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Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Pictures

Here are a few pictures from the camera card Mat sent us for Christmas.

I don't know the story behind this picture of Mat in a lava lava, but it looks like they are all having a great time.

This says it all.

Saying goodbye to Elder Fenton at transfers.

Transfer day.

Carrying out AP responsibilities at transfers. I've never seen pictures of the transfer process, and these are great.

President and Sister Dance.

Mat took about 40 pictures of this moose, so I thought I'd throw one in for fun.

Elder Squires and Elder Kerecman.

Nice hats!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Post-Christmas Week

Christmas week was great. There's not much to tell family because I told it all a couple of days ago over the phone. Elder Kerecman and I did a lot of finding and teaching this week. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day both were a blast, and we did a lot of walking and talking. One man even told us that he was non-dimensional when he was trying to say non-denominational. I wish I could tell about all of the funny tracting experiences I've had on my mission, but I'll save those for later.

Now to the spiritual stuff. We had an awesome experience yesterday tracting. A couple of lessons had fallen through, and we had planned as a backup to tract a certain area, so we went and started knocking on doors. While we were knocking on a door, after we had tracted quite a few doors already, a truck pulled up right in front of the door in the driveway where we were knocking. It's always a little awkward when the owner of the house pulls up when you're at their door, but then you know you get a chance to talk to them. An older lady, and a young couple got out of the truck, and we basically just followed them inside after the mom told us she was an active member and invited us in. Her daughter is a member, but not active at all, but the daughter's husband was not a member. We went inside and talked for a little bit, and then taught the first discussion. The husband had heard the lessons a few times already, and accepted the invitation to be baptized. We were very blessed to be there at the right time to run into them. We were also blessed that the active mom was there, or else we might not have been able to go in and teach. The work is going great here, and this week has been one of the best of my mission. Anyway, I need to get running so everyone have a great week!

Love Elder Mat Squires

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas is Almost Here!

Merry Christmas everyone! It's been a great holiday season so far. This week Jamie was confirmed a member of the Church. We taught her a few days ago with President and Sister Dance, and they loved having that experience. Her testimony is powerful. She is already a great member and is getting involved sharing the gospel with her friends. This last week we finished going around to have meetings with all the zones. We were in Fairbanks on Tuesday, and it was almost -30 F. So cold! Anchorage is suprisingly not that bad. The worst it's gotten was -13 F this week, but right now its 12 above.

Elder Kerecman and I have been having a blast in the Campbell Park ward. We're teaching frequently and we love the members a lot. Tonight I will be on exchanges with Elder Piiparinen, who I've served with twice already. It will be fun to spend a day with him. This week should be a great week with Christmas. Being a missionary during the holidays is different, but it is a blast. We have dinners planned with good members and it will be fun to have my second Christmas away from home. 2011 is approaching fast. I hope everyone has a great Christmas!

Love Elder Squires

Monday, December 13, 2010

Two Busy Weeks


Well the past two weeks have been great. Just a short update on last week--It was an amazing experience getting ready for transfers and being able to attend the temple. It was a really quick and busy week. On Tuesday we had a great day with all the missionaries traveling and changing areas. It was also a neat experience again to be with the missionaries going home as they depart. This week has been full of uplifting and spiritual experiences. I've been able to attend meetings with other missionaries in Anchorage and Soldotna, and over the phone with Juneau.

Elder Kerecman and I also had great proselyting experiences. One Saturday we went tracting at a specific street that we had planned to tract before hand. We had tracted quite a few homes (and it was freezing!) and we were nearing the end of what we had planned to tract, when a man came out of his garage and said hi. We went up and talked to him, and he said that he always enjoys listening to messages, so he welcomed us in. We helped him move a few things, and then went in and started teaching. He told us that he was moving, and hadn't been there in two weeks, but had just come for a few hours on that day. He had been going through some really rough things in his life, and was searching for more answers and hope. He saw us walking down the street from his window, and conveniently placed himself outside his garage when we walked by so we would see him. We had a great lesson teaching about prophets, and how the gospel was restored through Joseph Smith, and also about the Book of Mormon. We invited him to read from it and pray about it, and he accepted. He doesn't live in our area anymore, so other missionaries will teach him, but it was a great experience.

