Month: August 2015

Me on the Ferry Last Week

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on the ferry Aug 2015

My new address is 32 Stevens ave, Westbrook, ME 04092

Send me a care package, because I’m out of money… 😆

And don’t forget to email me directly ( rather than posting comments here.


So…still in Maine

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Still in Maine…So, for those who guessed Maine for the poll, you are correct!
I was transferred to a new area that is closer to the New Hampshire border, which means that we are closer to the Boston temple! I’m serving in the Windham ward, which is nearish to Portland, Maine. Anyway, my companion is the only Brit in the entire mission, so what are the odds that I’m the designated driver? 110%. Also he was “stuck” with my trainer for 3 months, I barely managed to survive 6 weeks with him, before he went zone leader.

Elder Thomas, my new companion, has been out 16 months. He’s from Hull, England. Mom asked if he’s had any good fishnchips, and he said he hasn’t had any. He’s also our district leader.

Monday: Last P-day was spent packing for our departure in the morning. (See pic of Elder Shupe below)
Elder Shupe Aug 2015

Tuesday: We get up at 4 AM to put the finishing touches on packing and get ready to go. The travel plan was to leave at 5:30am and travel to the Windham Apt. Its 5:50 and our ride has yet to appear. It is 6:05 when our ride rolls in and we make a prompt exit. Takes about 2 hours to get to Windham, and we are most definitely late. We arrive at 8:30, to find the district leader and his “new companion” there. He was quite surprised to see us showing up. The rest of the travel plan we received was to exchange with another elder and then head to Manchester. Well, Elder Heale and Elder Adams left in the Cornish car for transfer meeting about an hour before we got there. Calls were made to the assistants and to the Cornish elders, and the decision was made that Elder Thomas would go with Elder Shupe to transfer meeting and bring the Cornish car back with them when the meeting was over. So now its Elder Reed and me, with an area that neither of us know, without any idea what was happening in the day. So, not a whole lot got done. Turns out that Elder Heale was going to Cornish and Elder Shupe was going with Elder Adams to transfer meeting, and Elder Thomas and I were to stay in Windham. SO yeah.

Wednesday: District meeting with the new district as well as discussion for a district pday, Also we met with the various leaders in the ward.

Thursday: we have a small teaching pool, so we did lots of tracting…

Friday: Weekly planning was nothing because we literally have no one to teach…

Saturday: Visited a bunch of members and hunted for less actives to bring back

Sunday: Church, RC (Recent Convert) lesson, Choir (they are big enough to have one!)

Monday: cleaning apt, Adventure to Saco, where the zone leaders reside…

ANSWERS (Good heavens I sound like Elder Shupe)
1. What has helped your testimony grow this week? Describe what you learned or experienced.
I now have a firm belief that the Lord is preparing me for a leadership postion of some kind… because this is now the fourth district leader that I have been paired up with.

2. What is one interesting thing about your area that makes you smile? Why?
The members in Windham, so willing to help out a couple of missionaries who are trying their best to bring more of the Lord’s children to the truth.

3. What was your favorite/least favorite missionary moment this week? Describe.
Not getting the travel plans on Tuesday fully communicated….that was fun.

4. Is there anything we can add to our prayers to help you? Praying for investigators, for example
We have a teaching pool with exactly 4 people in it, so help in finding more people to teach, and prayers to those we do encounter that they will recognize us as part of the true church.

Your prayers are very appreciated, I continue to have my family and friends in my prayers. I love you all and I hope you have a good week this week.

Elder Seely, From Windham, Maine

Sent from my Mission-Issued iPad

Spiritual Daily Bread: My Talk on Sunday

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Spiritual daily bread by Elder. R Seely

Or what can get out of today spiritually?

Today is Sunday the 23rd, most of you have more than likely dozed off at least once today, are thinking about what you need to get done in work, or are thinking about the lesson that you need to teach in 40 min. Some of you are wondering about what else you’re going to do this week. A couple of you are going to relax today and not think about work until tomorrow, unless you’re us, and you have a full schedule to get to. Doesn’t matter what you’re thinking as long as something comes out of your thinking. But what should you be thinking about during the Sacrament service is not work, or the lesson.  But what I want to talk about is “How are you growing spiritually?” and “How can I continue to grow after Sunday”? I hope that’s what you’ll be thinking about throughout church today.

