Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 28, 2011

Hey! I hope everyone has had a great week and that everyone had a great Easter! Thanks mom and dad for the Easter basket!!! That was awesome. I'm having a hard time finishing off all the cookies and sweets haha. The other elders say thank you for their cookies too. They were all way happy about that. So thank you so much! Just a heads up with my eye... Elder Hall and I went to the eye doctor last friday and got my eye checked out. There were two red spots on it and it had been like that for a couple weeks so I wasn't starting to get worried. Turns out my right eye was infected. Nothing too serious but they gave me some antibiotic eye drops that I have to put in my eyes four times a day. Its almost all gone! I've been wearing my glasses for the last 3 weeks and they said I can put my contacts back in on friday. So, no worries mom, nothing serious haha. Other than that everything has been going great here. Same old, same old. The language has been coming along steadily. I've been working really hard, both on the language and on the spiritual aspect of things. Its amazing to be able to evaluate yourself at the end of each week and see how much growth can take place. I've found that as I put the proper time to spiritual strengthen myself that the learning the language comes so much easier. Having the spirit is so integral in learning the language and in being a successful missionary. Its so important that we put the time in to strengthen ourselves spiritually so that we can have that added strength to accomplish the other tasks of life. I think that can apply in anyones life. No matter it is that you're doing. Michael left the mtc this week and Dan left last week. We all were able to get some pictures together and I'll send those home soon. Mark is in the same language building as me so I see him a couple times a day. He is doing great. You can just tell hes going to be an amazing missionary. I've also been writing Andrew and Travis back and forth. Its so great to be able to hear from them and hear about all the great things they're doing in the field. Its made me realize how unbelievably blessed that I've been to have great friends and examples in my life. Elder Oaks came and spoke to us last night. It was amazing. I can't believe we've had two apostles in back to back weeks. He just threw so much information and knowledge at us. I could barely write it all down. haha. I'll definitely be reviewing those over the next few weeks. I'm officially a little under 3 weeks left and I should get my flight plans this next week! haha. I'm way excited. I'm also doing my best to focus on the task at hand haha. I know that I've got 3 weeks until its Armenian 24/7 so not a minute is going to waste haha. Thank you for all your support! I love you and miss you all so much! I hope you all have a great week and know that you're all in my prayers!
Elder Fairclough

April 21, 2011

Hey everyone! It's been an exciting couple weeks. First off, congratulations to Rachel and Isaiah!!!! I'm so happy for the both of you and I'm really glad that Claire is doing well. I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to go see Isaiah. He definitely caught me by surprise when he pulled out his phone and showed me a picture of this little baby girl! haha. I'm so glad I got to see her. She is so cute and tiny! haha. And also, congratulations to Rachel and Isaiah on graduating this week! I'm so proud of the both of you! Second, now that apparently the cat is out of the bag, congratulations to London and Mike on having a kid on the way! And lastly, congratulations mom and dad on being grandparents! haha. I'm sure that both of you are in heaven right now. These are definitely some exciting times for our family and I hope you all know how thankful I am for you and for the support and care you give to me. I could not have asked for a better family. Well, its been another good and productive week in the MTC. The language is coming along well and Elder Hall and I are definitely improving our teaching skills. I can't believe I've been here 7 weeks arleady. It's all gone by so fast. And I only have 3 and a half more weeks left too. Now thats a scary thought. I am anxious and ready to get to Armenia but I don't quite feel like I know enough haha. I have a pretty good feeling that I'm going to feel that way regardless for the next couple months. I know I'm just going to have to work harder than ever these next few weeks so that I can be as ready as I possibly can. I know that as long as I do my part and am giving it my all that the Lord will help me with my many inattiquicies. This week one of the coolest things of my life happened. Every Tuesday night we have a devotional and its usually a General Authority but this past Tuesday Elder Richard G. Scott came. It was absolutely amazing. The Spirit was so strong and he gave such a powerful talk. At the end of his talk he had all the missionaries who are learning a language raise their hand. He stared out and about atleast half if not 3/4 of the crowds hands were up. He was quiet for a moment and then he said by the authority of my apostleship and by all the keys which I hold, I confer the gift of tongues upon you all. It kind of took me back. It was so powerful. Afterwards he said, that doest mean you don't have to study anymore, but I promise you that you'll find it easier. I felt such peace and comfort with what he said. Learning Armenian, as well as any language I'm sure, can be extremely frustrating and difficult. But I know the Lord is there helping me and everyone else here in the MTC. I am so grateful that we are never alone and that as we are doing the things that we should, we can have the Holy Ghost with us and that we can be strengthened and guided through whatever obstacle is in our way. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to serve a mission! I know that this church is true and I consider myself so blessed to be able to serve the Lord. I hope everyone is having a great week and that you all know that I love you and miss you! Thank you for the letters and the support! Keep it comin! haha. Hope all is well!
Elder Fairclough
My P-day here in the MTC is going to be on Wednesday from now on. Just a heads up. Love you all!