We also had a baptism yesterday! We've been teaching a lady named Jamie, and she has had a great desire to be baptized. Yesterday she was baptized by her friend's husband, and then bore a powerful testimony of the gospel. She is great! Her sister came to the baptism,and we will be teaching her on Wednesday. They both attended a different church before, but they got a new pastor, and heard that he just went to school, and was just picked to come here, and that's how he recieved his authority. They knew that there was something missing, and Jamie has been greatly blessed already from her decision to be baptized. This gospel is the truth, and the Holy Ghost bears witness of that. We're so blessed to have a prophet and the restored gospel on the earth today!

Love Elder Squires

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Short One

Hey sorry for the brief email. Transfers are today and we've been meeting with the new missionaries and the trainers all morning, and I just have a couple of minutes. This last week was great! There was a ton that happened, which I'll have to email more about next week. Elder Kerecman and I are still serving together here in Anchorage. Things are going great, and hopefully we will have a baptism this weekend! I hope you are all doing great!

Love Elder Squires

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Week

It was a great Thanksgiving week. Elder Kerecman and I did a lot of tracting and walking around this week, and people were suprisingly less open than usual. We were expecting people to be more open around Thanksgiving, but I think people were just stressed out with everything that accompanies the holidays. Today Elder Kerecman and I started out the day moving some furniture for an investigator named Benjamin. We moved, and had some things we couldn't take that he wanted, so we moved it all to his apartment. Afterwards we taught him and had a great lesson. He is praying about the Book of Mormon and about baptism.

We had Thanksgiving with a member family, and it was a good day. An investigator named Andrew that we had met the day before Thanksgiving invited us to come over for Thanksgiving. He was having it alone, so we went over and had a great lesson. The turkey didn't get done in time, and we had to run, so we didn't get to eat with him, but it was a good visit. Holidays as a missionary are awesome. I've honestly never really focused too much on what we actually celebrate until I've come on a mission. Since you're not with family and doing normal holiday things, you learn to appreciate what the holiday is really about. I've definitely gained a better perspective than I had before.

Well, this week is going to be a good and very busy week as we get ready for transfers a week from tomorrow. I'll have the opportunity to go to the temple this week with President and Sister Dance. It's been a year and a half so I'm looking forward to it! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Love Elder Squires

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Holidays are Coming

Well this week has been great, and it just keeps getting colder and colder here! It was an icy one today. We were thinking of playing football since it's Thanksgiving week, but it's way too icy and cold for that today. This week we had our zone conference for the Anchorage North Zone. It was great. There were two zones there, and we had a great Thanksgiving feast for lunch. Elder Kerecman and I have been busy this week with work in our area. We have some great people that we are teaching. One girl, Madison, will hopefully be baptized soon. We've been striving to meet everyone in the ward still, and there are some great members here in the Campbell Park ward. We helped move some desks to one member's house last week. She is from Sudan, and fed us some Sudanese food. There were these big pancake looking things that we dipped in this goat soup stuff. It was super spicy, and interesting to eat goat.

The work in our area has been a little slow since we had been traveling so much, but now we have a little more time for the next week or so to get some good work in. Elder Kerecman and I are having a blast and doing our best to bring souls to Christ here in Alaska. Well, I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. I know ours here will be great!

Love Elder Mat Squires

Monday, November 15, 2010

Snowy and White

Well, Alaska is awesome. Anchorage is all snowy and white. There have been a ton of car wrecks. A lot of people slide into ditches on the sides of the roads. It's funny because Alaska drivers always criticize out of state drivers for not knowing how to drive in snow, but they're the ones that always drive off the road!

So this week was great. Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy came to reorganize the Anchorage North Stake Presidency. We had the privilege of hearing him speak in Stake Conference, and then he had a fireside later that night, and he shook hands with me as I was catching up with Elder Piiparinen afterwards. He taught so simply and powerfully. We sang a special musical number at the beginning of the fireside, and Sister Dance had me sing a duet with a missionary that has a great voice. I don't sound anything like him but it was fun.

Elder Kerecman and I are having a blast serving together and working in the Campbell Park ward. We are working with some great investigators. We haven't had a ton of time to work in our area so far, but the time we have had has been great and full of success. Today we are moving into a new apartment, so that will take up a good part of the day. Well, I hope you are all doing great!