Most of the time we can say that we have spiritual insights at some point during the time we spend at church, but what about the other six days that we aren’t at church? A phrase that is used throughout the mission is “if we don’t have daily contact with our investigators, satan does.” The same thing applies to those who are less active and those who are active as well. We all need to be having daily contact with Heavenly Father through prayer and scripture study, and among the things that we ask for, we need to include being able to understand the promptings of the Spirit.

Let me speak first on preparing to receive “spiritual daily bread”. In a talk given by Elder Richard G. Scott entitled “How to obtain revelation and inspiration for your personal life” in the April 2012 General conference, he says

“…yielding to emotions such as anger or hurt or defensiveness will drive away the Holy Ghost…”

“…another enemy to revelation comes from exaggeration or loudness in what is stated. Careful, quiet speech will favor the receipt of revelation.”

These are the don’ts here are some of the Dos:

“…spiritual communication can be enhanced by good health practices. Exercise, reasonable amounts of sleep, and good eating habits increase our capacity to receive and understand revelation…”

And one last thing,

“For spirituality to grow stronger and more available, it must be planted in a righteous environment. Haughtiness, pride, and conceit are like stony ground that will never produce spiritual fruit. Humility is a fertile soil where spirituality grows and produces the fruit of inspiration to know what to do. It gives access to divine power to accomplish what must be done. An individual motivated by a desire for praise or recognition will not qualify to be taught by the Spirit. An individual who is arrogant or who lets his or her emotions influence decisions will not be powerfully led by the Spirit.”

Here are some of the benefits of doing the dos and not the don’ts.

“One must be ever mentally and physically clean and have purity of intent so that the Lord can inspire. One who is obedient to His commandments is trusted of the Lord. That individual has access to His inspiration to know what to do and, as needed, the divine power to do it.”

President Eyring in the October 2014 conference said

“We all know that human judgment and logical thinking will not be enough to get answers to the questions that matter most in life. We need revelation from God. And we will need not just one revelation in a time of stress, but we need a constantly renewed stream. We need not just one flash of light and comfort, but we need the continuing blessing of communication with God.”

Let’s stop and ponder that for a minute. There are more stories than we can count where one person or another has received revelation, about some of the consequences that would have happened if the leader wasn’t partaking of the spiritual bread. Think of this story from President Packer’s life.

“…That night near 10:00, two missionary elders came to the airport. We knew then that the planes would not fly. They told us there was a train leaving Munich for Berlin at midnight. The Elders took us to the train station, helped us buy our tickets, and saw us aboard the train, which would take from about midnight until about 10:00 the next morning to arrive in Berlin.

As the train was pulling out, one young elder said, “Do you have any German money?” I shook my head no. He said, “You better have some,” and, running alongside, pulled from his pocket a 20-mark note. He handed that to me.

At that time the Iron Curtain was very “iron.” The train stopped at Hof on the border between West Germany and East Germany, and the crews were changed. All of the West German crew members got off the train, and the East German crew got on the train. Then the train set out across East Germany toward Berlin.

The U.S. government had just begun to issue five-year passports. I had a new passport, a five-year passport. Before our trip, we went to have my wife’s passport renewed, but they sent it back saying that the three-year passports were honored as a five-year passport. She still had more than two years left on her passport.

At about two o’clock in the morning, a conductor, a military-type soldier, came and asked for our tickets, and then, noting that we were not German, he asked for our passports. I do not like to give up my passport, especially in unfriendly places. But he took them. I almost never dislike anybody, but I made an exception for him! He was a surly, burly, ugly man. We spoke no German.

In the train compartment, there were six of us: my wife and a German sitting to the side of her and then almost knee to knee in a bench facing us were three other Germans. We had all been conversing a little. When the conductor came in, all was silent. A conversation took place, and I knew what he was saying. He was denying my wife’s passport. He went away and came back two or three times. Finally, not knowing what to do, I had a bit of inspiration and produced that 20-mark note. He looked at it, took the note, and handed us our passports.

