transfer. We ran so many
errands for everyone else! Dropping off bikes and suitcases all day!
It was exhausting. I got to see all my mission buddies though! Said
bye to elder cline and elder tesch. They will be missed and I can't
wait to see them again. I really hate when missionaries leave. It's
pretty sad. The highlight of Friday was we helped set up for the
Syrian refugee clothing drive. It was awesome! We worked so hard.
Saturday we helped out again at the refugee clothing drive and it was
a fun time. I always love being with the zone we are so close and have
so much fun joking around. Our most progressing and only investigator
Tiffany dropped us and we were pretty down in the dumps on Saturday
but things will work out and she wasn't ready. Life goes on I guess.
Sunday was good it was fast Sunday! I was just thinking about how God
loves me during the sacrament. It's so wonderful how he loves each of
us. His love is prefect and unchanging. We are so blessed to be able
to know that! Everything is going to be okay for us. There are always
good things to come. We just have to be patient (which is something I
am extremely bad at). This week was interesting and full of lots of
emotions. I'm grateful that I am serving and learning all this
valuable lessons for myself. I love each of you and am grateful for
your example to me and for your support and friendship! Have a
wonderful week!!
Elder Routsong

Happy Memorial Day May 23, 2016

Family and friends

How was everyone this past week! Time flies when you are working hard
and having fun! Another Monday down! I believe this is week 20 in
Langley! Transfers are on June 2nd so I'll probably leave the singles
ward life. The work has been getting a little bit better each week but
progress is still slow. Last week for pday we went to top golf. I've
been there so many times that the lady recognized me Hahahah i love
that place. It's so much fun! Dad that will be one of our first stops
haha. After pday we went to FHE with Tiffany and we played volleyball.
This Ward is so unathletic it's so funny hahaha. Tuesday was a great
day though! We had district meetings and then e went and cleaned out a
nasty town house for this homeless program. What they do is they let
single homeless mothers live there for free. It was a nasty house
Hahah but we all had a fun time cleaning it. Then I went on exchanges
with elder cline. I love the dude. He is so funny and so trunky. He
goes home on Thursday so we had a great time! We met this couple from
ft belvoir that are dog trainers. They were so awesome! We talked
about if they were interested in investigating the church. They were
so nice and friendly! Elder cline and I stayed up a little late just
talking. I'm gonna miss having him around. He is one of my best
mission buddies! Wednesday we woke up early and went to the track and
I ran laps. I'm out of shape blahhhhh I also had a doctors appointment
and then we went to clean out this hoarders house. It was so nasty...
Literally the entire house had garbage in it and it was stacked to the
ceiling! There was only one little walk way and the house smelled so
bad! They fed us some nasty spaghetti afterwards and I wanted to throw
up. Easily the worst spag I've ever tasted. That night we went and
check on several people but nobody was home. Our Ward mission leader
took us out to dinner and it was awesome. Ate at this place called
district taco. Mighty good. Thursday we went to the office and picked
up a brand new car. It was awesome! Then we went to a recent converts
house in the Tysons Ward and they made us some BOMB saltenas! Oh my
gosh kari they were so dang good. Especially if you eat them with
green sauce... That evening we exchanged with the great falls elders
and I went with elder Merrill! We checked up on a few people and gave
a blessing to a lady in our Ward with some serious strep throat.
Friday we had breakfast and a lesson with Tiffany. It was super
awkward. Her mom doesn't like us too much. For some reason they
thought we were bringing a table and they got super ticked when we
didn't hahahaha it was so funny. We talked to Tiffany about the
importance of baptism. She said she wants to be baptized but won't
live the word of wisdom...uhhhhhh nahhhhhh. I told her she had better
start praying to live the word of wisdom. She will be baptized but it
will be a slow process. I like working with her though. Her mom is
just super bold and scary haha. In the middle of breakfast she just
picked up the table with all our crap on it and carried it off
hahahahah. We also gave Tiffany a priesthood blessing to overcome s
few struggles she has been having. Saturday we went to a sweet
clothing drive the oakton stake out together to help out Syrian
refugees. It was awesome helping them all out. It was super hot and we
were wearing church clothes so that was the only downside. We then
helped Bentley plant his garden! It was super hot outside... We were
sweating like crazy. Like 98 degrees ugh! And humid! We were driving
home all gross and saw a big group of people playing
naturally we stopped and played with them. It was awesome. They had
all talked to missionaries before! It was a big family reunion.
Straight crazy and everyone there loved us! They said "ohhhhhhh it's
those elders!" Haha black family reunions are awesome. Sunday was a
challenging day for me. All of our plans fell through. We were
supposed to take a less active who is struggling really bad to a sick
byu football devotional but he cancelled and so did the rest of our
appointments. So naturally I'm in a bad mood. I said a prayer and said
"will you take this bad mood away from me?" I said it twice and after
the second time I opened my eyes and I was happy! The atonement is
real and it can help us with the big things but also with the small.
Thanks for all of your love and support! I hope that you have a
wonderful Memorial Day! I'm thankful those who are fighting for my
freedom! Have a wonderful week!! :)
Elder Routsong