Love Elder Squires

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Jung Tak

We didn't get email from Mat this week and we are guessing he's extra busy with his new responsibilities and are hoping to hear from him soon. But I did receive the sweetest email this week from Jung Tak, a new sister who was baptized by Mat while he was serving in Fairbanks in the YSA ward. She included these great pictures with her email and I thought I would share them with everyone.

Thank you Jung. We are so happy for you!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Well there have been a lot of changes for me in the past week. I left Fairbanks on Monday and flew to here to Anchorage. Anchorage has been a blast so far. It's only been a week, but it's been long enough to come to like the area. I'm serving in the Campbell Park ward, and my new companion's name is Elder Kerecman. He's from Spanish Fork, UT. We've been having a blast so far. He's been out about 20 months. We are serving a lot with President Dance.

It's been a very busy week, and there isn't enought time to fill in all the details. We're doing what we we call "whitewashing" an area, which means that the two missionaries that were here were both transferred out to different places, and my companion and I are both brand new to the area. It's been a great week of getting to know the members of the ward and the people we are working with. They are all great people. Well, there's not much time today to write so I've really had to sum things up. I'll be traveling a little bit over the next month, and I'll have some great experiences and opportunities to share the gospel. I love this work, and I love all of you!

Elder Squires

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Goodbye to Fairbanks

Hey Mom,

I don't have much time today so just pass on the info to Dad. I'm not in Fairbanks anymore. I got a call from President Dance Sunday morning assigning me to be one of his two assistants. I flew down to Anchorage yesterday and we've been working with the new missionaries, picking them up from the airport and getting the trainers ready. Official transfers will happen in about an hour--that's why I need to hurry. OK well I need to run. Seeya!

Love Mat

Elder Squires and Elder Fenton with YSA sisters.

Elder Squires and Elder Fenton with Nicole and Holly who were visiting from Whitehorse.

Fall in Fairbanks

Elder Piip and Elder Squires with members of the YSA branch.


Trip to Anchorage

Getting in a little golf during fair weather.

Elder Squires and Elder Piip took a little trip to North Pole.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


It's been busy and cold this week. It's been awesome. It's been snowing and melting off and on this week and that made street contacting a blast. Just as an example, the other day it warmed up to like 35 degrees, and so all the snow was melting and there was slush and water all over. Elder Fenton and I were walking down the sidewalk on a main street when a car drove by, right as we were walking past a huge, dirty, freezing cold puddle. We looked up just in time to see a tidal wave of dirty street water coming at us, and then we got blasted and drenched. It made me mad at first, but we were just laughing about it. It was pretty cold, and I had dirty water all over my face and head and clothes, but it was fun. Oh and to top it off, we had both just dry cleaned the pants we were wearing a few days before. Good times.

Well, On Sunday we have a baptism, and we're excited for it. We started teaching a kid name Colby a week and a half ago, and he's accepted the invitation to be baptized. He's looking forward to it, and he is so solid. It will be another busy week getting everything ready for that. He comes to all the activities and loves coming to church. YSA work is just so good, and I've loved the time I've been able to spend here. Fairbanks is a blast, but we'll see how much longer I'll be here with transfers next week. Hope everyone's doing great!

Love Elder Squires

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Snow is Here to Stay

It's finally winter here. It snowed the past couple days off and on, and last night a little bit, and it looks and feels like it will stay this time. I won't see the ground again for 5 or 6 months. I'm excited for winter though. The snow will be sweet; the dark...not so much.

Well, this last week was great, as every week is here in Alaska. Elder Fenton and I have been fasting and praying for help finding the elect, and this week we found four new investigators. Two of them have committed to be baptized here in October. It has been awesome. The Lord definitely is helping us in His work.

This week I was on exchanges with one of the elders in North Pole, and I stayed with him at their apartment. It snowed while I was there. It definitely feels like Christmas when there is snow everywhere, and everything is a candy cane. The light posts are candy canes, the fire hydrants are candy canes, some times there are just candy canes sticking out of the ground, not to mention the giant Santa Claus at the Santa Claus House. In North Pole it's always Christmas.

Well, today we're going to play volleyball as a zone for PDay. It should be fun. This week we will have interviews with President Dance, and then the next week is Stake conference and President Dance will come up to Fairbanks to do some missionary work with me and Elder Fenton. Well, that's about it for now. Everything is going great here. Fairbanks is awesome and the work is a blast. See ya!

