February 29, 2016


This week was a good one! We had 1st quarter training, those who have completed 6 months or more on the mission, basically "push through the wall of laziness" training. Wednesday, the International zone had a special training on having faith to set high expectations and baptismal dates. We are in the last 2 minutes before the second coming and we need to find those who are going to be the driving force to the end. We need to start finding those who are going to help the gospel into Iran. We talked a lot about turning people over to the Lord if they are not progressing and setting baptismal dates early as a goal to work towards. Awesome start of our week! 

We got a referral for a new Persian family that moved in, down in Torrance close to the beach. Drove down there, the address we had was for this huge park.. super confused. Also the phone number was bad so.. great referral, so as we came back we drove next to the beach. :O 

Its heating up and boy its ward during the day! However, I still freeze over every morning.. Gahh its like Arizona, but its k :) Also, feed the missionaries! Its important! :) 


So, we set a baptismal date with our good friend Farid! We had our first official lesson with him this Sunday and it was awesome! We went to the Visitors Center and watched a video about missionary work, and we explained that as missionaries we help people to follow Jesus Christ. After a while he said, "I dont know why, but whenever Im with you guys, I just feel so good. I never want to leave and I feel at home here." We went to the Cristus and listened to the audio (Jesus Christ talking) and we asked him how we felt, "Just peace, like nothing except love and good things." We walked around the temple teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the HG, and enduring to the end) and we stopped and asked him to be baptized, he said "yeah! Im ready, lets do it tomorrow!" GAHH! We walked up real close to the temple doors and talked about how the temple is the house of God. We made it back to the VC and said a last prayer with him before he headed out. After the prayer we asked him what he felt, he took a moment and said, "I cant describe it, its just so good and I love it." Ive never heard anyone explain the Spirit so well. We are so excited for him! March 27th

Hamed was sick this past week, but he got better and we caught him at church! :O Hes still coming to LA YSA trying to get those dates in, haha :) 


In my study this week, I studied a little bit about faith. After all, our faith is a gift from God and we receive more as we exercise our faith in Him, by praying, keeping the commandments, studying the scriptures, turning outward, serving, etc. To show our love, devotion and our faith in Him, we make covenants, promising that we continue to improve and follow Him. With these covenants, we are blessed exponentially, both immediately now and we rack up the brownie points in the next. As we faithfully keep our covenants, we are blessed with more faith, in fact we are able to obtain the greatest possible faith available with the associating covenants. Keep your covenants, even if it is to get out of bed when your apartment is frozen over and your bed is WAY warmer! There is blessings! You can have them! They are free! 

I love you all! Thanks so much for your example! Keep going! I know its hard sometimes, push through! :) Have an awesome week! 

February 22, 2016


Another Farsi-land adventure week. Still here in Tehrangeles.

As an update, Shadab was sick this past week so we weren't able to meet with her, but we will this week for sure. :) 

We met this older Persian guy, very cool actually, Heavenly Father put us in his path for sure. We caught him coming out of his house in the only 5 minutes he was home for that day! We gave him a BoM and committed him to read the intro. Came back the next day, he had read and we had an awesome discussion about the BoM and living day prophets! He has a hard rime believing that God is so good and he said he has had trouble with faith and then we show up to help him! Excited to see him tomorrow! 

We also were able to take our friend Farid to the VC last night to watch Jenna Kim Jones, from Meet the Mormons how living in NYC as a stand-up comedian and standing up for her beliefs and standards strengthened her and her testimony. It was awesome and Farid really enjoyed it. Turns out Farid is a bass player and dabbles with recording music and stuff! Basically what I do! Gahh! We are the same person!

This week we also fancied Korean BBQ, a mission favorite. Here are some pictures. 

My district is the Farsi. We share a district meeting with the Korean. Everyone is pumped, we are going to see some miracles in the next few months for sure, we are excited to see where our programs will go. We feel like this transfer was the primer for an early summer of baptisms! 

Hamed, our good friend is doing awesome! even though baptism will have to wait for a little, we are teaching him the lessons. He is so eager to learn and to read, everything. Really I love Hamed to death and am so happy to be able to help someone realize the joy and happiness of the gospel with someone like Hamed.
English Class

Love you all! Not sure what else to say! Things are awesome! I love the mission! :) Remember, if you have a bad week, turn out and go make someone elses week! Whatever yiu are going through, someone else has it harder. If theres no light in your life, be the light in someones elses life! :) I love you all! Have an awesome week! Ponderizing?
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Leaf anyone?