MClean Day May 23, 2016

Friends and family!

Hello hello! Another week! Wow seriously though time just flies so
fast. This week was good but the weather was straight awful except for
Thursday! Thursday was like the first time we've seen the sun here in
about three weeks. It's been a very rainy and cloudy springtime. I
heard the weather back out west is great though! This week we worked
hard! For pday last week we went to presidents house! It was awesome!
My leg is feeling better from my long board crash hahahaha but yeah it
was a good time! After pday we had FHE at the smiths house! We all
just talked! Between us and the sisters we had 5 investigators there!
It was awesome. I was nervous for Tuesday because we had to present
for zone training! I get nervous every time even though I've presented
and ran like 10 zone trainings. Thanks to my public speaking professor
at uvu haha. Elder McCray and I talked about our attitude in the work.
It's something I've been thinking about and struggling with lately. I
have to question myself if I do have the best attitude. When I stop
and think about it I can change and choose to be happy! It's the best!
Our attitude has a DIRECT correlation to our faith! Anyways, the
presentation went great! After zone training we went out to lunch with
one of my favorite people! Her name is Marie Hamilton! She is a 70
year old lady from Sierra Leone! She is so awesome! She took us to
shake shack. I love spending time with Marie! Mom and dad you will for
sure meet here when you come get me! After lunch I went on exchanges
with the Spanish elders. Elder biehn came out to the mission with me
and we had a good time. Met this awesome black,guy named Kenny he was
baptized about a year ago and has good grills on his teeth. Spanish
exchanges are fun ha but I have no idea what's going on. Wednesday was
kinda a boring day. People didn't like us:/ oh well! We tried our
best! Thursday I went on exchanges with the Vienna elders. Elder
overstreet and I are good buddies! We had a lot of fun joking around
while we worked. The sisters had a scary lesson with one of their
investigators so we went and gave them a blessing. That night we had
Tiffany at institute and it went super well! She loves the church! I
hope she makes the decision to get baptized.  Friday was a good day I
went on exchanges with elder Rammell in the Tysons Ward. We tracted
for like 3 straight hours. It was awesome! They have several people to
go check back with. We also helped their recent converts from Bolivia
move some stuff into their house! Cynthia and Gustavo are so dope!
Gustavo is a fighter and he was telling all these stories about
kicking people's butts. Apparently there is a lot of fighting in
Bolivia...kari I hope you didn't get involved in any! They are having
us over for saltenas this week:) Saturday was by far my FAVORITE day
this week. We took all day as a zone and helped with a community event
called McLean day! It was a local fair and we helped people's set up
rides and booths and spread mulch. It was so awesome...except it
rained the whole time...we still had fun! I got to play some bubble
soccer and ride a few rides with my comp. at the end of everything I
did a mud slide with some other elders. It was nasty but dang fun.
Saturday was a great day and they appreciated all the help we gave to
the community.  Sunday we had our investigator Tiffany at church and
she loved it! Our Ward is so good at fellowshipping people! I've been
here for so long haha! This week was also full of exchanges for me
haha but it was all fun! I'm at a point in my mission where change is
like everyday. I've started thinking about myself less. I can feel a
shift in my life as I have come closer to my savior Jesus Christ. I
know that the lord is taking my weakness and shaping them and molding
them into my strengths. His hand is in my life every day. I can truly
see it and feel of his love for me and for all of his children. I love
being a missionary. It's the most challenging thing I've ever done in
my life but it is worth it. Thank you for all of your examples to me
and your love and support! Happy birthday Emilee I can't believe you
turned 7! You are so old! Kayla congratulations on graduating
highschool last week! I'm so proud of you! Uvu is calling for you!
Elder Routsong