Love Elder Squires

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Great Meetings

This week started out freezing cold--8 degrees one morning--and now it's back up in the 40's. Alaska is random like that, but the snow will come soon for sure. We're just enjoying the last little bit of fall while we can. I had another busy week, which I always like. Wednesday Elder Fenton and I flew to Anchorage and arrived pretty late. We stayed with the assistants and then attended a leadership meeting on Thursday with zone leaders from the entire mission, and district leaders and trainers from Anchorage, Chugach, and Wasilla. I got to see Elder Piiparinen, and we got a picture together in front of the temple that one of our investigators wanted of us. On Friday we had our zone leader council meeting and that is always a blast. It's really cool to see missionaries that are so spread out over Alaska to come together for a day.

To top off the week General Conference was this weekend. Everything was so good, and I got a lot out of both days. I loved the emphasis on missionary work. Elder Russell M. Nelson's talk in Priesthood session about missionary work was great.

Well, we're working hard to find people that are ready to be taught. Things slowed down a little when school started up, which in a family ward usually means that things speed up, but in YSA there are less members and most are busy with school and work. We are still working hard, though, and I love Fairbanks and the people here. We are teaching a few people right now that are really cool, and have desires to be baptized. I love the learning and experiences that each new day brings, and I love the gospel. Have a great week!

Love Elder Squires

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's Freezing Outside, But it's Not Even Cold

This week was jam-packed and there's lots to write, but not very much time, so I'll cram it into a few words. First of all, Elder Fenton and I walked outside today in our suits and didn't even realize how cold it was. It was only 20 F this morning and we were driving in the truck without any heat on or anything. We just laughed about it and thought it was weird how 20 degrees isn't even cold anymore.

Well, Zone Conference with Elder Pieper was amazing. We had the tables in a U shape, and he just walked around to all of us while he trained us. I learned so much, and I wrote as fast as I could trying to write down everything he was saying. The thing that got me the most though was his eyes. Whenever he looked at you his eyes were light and penetrated you to the core. He's definitely been called of God to be a Seventy. That night we had a fireside with members and investigators, and it was really exciting because Holly and Nicole Thompson drove up from Whitehorse on a little trip and came to the fireside. It was so cool to see them again after so long. We also had dinner with them the night before. It was also cool because both me and Elder Fenton know them and served around them.

We also had a baptism this weekend. Jung Tak was baptized, and I had the great opportunity to perform that baptism. The next day, Elder Fenton confirmed her a member of the church and bestowed the gift of the Holy Ghost. It has been great serving here, and I'm excited so see what the future brings. This week we fly to Anchorage for a Leadership Training Meeting and Zone Leader Council for a couple of days. It will be another fun trip. Well, I'll update you on all of that next week. Hope all is well.

Love Elder Squires

Monday, September 20, 2010

Carrying on the Work

It's been an eventful week and we've been very busy. I love being busy. On Monday last week we just had a normal day and taught a few lessons, and then our P-Day was on Tuesday. I hung out with a couple other missionaries while I waited for Elder Fenton to get here. All the missionaries new to the zone got in around 11 PM. We picked them up and headed to our areas. Elder Fenton and I have been doing great this last week. He's from North Carolina and was in Helaman Halls at BYU the same time I was, but we never knew each other there. We talk about Whitehorse a lot since be both served there.

We've been carrying on the work here and helping our investigators prepare for baptism. Jung will be baptized on Saturday so we're really looking forward to that. She's asked me to do that so that will be a great experience. We don't always see the immediate results of our efforts, but lately in this area we have been able to see the fruits of our labors. It's awesome to be able to see people take upon themselves the covenant of baptism and start this awesome journey. We've been having great success here, and I'm still having a blast serving in YSA. Lately we've been coordinating tire changes on all the vehicles in the zone since it's coming up on winter. We're all getting our studded tires put on. It's definitely that time of year. Not much longer before everything is covered in snow for the next 7 months. But for now it's clear and sunny outside.

This week Elder Paul B. Pieper of the Seventy is coming to our Zone Conference. It will be an awesome thing to have a Seventy around again. It's always good to get that boost. Well, Fairbanks is awesome and I'm having a great time here. I can't complain at all. We got kicked out of an apartment complex this week for knocking doors, and we used to tract there a lot, but that's ok. If they kick us out of one place, we'll just move on to the next one. I love this work and I enjoy it everyday. It's all been going so fast and I can imagine it will just get faster and faster. I hope you all are doing great.