Mini Dan and Dan

February 17, 2016

{Insert Cheesy Persian Caption}

Alright, I have to share this, it was so funny. So we have Farsi class 3 times a week with Sister Mead. Part of class is when we come wit sentences we have written and we read them, and then Sister Mead helps us to make them better and grammatically correct. So I read a sentence like "The room was dark because there is no light." (Very clever I know) and after, to make sure we understood the word I used, Sister Mead said "Elder Ekberg, your tie is dark blue". Then she said "Elder Wiedrich, yours is dark silver". Then it was Elder Arguelles' turn. "Elder Arguelles, your tie is also a dark color". And so granted Elder Arguelles is the new guy, so he didn't know what was going but he caught this talk of colors, and after Sis Mead said that to him, he said "I have dark skin...?" :) Ohh man.. You had to be there, point is.. The gift of tongues helps you to know (kinda) what is going on, in almost any situation. :) 

While walking on Westwood, we ran into this older Persian man. Turns out, he is a member! He was baptized like 3 or 4 years ago somewhere else in California and had just moved to Westwood. He was praying that he would run into someone he could trust to help him move from apartment to apartment. So the next morning we found ourselves moving boxes and bags into our very spacious Toyota Corolla. It was awesome to be able to help Hadi move in to his new apartment. He even showed up to church yesterday for Regional Conference! 
Regional Conference (?)

Regional Conference! Was that a thing for Arizona? It was awesome! Don't be too casual about your religion! Be an example of the believers everywhere you go and everyone you talk to! We shouldn't be ashamed of the covenants we have made, as we keep them, the blessings greatly outweigh anything else. Don't be afraid! Yes, we live in troubling times, the darts are flying faster, quicker, and they sure are blazing, but as we stick to the basics, the little things, we will receive the blessings that are promised to us by our Heavenly Father. Why do we do things? Simply because a young boy had a question. As he asked God which church to join, he was told by Christ himself, not to join any, but through him, the original church of Christ would be restored. Through revelation we know that ____________ is God's will for us, and that's why we do that. #Renlund
Visitor's Center with Hamed

Hamed promised to take me to Iran someday.  He needs to calm down...haha!

 We met this new lady, Shadab (شاداب) and we were able to meet with her yesterday! We had a great lesson about how Christ has provided us a perfect path and God blesses us as we follow Him. We watched some videos in the VC about missionaries, one of them talked about how he overcame cancer and how helping an investigator take the step of baptism was very similar. After the video, Shadab mentioned how cool that was and told us that she wanted to be baptism when the time was right! We walked around the temple, talked about our goal as children of God here on earth, and officially invited her to be baptized. She was all for it, no specific date, there might be some time to sort out residency (approved but pending kinda thing), but we are excited to start working with our new friend! :) 

All in all, things in California are going great! Maybe a little slow at times, but I'm excited! We are gonna have a great year! :) Some have asked about the food, its awesome! We get fed by the members here probably 3 times a week, and the other meals we cook ourselves. Elder Arguelles is teaching me a few things about cooking, and I can say that I'm better now haha. We do go out to eat sometimes, your classic Wendy's and McDonalds #MissionBudget. In-N-Out on occasion and don't forget about some quality Persian food. I'm a fan of Koobideh Kabob, its a good cheap classic haha. 

Thanks everyone! I love you all! I love hearing about what everyone is doing back home, and I'm excited about whats going on wherever youre at! God Speed! :) 

February 9, 2016


This week was awesome! I feel so blessed to be here in Los Angeles, the Lord has big plans for the Persians, and I get a front row seat. We had interviews with President, and I left feeling reenergized and ready to bring back the Persians. 

I got a present from Elder Arguelles family

So we love referrals. It means someone in the mission found a Persian! So on Tuesday, we made a trip down to Torrance to visit a referral. When he wasn't home, we whipped out our fancy new ABP planner on our iPads and found a few other formers we could go visit. We bounced around Torrance for awhile, no one was home, the gate was locked, they didn't exist, etc. It was getting dark, we decided to check one more little more south. We drive down, park, couldn't find the address at first. We decided to walk past a group of apartment buildings until we found the address of the complex, buried behind trees and other buildings. But, no apartment number.. We turned around and found the mailbox, with a directory posted on the side, and Boom! We found the name we were looking for! We knocked the door and the wife came out, she was blown away that we spoke Farsi! Shirein was super cool and had told us that she had wanted to learn more about us for awhile! Her husband, Khosno, was initially introduced to the missionaries awhile back, but never went anywhere. But! Not this time! We are excited to meet Shirein, hopefully Khosno (who was working when we knocked) and their two kids in the next week! #Persianfamily 

Another cool experience with contacting referrals was on Thursday, we went out to find a referral in Santa Monica. He lives in a giant apartment building, front doors are locked. No phone number, so that's great. We tried to sneak in through the back, but LA is too smart and locks back doors too.. So we decided to contact a little around there. It was different, we usually contact on bigger streets, more people, more Persians, so the secluded street contacting was a bit different. Not even 5 minutes later we run into this lady Maryam! We told her believed in a prophet who had brought the Book of Mormon with him, she lit up and then was like "Ohh that's your temple? No way!" She committed to come to church, but sadly didn't come. Looks like we are gonna have to track her down. #Persianhunt