Good Week May 16, 2016


Hello hey hi! How is everyone doing this wonderful week? Another week
has come and gone! Wow time really flies being out here on a mission.
This marks week 17 of being in the Langley Ward. This week was
actually pretty good. It was for sure my busiest week here! I am
grateful to be here as hard as it has been. I've truly learned a lot
about our savior and about how to plan! So I'll jump into this week.
Monday was a pretty good day. We just played basketball in Annandale.
I love playing basketball but it totally kills me and I am tired the
rest of the day. But after pday went went to FHE and played this weird
game called ninja. It's a game where you try and slap each other's
hands. Hahaha this member accidentally slapped the crap out of one of
the sister missionaries hahaha it was super awkward. Tuesday we went
on exchanges and I was with elder hart in my area. He has only been
out for 3 months so he still is a greenie. We taught a less active
named manny. He is super cool he loves to play air soft and stuff he
just recently turned 21. I'm sad because he doesn't wan to,come back
to church.. We will continue to work,with him. After the lesson we
went to teach this kid named Daniel. He is a pretty cool guy but has a
lot of struggles. I actually taught him back in October when on
exchanges with elder adair. We also brought a member of our Ward with
us who is planning on going on a mission. It was a great lesson. It
was 8 at night and Daniel claimed to just have woken up...hahaha but
we read the Book of Mormon with him and challenged him to ask God
every day if it is true. He agreed and we will be passing him off to
the Braddock elders. Tuesday was pretty good we had two solid
appointments so I am always pleased when that Happens! Wednesday we
spent tracting and street contacting. People didn't like us too much
on Wednesday haha Thursday was a special day for me. We had institute.
Remember that guy who I helped push his car away from the house he
hit? His name is Mario and he is a caterer. He cooked an amazing meal
it was shrimp with squid and chicken in rice. It was so mighty good...
I almost died. I got to talk to him for awhile as we were eating and
he told me he had been cooking for 28 years. We shared the gospel with
him and he gladly accepted it! We are passing him to the mt Vernon
elders! I'm pretty excited to hear about his progress! Friday we had a
lesson with our homosexual investigator. He is making great progress
too! We gave him a church tour and read the Book of Mormon with him.
We then went on exchanges with the assistants down in ft belvoir! It's
always fun going down there! There are so many Africans and they love
when we teach them! We spent the entire day teaching people. Elder
jones and Blanchard are great assistants and have taught me a lot. We
goofed around after the day was over joking around with them is so
much fun. Saturday we spent some time at a Methodist food bank doing
service at a food drive! It was a tom of fun! Sunday was awesome too!
We had two investigators at church! Trey and Tiffany! It was awesome!
They loved church! We got to sit down with Tiffany after church and
talk about if she would like to,take the discussions and she said yes!
Tom was awesome! This week has been awesome! I've seen the lords hand
in my area and in my life this week! He strengthens me so much! I can
do all things through Christ! Thank you everyone for your support and
love!! Have a wonderful week!

Happy Mothers Day May 9, 2016

Friends and family!

How is everyone doing?! Oh wait...I talked to you yesterday so I
already know how my family is doing! :) yesterday was great and I was
sooooo good to talk to you! Emilee has gotten so much bigger! I can
hardly recognize Kayla's crazy!! I'm can't wait to talk to
you again! I can't believe I'm coming up on only having 10 months left
of my mission...straight crazy. This upcoming week will be alright we
have a lot of exchanges lined up! We hopefully will set with our
investigator Tiffany but she usually flakes out of our appointment!
It's lame! Tonight we have FHE at the church and are playing
basketball I'm pretty pumped for it! This past week we also had a good
time. We taught this guy named Trey. He is homosexual and was worries
about how homosexuals fit into our church. We assured him that God
loves all his children and there is a spot in the church for everyone!
It was a good lesson. This week we also had zone conference and got to
spend a lot of time with president and sister huntsman! They talked
about finding happiness in the work! On Tuesday we taught this less
active kid who's name is Manuel. He is pretty cool I messed around
with his air soft guns for a bit haha. That was basically the
highlights of the week! Been in the singles ward for awhile now. Our
elders quorum lesson yesterday was how to keep the spirit in your
dating life....yep. Weird. Anyways I talked a lot yesterday and going
to play some basketball now! LOVE YOU ALL!
Elder Routsong

14 Weeks in Langley May 2, 2016

Friends and family!