The next morning when we arrived in Berlin, a member of the Church met us at the train. I rather lightly told him of our experience. He was suddenly very sober. I said, “What’s the matter?” He said, “I don’t know how to explain your getting here. East Germany right now is the one country in the world that refuses to honor the three-year passport. To them, your wife’s passport was not valid.” I said, “Well, what could they have done?” He answered, “Put you off the train.” I said, “They wouldn’t put us off the train, would they?” He said, “Not us. Her!”

I could see myself having someone try to put my wife off the train at about two o’clock in the morning somewhere in East Germany. I am not sure I would know what to do. I did not learn until afterwards how dangerous it was and what the circumstances were, particularly for my wife. I care a good deal more about her than I do for myself. We had been in very serious danger. Those whose passports they would not accept were arrested and detained.”

There is more than one example of those in the story being in tune with the spirit because they were partaking of the spiritual bread daily. ~8:29

On the one hand we have the young missionary (who is Elder Bednar) receiving inspiration to give him the 20 mark note (he says “That 20-mark note was worth six dollars, and six dollars to an Elder is quite a bit!”). And on the other Elder Packer using the money received to “pay off” an East German official.

In the end, preparation can only do so much. We need to apply all the things that we have learned through our scripture study. Allow me to take an example from my mission. My companions have taught that we need to be doing four things: learning, applying, teaching and, relearning. When we learn about something we see how it could be applied to our lives. We then apply it to our lives. And then we go and teach others through our experiences of applying it. And then we relearn the concept, but in a new way. Most of us have read the Book of Mormon at least once (if not, go and do so) and we have gathered something from that experience. During my most recent readings of the book I have more than once skipped over 2 Nephi because of its difficult-to-understand chapters. But I commonly miss something from those chapters that may help me help someone else. If I did not have those scriptures on hand, would I have missed something for a lesson that I might need to teach? But I read those chapters this time around and I was surprised at the depth of some of the teachings. I picked one or two of those teachings and then applied them to missionary work and my life. The changes that occurred were quite significant. My interactions with the members improved, my investigators progressed quicker, and even my companion noticed a change. I then went about teaching my companion what changes I have made, and various members were also taught the same principles. I then was given some inspiration from a member on how another set of ideas could improve the experience I had with this, and I have began the process all over again. Obtaining the spiritual bread is a long and labor intensive process, but the results that came from it are well worth the effort.

The time has arrived…

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That time of my mission has arrived yet again. I can hardly believe that it has been 4.5 months since I left on my mission. Oh what changes I have seen in my life verses before my mission. I have been transferred to another place: current speculation says that I will be going to Wyndham, but I suspect otherwise. So, I no longer reside at Belfast, but will still be in Maine. But with that, my companion will also be transferred (a maneuver called shotguned out with its related term shotguned in for the new arrivals). He will be a zone leader somewhere. He speculates that he will be going to Laconia, New Hampshire (I think he is going to Vermont) but we will see. The travel plan is to go to the Wyndham apartment and transfer me to there (or something like that) and Elder Shupe is taking the other missionary to transfer meeting. After that, nobody knows what will happen. At some point I’ll figure out where everyone went and then I will stick around in my new area for at least 6 weeks. Fun stuff! Not really…but this will be the first time I don’t go to transfer meeting.

Monday: Pday and exchanges with Elder Liljenquist coming to Belfast.

Tuesday: We visited (or attempted to visit) people, all of which weren’t home again.

Wednesday: Elder Chilton, AP 2 (assistant to the president), decided to come and visit us for district meeting That was interesting…

Thursday: See Tuesday except we tried to visit a lot more people.

Friday: See Thursday except we tracted more and had a dinner appt.

isleboroislandSaturday: We visited Islesboro and had some excellent lobster with a member and street contacted a little bit, I actually have more to say later. We also had transfer calls as well!