Saturday, we wanted to go check on Hamid, our baptismal date from November (He got a job in December, which was a blessing, but couldn't meet with us, and we never heard from him again..). We decided to walk, which didn't seem far on a map, but boy it was a trek! No luck there, but we were walking down through this neighborhood on the west side of the 405, which I'd never been to, and there's a lot of Persians over there! Who knew? We contacted a little, kept walking and we eventually made it to this secluded through street in some neighborhood, when we felt prompted to turn around. We turned and like 50 feet back on the right was this smaller apartment building, and there was a lady walking into the laundry room. We couldn't see her too well (didn't wanna be creepy and stalk her) so we just said "Salam!" She was Persian, and she flipped. Haha :) Her name was Sheeri and after we had talked for awhile she expressed some concerns in her life, not having purpose, not being happy, feeling like God was abandoning her. We talked with her, shared scriptures out of the BoM, luckily I could read, and shared our testimonies with her. She committed to come to church next week, and told us we could stop by next week on Saturday to remind her haha. #Persianlaundry

We had received a referral on Monday from some Sisters in the Valley (San Fernando Mission). We called him, invited Farid to church and he said he would be there on Sunday, shortest sweetest phone call ever. I'll admit I didn't think he was interested at all, just kinda saying yes, not meaning it. We called Saturday night, no response. We then got a text right before bed from him that said "I'll see you tomorrow at 9:00am". WHAT?!?! Church the next morning, no one came.. Little upset, President Weidman is in our ward and he came and sat next to us.. And we didn't have an investigator.. #yes
5 minutes in, we get a text "hey". I don't think I've flown off a church pew faster. We went outside, called Farid, found him and brought him in. We had an awesome testimony meeting, despite there being an actual fist fight on the stand (long story, after the mission kind of story haha). Some of our Persian members, Sam, Mehdi, and AR did a great job taking him in, after all there was a fight in church to talk about, haha. Farid is about 25, college student and loves Jesus! He killed it in participation points in Gospel Principles (اصول مژده) and wants to meet this week to learn more! 

Overall, great week! I love the mission! Have faith in the future! It's only as bright as your faith. There is a difference between authority and power, what is it? I'll let you figure it out. :) Do the little things, there is power in them :) Live worthy of your covenants (all of them, your missionary covenant) and be better than you were yesterday! Have an awesome week! I love you all!
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Burger stop

February 1, 2016

I Forget...What Day is it?

So, as a missionary, time melds together and days seem long but short and weeks fly by and months seem long but then again it's already February, basically, I lose track of time and what cool things happen from week to week! So.. 

Koreans...Gangnam style or something...

Last week, we had the Worldwide Mission Conference! What a cool experience, a broadcast to 75,000 missionaries worldwide. They emphasized teaching repentance and baptizing converts. One of the big take aways from it, for me anyway was to not shy away from the true nature of our calling. We are different. But when we are different, we turn people off, at least that's the case in the 3 seconds you get to stop someone on the street in Santa Monica. We have been set apart to change peoples lives, not just offer them a cute story about a teenager in a forest. So be bold!

Also, there are Persians getting baptized! Only, they live in Germany! Sis Mead has been co-teaching some Persian refugees in Germany via skype. Apparently the Elders take a two hour train ride to a McDonalds and the Persians walk for 2 hours to met up a couple times a week. And 2 of them got baptized about 2 weeks ago, and I believe some more are this week! Super cool! 

As far as here in LA, work is a bit slower. We ha a cool experience yesterday, we were heading out of the apartment after lunch and didn't have many pass along cards, which is what we give people if they are in a hurry, so we typically hand out a lot haha. So we said "well, looks like we are just going to have to get people's phone numbers today." We went out, 10 minutes later we ran into this Persian guy, Mohammad. We invited him to visit our visitors center, he asked when it was open, "ohh its open everyday!" "so, right now?" "yeah!" "alright, lets go!" WHAT?!?! We walked to the visitors center, talked all about the church, what we do as missionaries, and basically everything I could think of in Farsi. It surprised me actually. We got to the VC, luckily Sis Mead was there as well, and we had a great lesson with him! He was very interested and wants to learn more! He is a visitor and is going back to Iran this week, but he told us he is coming back and wants to meet when he returns. We left him with a Book of Mormon and he was super excited to get reading! Very cool! 

We also had the opportunity to teach Gospel Principles in church, which is in Farsi. That was a great experience for all of us and Elder Arguelles and I learned a lot. Our investigator, Fara was there and she LOVED the story of Nephi and the plates. She told us if she had known these cool stories were in the BoM sooner, she would have been reading! It was cool to be able to read the story with her and be able to apply Nephi's attitude and faith to her life. Hopefully we can meet with her during the week to read more! 

I love the mission! Its awesome! :) Thanks for all your love an support! Have an awesome week! 

P.S. Elder Arguelles cooks good food. :)