How is everyone doing this wonderful week? I believe this is week 14
here in the Langley Ward. Being in a singles ward is so weird! But I
have grown really close to a lot of people here and our Ward mission
leader Bentley is amazing. We have been working pretty darn hard this
past week. Last Monday we just played some hardcore
always! That night we went to FHE and played this funny game called
awkward family photos! It was so dang funny! So it's like apples to
apples and you pick a phrase that best describes the awkward photo.
Hahah it was a good time. We had our investigator Tiffany there and
she had a great time laughing at all the photos haha. Tuesday was a
good day we have been working close with the stake high councilor over
missionary work for a metro contacting activity. He bought us 800
water bottles to pass out. So we picked all of those up,with a van on
Tuesday and then went to Arlington and Reston and had no luck with
people. They weren't too nice to us on Tuesday! While tracting elder
McCray and I quoted mr. Deeds the whole time. It was hilarious!
Wednesday we had district meetings and talked about how to find people
that God has prepared! It went super well! That afternoon we helped a
member in the Vienna Ward with some service. It was a good time it was
super rainy so we got all dirty and wet. That's the best kind of
service! Thursday was awesome we had our metro contacting activity! We
passed out water bottles at the don loring metro with cards
in them! It was so sweet we passed out 400 water bottles. People
thought it was so weird we were trying to,give them water Haha. For
some reason when you try and serve others nowadays people think it's
super weird. It shouldn't have to be like that! That night we had our
investigator Tiffany at institute and we got to hear from dean Jessie!
He was one of the original workers of the Joseph smith papers! It was
so spiritual! Tiffany loved it! Friday we weekly planned and set up
appointments with people for this upcoming week! Im pretty pumped! I
called this guy named Daniel and he dropped this missionaries after
two years of investigation! We are meeting with him tomorrow! I'm so
pumped to meet with him! We went up and worked in the Herndon area
that night people were so busy for some reason that night.  Saturday
was a great day though! We met with president hall that morning and
then had the rest of the missionaries over for a stake missionary
breakfast! President hall is so sweet! President burton from the
mission presidency was there as well and he is straight crazy. He is
so dang funny! But he bore testimony of the Angels that are around us
each and every day as missionaries. It was really spiritual. After
breakfast we helped a less active in our Ward move out. His apartment
was so nasty!! I felt so bad for him... I'm so grateful for the
blessing of having a clean home. It was so nasty! He is a great guy
though he has been trying to get the priesthood and go to the temple.
After we helped him move out we met with Brandon. The kid is so Solid!
I shared with him this poem.
Berton Braley
If you want a thing bad enough
To go out and fight for it,
Work day and night for it,
Give up your time and your peace and your sleep for it,
If only desire of it
Makes you quite mad enough
Never to tire of it,
Makes you hold all other things tawdry and cheap for it,
If life seems all empty and useless without it
And all that you scheme and you dream is about it,
If gladly you'll sweat for it,
Fret for it,
Plan for it,
Lose all your terror of GOD or of man for it,
If you'll simply go after the thing that you want,
With all your capacity,
Strength and sagacity,
Faith, hope and confidence, stern pertinacity,
If neither cold poverty, famished and gaunt,
Nor sickness nor pain
Of body or brain
Can turn you away from the thing that you want,
If dogged and grim you besiege and beset it,

If you want to reactivate yourself to the gospel you can do it!
Anything in this life that you set your mind to you can succeed at
regardless of your circumstances or excuses that you or others have!
Brandon is great! I'm so excited and happy that I get to work with
him! He is a great example to me!

That was my week! I hope that each of you have a wonderful week this
week and all the snow melts in Colorado! Thank you for your love and
support! You all mean so much to me!!
Elder Routsong

Third Transfer in Langley April 25, 2016

Friends and family!