Isleboro is an island that is part of our area, but the only way to get there is by ferry and ferries cost money and take up the entire day so we only go once a transfer but it is beautiful I have pictures of it attached. But we have a couple of members who live there and we primarily go and visit them because: 1 we don’t have anyone else to teach. 2 we don’t want to be spending money that could be used for groceries on ferry tickets. So we have no purpose except to visit members when we do go. But I got to ride a ferry twice and it was pretty cool

Sunday: Church and packing.

Today: Emails and packing.



1. What has helped your testimony grow this week? Describe what you learned or experienced.

Transfer calls, they come with so much anticipation, you are being told by the APs where you are going, but you know that it is from the mission president, who receives inspiration from the Lord

2. What is one interesting thing about your area that makes you smile? Why?

The district is a bunch of goof balls, I might be the most sane people in the group and it isn’t saying much.😀

3. What was your favorite/least favorite missionary moment this week? Describe.

Exchanges, that Elder Liljenquist is a bouncing off the walls kind of guy…

4. Is there anything we can add to our prayers to help you? Praying for investigators, for example?

As we are being shotguned out, prayers for the missionaries (who may be shotgun training) coming in to help them get used to this area.

Anyway, I’m hearing that mostly everyone is safe, fires are ongoing in Oregon, Washington and California. My prayers go out to the firefighters in those areas to continue to be safe as they can.

Elder Seely

PS. I have just found out that you are not enjoying the pictures that I send here, I will work out something and you can enjoy pictures with the blog posts, also please don’t comment on the blog. Send me email directly ( . Thanks!

I’m breaking rules by posting this….

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Not really, but I want to apologize for yesterday and let explain…

Monday was zone interviews and that commands 48% of the day and 216% of your energy. And when president calls the zone leaders saying that he wants to meet with us, you generally (never) turn him away. So we had the unfortunate pick and we had interviews on a Monday. Luck for us, it means that we can switch pday to Tuesday and still get the same things done that everyone else did (which includes posting here). Speaking of here, mission policy prevents me from going on to the site so I can respond to comment made on the site (still working on that). Anyway, I have the best mom on the face of the earth and she has kept me apprised of comments made on he blog. Anyway, I have the best mission president available to the church, it will sad to see him go next July.

Anyway the weekly report
Monday: pday occurred as normal

Tuesday: Went on exchange with Elder Bradley here in Belfast.

Wednesday: Went on Trek all day. Elder Shupe plays the fiddle and he was invited to play at trek for some of the events. When the Trekkers came in on the second day and fourth days. He played a variety of pioneer songs and hymns. He was awesome. I will include some pictures that I took as well.

Thursday: District meeting, and final entry of area book record for current investigators.

Friday: another full day at Trek, so much fun!

Saturday: Lots of finding (tracting, street contacting, LA Hunting)

Sunday: Church and lessons all day.

Monday: not pday, zone interviews.

Tuesday (today): Impromptu district Pday, because we have exchanges with Machias today.
So, that my week…

The questions

1. What has helped your testimony grow this week? Describe what you learned or experienced.

Zone interviews, easily one of the highlights this week! We had a lesson on increasing member present lessons and how to best get them and we talked about several strategies to keep the members involved.

2. What is one interesting thing about your area that makes you smile? Why?

Having fun with an elder’s iPad. One of the Elders in the district left his iPad behind on accident and we had some fun filling it up with pictures and random videos all of which were promptly deleted by the owner.

3. What was your favorite/least favorite missionary moment this week? Describe.

Going on trek again. I experienced trek from a pioneer standpoint, this week I got to see what it was like for the support crew who went on trek and made sure that we had food to eat. I want to a some point do it again as a captain or pa.

4. Is there anything we can add to our prayers to help you? Praying for investigators, for example?

At this point, most of our investigators have disappeared yet again, so prayers that we will find them again would be helpful, as well as prayers to find those who are prepared to receive the gospel.