April 14, 2011

Hey! Sorry again about last week and the whole mix up. Thanks for the package mom! That will help out a ton haha. I hope that ring comes soon. Its been about 6 weeks so im hoping it does this week. Well, this week is has been a really great week here in the MTC. A lot has happened and I'm hoping I can type everything before my 30 minutes are up. To start, something really ironic happened this week. I have two Armenian teachers, Brother White and Brother Dixon. Brother White has been back for a year and a half and Brother Dixon has been back for about 3 years. Brother Dixon is taking an internship in Las Vegas this summer so hes not going to be our teacher anymore after this week so they hired a new guy. The new guy is Brother Carlson and hes been back for about 4 months so hes fresh of his mission. He is a really great guy and I love learning from all of them. Well, I was talking to Elder Frost (Dan) about us getting this new teacher and he told me that his brother's roommate from before his mission went to Armenia and that his brother and that other Elder were best friends. Well it turns out that Brother Carlson was Dan's Brothers friend who went to Armenia. Small world. I thought it was pretty cool though. Also, a miracle took place this week between us four elders learning Armenian. Every Thursday night we plan for all of our mock investigators and set goals for the next upcoming week. The past couple of weeks our goals have been absolutely awful and we hadn't kept any of them. So last Thursday Brother White and Brother Carlson gave this huge lesson on the importance of planning and the impact that it can have on missionary work and on our weeks. So after this big talk we planned really hard for all of our investigators and we set some pretty tough goals. And at the end of all this Brother White got up and he made us a promise, that if followed every single goal we made every day, that we would feel the Spirit more in our lives throughout the week and that our language would double. We all kinda looked at each other and were like, for real? haha. But the Spirit was so strong and we all knew he wasn't just saying it. So this whole week we all worked very hard and we kept every single goal. We could all see improvement but we couldn't really tell how much or if it was anymore than any of the other weeks. But it truly did happen. Elder Hall and I taught the 3rd lesson in the TRC last night and we did so much better than any other week. Afterwards, the returned missionaries that we taught were so impressed. They could see the difference and Brother White and Brother Carlson could too. It was hard for me to really see it cause Elder Hall and I still struggled throught it but I sat back and thought about it and they were right. We understand so much better and we were able to answer all the questions they had. We taught the entire lesson and not just parts of it and most importantly the Spirit was so strong. It was such a wonderful experience. It truly was a miracle. And I know that it could have been done without the Lord and the Holy Ghost. I'm so thankful for their presence and also for amazing teachers that know exactly how to push us and to help us feel the Spirit. I'm running out of time unfortuntately. Mom and Dad I hope that the Temple tours go really well for you two. I think you said you had some shifts tonight or tomorrow so I hope you can read this before then. Mom I know you said you were nervous and I just wanted to let you know that you are going to do great. I wanted to tell you something that brings me great comfort when it comes to teaching and talking in front of people. Cause as you know its not my favorite thing to do. But one thing I've learned thus far on my mission is that as you put in the work and sincere effort, the Lord will help you with the rest. We're promised that in several places in the scriptures. (*D&C 100:5-8 is my favorite). I know that you and dad have put in the work and I promise you two that as get on your knees and pray for help and guidance in what to say that you will remember the things that you need to say. I love you all so much and hope that everyone has a great week!
Elder Fairclough