Hello hello all! This week marks the start of my third transfer here
in the Langley young single adult Ward. I've learned a lot here haha.
Today also marks me being a missionary for 13 months. Pretty crazy how
fast time flies out here! I hope it is going fast back in Colorado!
Anyways, I'll go ahead and describe my week for you! Last Monday was a
good time hah we played football and the weather was a perfect sunny
and 75! I got sunburnt pretty badly though. We had FHE that night and
the Ward challenged elder Neyman and I to hide and seek. Elder Neyman
and I hid in the attic of the church and nobody could find us Hahahah.
Tuesday we had some training. I've taught like a thousand of these but
I always get so nervous for them. It went really well we talked about
mission standards. It was pretty good. I went on exchanges with former
Russian companion again. We taught this less active named Osmar. I
feel,really bad for him. He wants to come back to church but his
girlfriend won't let him. It was sad. That night we found
of,transfers. Elder vasilyev bought a ton of Taco Bell and pounded all
of it. I was impressed. I found out I have elder McCray as a new
companion! He is a cool kid from snowflake Arizona. Wednesday elder
Neyman packed the whole day and we talked to our new Ward mission
leader Bentley! He is awesome! He converted 2 years ago and loves
missionary work! Thursday we had transfers and I picked up elder
McCray. We had s meeting to introduce all the missionaries in the zone
then we went and dedicated a house! Pretty cool! We went to institute
that night. Friday we tracted this one place called circle towers for
literally 5 hours. We didn't see a single white person they were all
Islamic or Indian. I felt,like I was in another country... Saturday we
taught this gangsta named BLACK... HAHAHAHA seriously that's his real
name... I asked him is he ever heard about the Book of Mormon and he
said "isn't that the book where you do voodoo magic and sh**!?" Hahaha
I just sat there and said "nahhhh" he was cool with it. We will go
back and see him this week hahaha so funny. We also had a lesson with
a less active and we shared the talk "ladder day saints keep trying"
by elder Renlund. I invite you all to read that is literally
my favorite talk ever. Please read it. We tracted into this lady named
Lauren and she told us she wants her records removed from the church..
I was devastated. She was such a sweet person and knew the church was
true but felt like she couldn't live the standards. It was a sad
experience for me. Bishop will be meeting with her this week. My new
companion is elder McCray and he is a stud though! We are getting
along super well and having a ton of fun! It's been a good week! I
love each of you and am grateful for your examples in my life! Have a
great week!
Elder Routsong

Virginia April 18, 2016

Friends and family!

Hello hello! How is everyone doing this week?! Things in Virginia just
keep on rolling. These Monday's seem to just come and go so quickly. I
can't believe how fast time is moving. This week we had a few good
teaching opportunities! Monday of last week we didn't really do
anything exciting just played basketball and hungout. It was nice to
relax though. Monday night the Ward had FHE and us and the sister
missionaries combined had 4 investigators there. It was awesome! This
singles ward does a really good job at helping people feel comfortable
and not intimidated in church settings. We all talked about general
conference and then we taught our investigator Fatih about the Book of
Mormon! It was pretty awesome and he was asking great questions!
Tuesday was district meetings in the morning and we went to Taco Bell
with elder v haha it's so funny a Russian kid ordering Mexican food oh
my gosh. After lunch I went on exchanges with elder Escobar. He is s
good guy! He is in the Spanish program and this was his first English
exchange! He saw it all haha we got kicked out of an apartment complex
and an investigator named Carly dropped us haha I felt so bad cause
the Spanish program is so different than the English. But we had a
good time other than that! Wednesday nothing really happens I was sick
Wednesday and Thursday so that kinda sucked. But our investigator
Tiffany attended institute so that was pretty awesome! She is really
adjusting to the Ward! Friday we had lunch with this guy named ric
tally he is pretty awesome! He is a convert in the Alexandria 3 Ward!
He is great! We also taught Alejandro a less active and the lesson
went really well we helped him set a goal to get to the temple so I
was excited about that!! Saturday was a great day though! Had a
meeting with the area 70 about the new church app called just serve.
We as missionaries will be using it a lot just to serve other people!
It was great! After the meeting we met with Brandon carter! The less
active guy from Utah. I shared with him about my life before the
mission and how hard it was for me to chose to serve. It was a
spiritual lesson he is inspiring to me!  That night we had dinner with
Bentley and Eder and Brenda all newer members and Bentley taught a
temple prep class it was great! Sunday morning we woke up and helped
Bentley prank some of his office workers. They switched his desk
around so Bentley took us to his office and we pranked the entire
place! We moved every desk around! It was great...I haven't pranked in
awhile. Church was great too! Bentley is our new Ward mission leader!
So I'm pumped about That! This week was good I'm working hard and
looking forward to more great experiences!! Love you all have a great
week! Sorry this email was kinda lame!
Elder Routsong