Love Elder Squires

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Staying in Fairbanks

Well the transfer is over and today a new one started. Elder Piiparinen is on the road right now driving to Anchorage, and then to his new area in Wasilla. He will actually be serving as a zone leader in my old area and ward, the Knik Fairview Ward. He is pretty excited to be going there, but he is going to miss Fairbanks a lot. My new companion is coming tonight. His name is Elder Fenton. Haha I hope you're reading this Holly. Elder Fenton traded places with me when I went to Whitehorse. He served there right before me. He's coming up to Fairbanks tonight and I'll be training him as a Zone Leader. I'm pretty excited. I only met him briefly in Tok on the way to Whitehorse, but I know that the Thompsons liked him a lot, and so we'll have a lot to talk about. I'm looking forward to this transfer, and I'll still get to see Elder P at ZLC about every month.

Well, the work is going so good here! We are teaching some great people, and I've been learning a ton everyday. We are teaching this girl named Jung, and she is preparing to be baptized soon. We're also teaching this kid named Kitti, and he is going to get baptized soon as well. Everything in the branch is going great. We've been taking prospective missionaries out with us to teach, and one of them left today on his mission and another goes in a month. That's the cool thing about YSA. You can help these guys go on missions and prepare for them. I'm also looking forward to this next week. We will have Elder Paul B. Pieper of the Seventy up here for a Zone Conference. It will be great to have him here and be able to learn from him. Well, everything is great here, and I hope you are all doing well!

Love Elder Squires

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's Fall!

It's been a great week. Things are really starting to cool off. Most of the early mornings this past week have been in the 30's. All the leaves are starting to fall, and winter isn't too far away! I can't believe I've already spent two summers on my mission.

This week was full of meetings! On Monday we had our Specialized Training, and then on Wednesday and Thursday we had leadership meetings (all day). On Friday Elder P and I had Zone Leader Council over the phone this time. It was a really busy week, but it was great. All the training we had was awesome. It definitely helped me have a better outlook on teaching, and strengthened my testimony. Elder P and I have been teaching much more powerfully and with the Spirit since we had our training. President Dance is a great mission president, and I've learned a ton from him. Being a Zone Leader has been great because I get to talk with him and be around him a lot more than before.

A lot of people are leaving from the YSA branch to go back to school. It's going to be sad when they are all gone. Things will change a little bit during the winter months, but the work is still the same. In a couple of weeks there is a General Authority coming to Alaska to re-organize a stake, and do a mission tour. He is Paul B. Pieper of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He gets to Fairbanks on September 23, and we will have a zone meeting with him. I'm looking forward to it.

Well, things are always going really well, and I enjoy every minute of my mission. I've learned a ton in the past 15 months, and a lot of that has been in just the past few months. I hope you are all doing great!----Holly(Sis. Thompson)--I was about to send you guys a letter when I received yours, so I'm writing more today and I'll send that off. Thanks so much!

Love Elder Squires

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

God Prepares People to Hear the Word

It's been an exciting week, and an especially busy last few days. Everything is always busy and fun in YSA and as a zone leader. It's hilarious to watch all the drama with YSA members and see the activities they organize. I get a lot of laughs here--it's awesome. Loni Weggel was baptized last Sunday (Aug 22) and then was confirmed two days ago. She also received a calling. She is very happy to be a part of the gospel and to finally be a member. A few weeks was a long time to wait for her because she was so ready.

Well, lately Elder Piiparinen and I have been encountering a lot of people who just want to argue and find fault with the Church. I think we've had so many faith building opportunities with all the baptisms and confirmations and lessons we've been having that we were given opportunities to see if we had really grown. Some people are so willing to argue and put down Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon before they have honestly considered if it could be true. If people would just take the time to read from the Book of Mormon and actually listen to God answering their prayers, our job as missionaries would be a lot easier. But, I know that God does prepare people to hear the word because I've been led to them, and they've been led to me.

Yesterday we had our Specialized Training with the Assistants and Pres. and Sis. Dance. It was a great day. Elder Piiparinen and I trained the missionaries in our zone for 40 minutes about how to focus on our purpose all day. All the training was really good, and my understading always grows immensely when we prepare for training. This week we will have two more meetings with Pres. and Sis. Dance and our zone, and then on Friday we will have another meeting with all the Zone Leaders in the mission. Hopefully we get to fly to Anchorage again for that. Everything is awesome here in AK, andI hope all is well with all of you.