Sunday, April 10, 2011

March 24, 2011

Hey everyone! Thats way exciting about being temple guides mom and dad. I'm sure that will be an absolutely amazing experience. You'll both do great and I can't wait to hear all about it!!! Well its been another great week here at the MTC. Classes have been going well and I've been learning a lot about how to be an effective teacher. Last night Elder Hall and I taught in Armenian again to a return missionary. No funny stories about teaching this time but it was truly a great learning experience. We were supposed to teach about the Restoration and I was worried that I wouldnt be able to remember how to say everything. I felt like I hadn't made much progress from last week and I was just really nervous. When we got in there I calmed down a bit and words that I didn't think I'd remember came to my mind and I was able to remember most of the stuff I was so worried about remembering. I know that the Lord answers prayers. I wasn't able to say some things I wanted to say which is extrememely frustrating but I know that as I keep working hard that I'll continue to remember more and more. I just have to take things one step and a time. Afterwards, one of my teachers, Brother White, talked to all of us and I learned a very important lesson. The purpose of us teaching in the TRC to return missionaries is not so that we can learn the language. Thats part of it, but language learning is done in the classroom. The purpose of teaching in the TRC is to learn to teach with the Spirit. I realized that I had been going into teach solely thinking about myself and how I was going to remember how to say things. I forget the scripture in D&C but it says that every man will get to here the gospel in their own tongue. Brother White reminded me that I am not going to Armenia to speak Armenian. I'm going to Armenia to help others feel the Spirit and come unto Christ. What a great lesson to learn! I'm glad I was able to learn that now and not later on down the road. So I'm focusing this week on doing my best to teach with the Spirit in Armenian. Its tough when you don't have a lot you can say but I know it will help me as I go forward in my mission. So, funny companion story of the week. This is a great one haha. Elder Hall has been sick for a couple of days now and he was also sick that first weekend we were here in the MTC. Well 3 weeks ago Elder Hall went through 10 boxes of tissues. Yes 10! haha. So we went this large group meeting with all 2,000 missionaries and you're not supposed to get up and leave and his nose was like a faucet. Of course, he only had 2 tissues. So he stuck two small pieces of tissue up his nose (it was so weird) and after the meeting when he went to get it out he accidently pushed it up further. Well he continued to blow his nose every two seconds so I figured it came out. Well fast forward two weeks to yesterday. We had to go to the ENT at the hospital in Provo to get his nose checked. The doctor went up there to see why he had a sinus infection and what do you think he found? The dissolving tissues up his nose!! hahaha. I was dying laughing! Only Elder Hall. The doctor had to suck all the gunk out of his nose kinda like what they did for me after my nose surgery. I honestly couldnt believe thats what it was. haha. I have an interesting companion thats for sure. Gotta love him haha. Well I'm running out of time but I wanted to share one important thing I learned this week. One of my teachers said, "Happiness is a choice, not a destination". This is so true. Life is what you make it and no matter how dark your day may seem, there's always a ray of sunshine somewhere. Its up to you to make it more. I hope everyone has a great week and that you are all happy. I am as happy as can be and grateful to be serving the Lord. I love you all!