Sent from my Mission-Issued iPad

Book Keeping…

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The second phase of missionary work for mobile devices was released and the long process of entering the records for each investigator in the app has begun, for some areas this will be done over a period of 1-2 days for newer areas to 6-7 weeks for some of the oldest areas, the process is like this:

  1. The original teaching record is brought up date
  2. Each teaching visit is recorded as an event and certain principles are "taught"
  3. Commitments are assigned to the events
  4. If the commitment was followed up on the next visit, record the results
  5. Repeat steps 2-5 for each teaching event
  6. If the teaching record has a concept taught but there is not a lesson report associated with it, it is considered untaught
  7. All sacrament attendance is recorded again based on the teaching record
  8. Any background info that might be useful to future missionaries is put in
  9. Information such as age, language, address and phone number are then recorded
  10. After everything is finished sync the area book
  11. Shred the teaching record
  12. Repeat 1-12 for each teaching record\

This took about an hour for one teaching record for 15 visits. We have records that have more than 20 visits and some that have 3. So most of this week will be entering stuff in…
Last week.
Monday: Hiked Acadia national park, so much fun, and so scary…
Tuesday: Exchange to Brewer, I learned that we can "bend" some of the rules to help us out if we need to…
Wednesday: District meeting at Belfast, learned more about extending commitment invitations and had district pictures
Thursday: AreaBook Planner app was released for no use, more on that soon
Friday: Weekly planning, teaching and then some service all were great fun.
Satuday: Day 1 of ABP (Area Book Planner) record entry, also had the apt inspected to make sure it was still ok for missionaries
Sunday: A day of rest, literally.
Today: Haircut, Emails and more record entries with service and a exchange latter.
About the AreaBook Planner: When the area book planner was released we were finishing up something at the church and then we both noticed that the app had downloaded itself to the ipads, I got into it and started planning the rest of the day and was about to sync when we get a voicemail from the APs (Assistants to the President) informing us that the app was released and ready for use. Only one problem "You are not authorized to use this application" kept appearing everytime I tried to sign in. After talking with Elder Shupe, we gave the APs a call and informed them of our plight, turns out the entire mission is encountering the same issue, so we had to wait another day and a half to use everything on the app. After we got it working we started to weekly plan with it and I was doing my best to keep up with Elder Shupe as he planned on the paper planners. while we are transitioning to the online version, we have been asked to maintain a paper copy of our plans, so I have been planning on the iPad whilst Elder Shupe is planning on paper.

1. What has helped your testimony grow this week? Describe what you learned or experienced.

Acadia… When we hiking Acadia, it was foggy like no one had ever seen (not even the park rangers had seen it this foggy) and was a really great analogy for the Plan of Salvation. We cannot see what is ahead and we cannot see behind us, and we you stop to take a rest you cant enjoy the view that would have been there, but it is there and we could hear it (it was an ocean view), I’m not terribly scared of heights, but hiking Acadia was the scariest thing I will do in my entire mission.

2. What is one interesting thing about your area that makes you smile? Why?

The fact that Maine is "A Hodge-podge of countries because I found out that their is a Rome, Maine and a Mexico, Maine.

3. What was your least favorite missionary moment this week? Describe.

Getting rejected at almost every door we knock on… maybe next time…

4. Is there anything we can add to our prayers to help you? Praying for investigators, for example?

To be honest I don’t have lots. We need more investigators that the Lord has prepared and that would be the biggest one so far

Elder Shupe is such a goof here is an excerpt of his letter home:
it’s like


At first it sounds threatening and rebellious but really it’s just a nice reminder.

Right now I’m eating "Southern Biscuits and Gravy" Flavored chips.

they’re amazing.

So this week was one of those weeks where we stopped by everybody and nobody was home (and nobody doesn’t like to talk so he’s just problematic), and so we told nobody to tell everybody we stopped by, and now we’re waiting for everybody to get back to us. I hope nobody just disappears.

We got 3 referrals!

for different areas

We were also pretty far over miles but, as Abraham Lincoln once said:


So this Wednesday and Friday we get to go to Trek and "Fiddle around" with the youth. (Do you see what I did there? I had to think about that joke for like 25 minutes i hope u preciate it.)

And that’s my companion for ya folks

Until next time