Love Elder Squires

Monday, August 23, 2010

We Are The Chosen Frozen

So it's been gettting colder this past week pretty quickly. Last Sunday it got up to 93 F and then a couple days later it was only in the 50's. I can definitely feel the winter coming on. I have a feeling this winter will be a colder one, but we'll see what happens. It all depends on where I end up. If I'm anywhere in southeast Alaska I'll just have rain and not too cold temps, but If I'm here in Fairbanks or anywhere close to the interior I'll be freezing! We are the chosen frozen.

So we have been teaching Justin and getting him prepared for his confirmation. He is an awesome kid and a good friend. Hopefully he will be confirmed next Sunday. Yesterday Loni Weggel was baptized, and she is awesome! She is always smiling and loves the gospel. A lot of her family came, and they are all nonmembers so it was a good experience for them. Elder Piips and I both spoke, and it was cool to speak to a congregation of so many members and nonmembers. Loni will be confirmed this Sunday, and we're excited for that.

Last night Elder Piiparinen and I watched the Testaments DVD with one of our investigators. He said that he just wanted to study on his own after this week, but wanted us to come over to watch the Testaments with him. I always love that because we don't watch it very often and it's really good. Anyway, it turns out that he is studying filmmaking, and loved the Testaments so much that he went onto lds.org before we left and ordered a copy. We told him we would love to come over more to teach him, but we knew he wanted to study on his own. He thought for a second, and said "give me two weeks". It was cool that he liked the movie enough to allow us to continue teaching him. Hopefully we will be able to help him progress.

Well, Fairbanks is still awesome and we are having a blast up here. Next week we have meetings all week, and then fly to Anchorage on the third for another Zone Leader Council. I'm looking forward to that. A lot of the members of the branch here are going back home or back to school in the lower 48 now since summer is ending. It will be sad to have them leave, but there are great people staying, and I'm sure we'll get some great members coming back home for school. Everything is going great in AK.

Love Elder Squires

Monday, August 16, 2010

Priesthood Power and Modern Revelation

Time has flown by here in Fairbanks, and there has been so much to do. First of all, Justin was baptized on Saturday, and I had the opportunity to baptize him. He was so excited to be baptized, even though it's been a hard past few weeks for him. Justin is such a funny kid, and he will do great in the church. I'll have to send my memory card home soon so you can all see pics. The cool thing was what all happened at the baptism and what was on the program. Chelsey Gott, who was baptized 3 weeks ago said the opening prayer, and bore her testimony. Devin Parker, who was baptized and ordained a priest last week, was a witness for the baptism itself, and said the closing prayer. In the congregation was a girl named Loni, who is getting baptized this Sunday. It was so cool to see all of that! I felt the Spirit so strong as Devin was saying the closing prayer, and felt so much joy for all of them and for everything that has been going on this past transfer and a half.

President Dance called Elder Piiparinen and I up the other night and was so excited about everything that has been going on. He said he could not remember when the last time was that one area had four baptisms in a row like this. Elder P and I have been very excited about everything that has been happening, but we know that if we don't continue to work hard the blessings will dwindle.

Every Thursday we run a booth up here at the college for a few hours. We can't actively proselyte on campus, so we have materials set out and a movie playing (usually the Restoration) and we wait for people to come and talk to us, and usually see people we are teaching, or members. It's been pretty successful in staying in contact with people we are teaching. This week, 3 Baptist girls came up and tried to bash with us, and they came up trying to poke fun at our beliefs. I get really fired up when people try to bash with me, but I tried really hard to keep it under control. Elder P and I addressed their concerns, and they were trying to convince us of their doctrine. I don't need to get into what we talked about, but what I thought about all of this is how amazing it is how confused people can become without the power of the priesthood and modern revelation. I want to help people so much, but some refuse to accept the invitation. It just amazes me how people can have a lot of truth, but still be lost about so many things. That's exactly how Joseph Smith must have felt about his search for the truth--confused and lost. I know that God has called a prophet to the earth today so that we won't be confused. Just as God has always blessed his children with a prophet to lead and guide them, he has blessed us with that today. God hasn't changed and doesn't change. It's men that have changed things, but God continues to work the same way he always has. I'm thankful for that knowledge. Hope you all have a great week!