March 17, 2011

Hey! How's everyone doing?! Thanks for sending me the brackets mom and dad! One of my teachers is going to keep up with my bracket for me and let me know how I'm doing. haha. Gametime. Well this week at the MTC has been a good one. We've been working relly hard on the language. We've learned a good bit of the grammar and I can form sentences, it just takes me a minute to think things through. Every Wednesday night we teach return missionaries from Armenia who pose as investigators. Last Wednesday we taught in English but our teachers decided to make us teach in Armenian this week. I guess they wanted to baptize us by fire. All I have to say about this experience is WOW. haha. We were supposed to teach for 30 minutes. We were in there for 30 minutes but there wasn't much teaching going on. I taught them how we pray and I testified of Jesus Christ but thats about all I could get out. I can say simple senteces like "God loves you" or "God hears your prayers". We got into the room and there were two return missionaries. I felt pretty prepared going in but once they opened there mouth and starting speaking only one thought when through my head, "what the crap". haha. It was pretty ridiculous. I could pick up on one or two words in each sentence and I could understand the gist of what they were saying but I had no clue how to respond haha. There was a funny story from it though. Elder Hall asked them what they busy themselves with and one said they like to drink and smoke. Following which, he asked if we wanted to come drink wine with them next week. I looked at the other missionary and said no. I didn't have a clue what he said but I could tell by the look on the other missionaries face that I should say no. But Elder Hall looked straight at the returned missionary who asked it and said yes. haha. He asked again and Elder Hall said yes again. haha It was pretty funny afterwards when they told us. Oops. Even though the experience was really tough and frustrating, I know that it will come with time. We are trying to speak more Armenian as a district so that we can be more comfortable speaking. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I've only been here for two weeks and to be patient. haha. I was reading scriptures with Elder Buel and he showed me his favorite scripture and it really hit home with me this week. It's *Ether 12:27. This scripture is so true. Being here I've been able to see that I have many weaknesses. But I know that as I turn to the Lord and humble myself that He will turn my weaknesses into strengths as I'm faithful. What a blessing! I've seen it thus far in my mission and I've only been here two weeks. I'm so thankful for the strength that our Savior can give us, as long as we do our part and turn to Him. I love you all and am so thankful for you examples. I know that this Gospel is true and there is no where on earth that I'd rather be. I hope you all have great weeks and know that you're in my prayers!

*Ether 12:27
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

We would expect nothing less from Elder Fairclough than to be eating as many chocolate doughnuts as he can.

March 10, 2011

Hey guys!,
I hope everyone is doing well and knows that I love them. I don't have much time to email so I'm going to try to tell you about my MTC stay thus far as fast as I can. Well there are three other missionaries learning Armenian with me. Two of them are serving in Armenia as well (Elder Hall and Elder Smith), but one of them is going to Arcadia California Armenian Speaking (Elder Buel). Elder Hall is my companion and things have been going pretty good so far. A little about Elder Hall: He was homeschooled (Yep you already know what that means) haha. He's basically lived in a bubble for the past 19 years of his life. The best way I can describe him so that you can understand is that he is just like my college roommate Paul, the only difference being that he will talk from the second the alarm clock goes off to the second you turn the lights out at night haha. He's a great guy though and I'm lucky to have an obedient companion here in the MTC. I'll share some stories next time when I have a little more time. Well the Armenian language is pretty difficult. We are actually here longer than anyone in the MTC. We beat out the Chinese speaking missionaries by a couple days. Armenian has 39 letters in the alphabet and they all make a ridiculous sound haha. I have it all memorized though and I can say a few short sentences. We are just working on grammar and on increasing our vocab right now. It's coming along really well though and I am picking it up faster than I thought I would. Just goes to show you the importance of the Spirit and that you can do anything when you have it with you. I'm still a LONG ways away from speaking it and all that good stuff so for now I'm just working hard and giving it my best. I know that the Lord will help me as long as I do my part. We spend probably 5 or 6 hours in the classroom learning the language each day. I know it sounds awful but I actually really like it. I think its a lot of fun. We'll see if I'm still saying that in a couple weeks though haha. Well I'm running out of time so I have to start wrapping it up. Thank you for sending me the dear elders. Send me as much as you want haha. Its so awesome to have mail and I like being able to see how everyone is doing. Oddly it helps me stay focused so don't stop! Well I love you all and hope everyone is doing well. I'm doing great and I love it here in the MTC. At times I just want to get out of here and be in Armenia already but I love the Spirit that is here. I know that I'm where I'm supposed to be. There's no greater work that I could be doing. I love this gospel and I am honored to be able to represent the Lord!


Welcome to Elder Fairclough's Blog!

Elder Fairclough was called to serve in the Yerevan, Armenia mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. "After His Resurrection, the Lord commanded His disciples to ”go . . . and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost“ (Matthew 28:19). In fulfillment of this command, able young men in the Church have a duty to prepare spiritually, physically, and emotionally to serve as full-time missionaries." (for more information on missionaries/missionary work visit our church website

From March 3rd to May 20th, Elder Fairclough will be preparing for his mission at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. While there he will be learning the Armenian language as well as missionary discussions and church doctrine.

Opening Mission Call in October

Called to Serve
Saying bye to Mom