Monday, October 31, 2011

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! October 31, 2011

Boy this was quite the week, a lot of good stuff happened. First off though, I want to express my love to Astra Waller and her family. Astra was an amazing person and a hero of mine. This last week she past away after a 20 year battle with Cystic Fibrosis. Astra never let that get her down. I still remember the days of playing on the same soccer team with her for a couple years, hanging out in middle school and high school. She was a phenomenal dancer and never let her 42% lung capacity ever hold her back. Astra is gone but her Spirit will live on for a very long time, she was an inspirational person and will never be forgotten. As sad as it is to see her go, what a joy it is to know
that she is at rest and will be resurrected with a perfect body. What a comforting feeling it is to have a knowledge of the Plan of Salvation in which we will be able to see our family and friends after we pass on. Brothers and Sisters, we will all see Astra again when we all pass on. She is watching over each and everyone of us, just begging for us to be completely obedient so that we can live with her again. I testify that these things are true.

                                            Elder Garritson, Pakela, Elder Stelter

Saturday was an amazing day for us. Pakela, the 17 year old young man that we have been teaching was baptized!! His baptism was awesome, he had a lot of his friends there. His best friend that was baptized a couple months ago was able to baptize Pakela! He bore a powerful testimony after he got baptized and said he knew everything was gone and felt clean. On Sunday, he asked me to confirm him a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and give him the gift of the Holy Ghost. That was the first time I was able to do that, and it was an amazing blessing. Each and every baptism is a confirmation of the testimony I have. These wonderful converts give up so much more than I ever have, and it is so cool to see them make changes. I really look up to converts, because this is a complete life change for them. Every time I see them happier than they were before, they all have a special glow about them. Even tho at times it's hard, it's always worth it. I am grateful I was able to be a part of his wonderful conversion!

We also taught another girl that is from American Samoa. She lives with members in our ward so she came to church with them a couple times. She agreed to meet with missionaries and she was so grateful for us. It was cool to think that I am doing my job. She thanked us so many times for teaching her things that she did not know. She said that she knows this is true and she is going to be baptized this Saturday! It was quick, but that is how fast the Spirit can work if we are diligently seeking. It doesn't even have to be for those that are non-members, it can be for each and everyone of us. If we will stay close to the Lord through prayer, scripture study, and church attendance, and really are seeking for truth, we will be changed by the Spirit. It is the promise that our Heavenly Father gives us, he has to fulfill it. The mission is awesome!

I just want to say, I am getting worked by insanity! Man if any of you have ever done it, that is no walk in the park! Every morning when the alarm goes off at 6 AM, I don't want to get up. BUT... after the workout you feel so good. It's just the doing it part that sucks. I think my legs may fall off! Goodnight!

Crazy stuff upcoming this week, 12 new missionaries coming in, 11 going home. Hope all is going, Love you all!
Elder G OUT!

This is Astra's obituary.  We were able to go to her funeral for Jordan--she was an extraordinary young woman who will be missed by many.  She touched so many lives.

Astra Lauren Waller

(July 27, 1991 - October 22, 2011)

Our beloved daughter, sister, granddaughter, friend, and heroine, Astra Lauren Waller, age 20, passed away October 22nd, 2011 in South Jordan after a valiant twenty year battle with Cystic Fibrosis. Astra lived her life with great tenacity and courage. She was a great example to all those she touched.

Astra was born on July 27th, 1991, in Salt Lake City, Utah to Art and Jamie Waller. She adored acts of giving and receiving and loved dancing. She graduated from Bingham High School and was a student at the University of Utah in her third year. Astra was selected as one of 12 people across the nation to be placed on the Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation Calendar; she won the “Leaders of Tomorrow Award” for demonstrated leadership, citizenship, moral character, and outstanding academic achievement; She was a Three year member of the Bingham High School Minerettes drill team – during her tenure they had won both state and national championships and was a member of the Region 3 Dance Drill Team and her senior leadership position was Vice-President (all accomplished during this time with 42% lung capacity) Astra was featured in a South Valley Journal article, “Bingham High dancer forges ahead despite adversity.” She was a “Heroes of Hope” Living with CF nominee sponsored by Genentech, Inc. Finally she was selected as a recipient of the Boomer Esiason Foundation’s Cystic Fibrosis Scholarship Program.

Astra is survived by her mom, Jamie; her dad Art; brothers and sisters; Sara, Erin, and Alex; brother-in-laws; Tommy and Troy; nieces and nephews; Samantha, Parker, Hannah and Boston; aunts and uncles; Brad, Robin, Bill, Laurie, Leigh Ann, and Sharon; cousins; Markay, Oliver, Willie, and Brianne; grandmothers Marion and Barbara. Preceded in death by her grandfather Art and uncle David.
We wish to thank the many wonderful family members and friends who have given their love, time, and support to Astra over the years. We are grateful for your service to our daughter and our family.

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