Love Elder Squires

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Week One of Transfer 11

It's been busy and and stressful and awesome this week. There was so much that happened so it was great. We got to golf again on PDay with our investigator, and we all had fun. I didn't play too bad either so that helped. This week we had Zone Leader Council in Anchorage on Friday. Elder Piiparinen and I flew to Anchorage Thursday night and stayed with the assistants. ZLC was great, and we were trained on the new curriculum from the mission department. The First Presidency instituted it for all missions in the United States and Canada. I learned a lot, and I love chillaxin with the other zone leaders and with the mission president. And best of all we always have a great lunch in the mission home. We tell a conversion story in ZLC that happened in our zone, and I told the story of a man I interviewed for baptism named Rich. His wife was baptized a few months back, and the weekend she was baptized Elder D Todd Christofferson was in Fairbanks, so she took that as her witness that this was true. Her husband took the discussions and believed that it was all true, but was worried about receiving a witness for himself. I promised him that if he was patient and took the leap of faith he would receive an answer. He had a injured ankle (or knee) and it was hindernace at his job loading trucks, and he was worried about being able to keep his job and get his knee fixed. He was baptized a couple weeks ago in the Chena River, and when he walked out of the water, the pain left his knee, and never came back. It's an awesome story, and it witnessed to him that the church is true. Miracles happen!

Devin Parker was baptized on Saturday, and confirmed on Sunday. He asked me to confer upon him the priesthood, so yesterday I was able to confer upon him the Aaronic Priesthood and ordain him as a priest. He will do great things in the gospel. Cool story at his baptism too. He had a fever all week, and was going through periods of hot and cold. When he came to the baptism, you could see him sweating because of the fever, but he was well enough to make it through the baptism, and didn't show the fact that he wasn't feeling good. When we started filling the font, the water was warm, but when Elder P and Devin went into the water it was freezing cold. When Devin got out he said it was refreshing. He was hot with the fever and the water helped cool him down. So cool!

Great things are happening in Fairbanks, and serving in the Young Single Adult branch is so cool! This Saturday Justin will be baptized, and we are excited for him. We have been blessed with so much success. We are working hard and the Lord is providing us with people to teach. Missionary work is the bomb!

I hope all is well with you all. Have a great week!

Love Elder Squires

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another Baptism

Well it's been another great week as usual, and the end of my first transfer in Fairbanks. I can't believe how fast it was. We've been so busy all the time that I've had no time to think about that. Fairbanks is awesome, and it's been pretty warm here this past week. I'll enjoy it as much as I can before the winter rolls in. Fairbanks is one of the coldest spots for the winter because it's in the interior.

Anyway, Chelsey was confirmed on Sunday, and it was great to see her as an official and brand new member. She is so solid, and I am confident that she will remain that way. This weekend Devin will be baptized and confirmed. We are looking forward to that. He has a studio at his house with a drumset, so I got to play it the other day. It was fun. I just carry a pair of drum sticks around with me everywhere in my backpack because I never know when I'll need them. I'm always prepared to jam on the spot. You never know when it'll come in handy.

We're also teaching this guy named Justin. He is a way cool guy, and he's enjoyed coming to church. He got grounded the other day (he just graduated high school) and his mom stole his Book of Mormon, but he said he got it back. We thought that was pretty funny. At a lesson with him yesterday he said that his mom had come home and saw his Book of Mormon and pamphlets out, and asked what all of it was. He said it was his stuff, and she told him that Mormons think black people are of the devil (Justin's black). We just laughed and I told him I love black people and he thought that was pretty funny. He said he told his mom that he's pretty sure we don't because he came to church and everyone was really nice and didn't treat him any different. We cleared that up for him, and told him we don't think black people are the devil and then laughed it off.

Well, I'll be staying here for another transfer with Elder Piiparinen. We fly to Anchorage on Thursday for another Zone Leader Council. It was great last time so I'm looking forward to it. Hope everyone is doing great!

Love Elder Squires

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Specialized Training, a Baptism, and Clothing the Naked

Zone Conference was this week, and Pres. and Sis. Dance and the Assistants flew in from Anchorage for it. Well, it actually wasn't Zone Conference, it was "Specialized Training" for this new program that is being instituted. The Assistants stayed with us Wednesday night after we did some exchanges with them, and then we had Specialized Training on Thursday. It was great. The Spirit was very strong and I learned a ton. Elder Piiparinen and I gave some training for about an hour to the zone. It was really fun, and it went a lot better than I thought it would. It's different being on the training end of things at our zone meetings, but I've learned a lot studying and preparing for everything.

It was a really busy week with all of that going on, and on top of that we had a baptism yesterday for Chelsey! It was a great baptism. Her fellowshipper's dad baptized her, and Chelsey was really happy. She was almost crying the whole time because she was so happy. Her parents were there, and there was a lot of support from the branch. There was a problem with the font, so we barely got it filled in time, but everything worked out in the end. We almost had to go down to the Chena River to baptize her. That would have been an experience. She's going to be confirmed next Sunday on the 1st of August.

The work is going great, and it's always fun! We have been knocking on a lot of doors and having a great time doing it. I was tracting some apartments the other day with one of the assistants, and this old naked guy answered the door. He was hiding himelf with the door, but it was still really awkward and pretty funny. He said he wasn't interested and closed the door, and Elder Hall said as the door closed that we clothe the naked haha. The old guy said something behind the door, but we couldn't hear him. Why some people answer the door naked, I don't know. It's Alaska. You find your extremes here that's for sure. It's great.

Hope everyone's having a great week.

Love Elder Squires

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Science, Religion and Rain

It's been another great week as usual. Last Preparation Day Elder Piiparinen and I were extremely tired from everything so after we wrote our emails we went to the store, and then just slept at the apartment. It was so nice to finally get a nap. It's the first nap I've taken in a very long time. So Elder Piiparinen and I decided to go through the entire hymn book during our comp studies, and we sing one hymn a day, but like half of the hymns we've never even heard before, so he plays some chords on the ukelele while I do drum beats on my knees and we rap out the ones we don't know. I'm not sure if that's the best thing to do with hymns, but it sounds awesome. We do what we can. Anyway, we've had so much success this week. We do a lot of tracting and contacting, and have been finding a lot of people for others in our Zone to teach. (When they are over 30 or under 18 other missionaries teach them). We've also been helping our investigators prepare for baptism. Chelsey is getting baptized on the 25th, and she is so solid. Devin is getting baptized in early September, and he is a stud.

On Friday there was a guest speaker at UAF that was on a tour giving this speech about the relation between evolution/science and religion. Two of our investigators said that they were going, so we went to see what it was about. The speaker was making a joke out of religion and worhipping God the entire time (he's an atheist), and it was pretty obvious he was trying to disprove religion. The cool part about all of this is when he finished his speech and was open to questions (this was in an auditorium of about 500 or more people), one of our investigators, James, got up to ask a question. Elder Piiparinen and I really wanted to ask him questions, and it would have totally made him look ridiculous, but obviously we can't do that. But James got up and asked a question along the lines of this: "I believe in the string theory, and parallel universes, that we can't count how many billions of universes there are, so how can you prove that there isn't a god in one of those universes?" A lot of people in the auditorium started clapping and cheering at his question because it was pro-religion. The speaker said that he does believe that there is at least one universe with a god--which totally disproved everything he was trying to prove before. Why couldn't that universe be this one? It was really awesome because it seemed to me like it strengthened James's faith, and he even went into a grove of trees to pray about what we're teaching like Joseph Smith. He's still waiting for an answer, but we know he will receive that answer like Moroni said, "after the trial of (his) faith."

That was definitely a cool part of this week. On Saturday we were at the stake center here, and it started raining out of nowhere, as it does a lot here in Alaska. It rained harder than I've ever seen it rain in my entire life. It was so hard and so thick that when we opened the door of the church rain was coming in the entry, and you couldn't see very far. Then it started hailing, and the parking lot was like a lake. When it finally stopped and we could leave, we had to drive through some small ponds to get out. There was a car that had backed away from a road because the water was too deep for it, but we had a Silverado so we busted through it like nothing. It was a crazy rain storm.

Well, I hope everyone is doing great because I know I am!

Love Elder Squires

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Elder Squires and Elder Piiparinen

Thank you from the Squires Family

Thank you to all the wonderful members of the branch in Whitehorse for taking great care of our son, Elder Squires, while he served with you for 7 1/2 months. He loved his time there and he loves you. We love you too!