Thursday, February 25, 2010


I put a map of the mission on the blog about 6 months ago, but thought I would post it again since we have had such a large turnover of missionaries in the past 3 transfers.
This map show the 8 zones (which are the same names and boundaries as the stakes). Each missionary is assigned to a zone and a district and a ward. The 8 zones are:
Brown--- Fredericksburg
Lavendar--- Centreville
Lightblue-- Woodbridge
Yellow-- Mt. Vernon
Orange-- Annandale
Pink-- McLean
Lightgreen- Oakton
Green-- Ashburn

The District of Columbia, or Washington DC, is east of Mt.Vernon and Mclean and outlined in yellow. The Potomac River runs along the east border of the mission, next to Fredericksburg,
Woodbridge, and Mt.Vernon. The mission office and home are in the Annandale Zone which is centrally located in the mission. We can get to most parts of the mission from the office within an hour. Some of the far corners take longer and depending upon the traffic and time of day can take 3 hours or more. The traffic in this area is considered the second worst in the country. So we just avoid the rush hours if possible.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


These are maps of each of the 8 zones. The lines on these maps show the wards where each of the companionship serve. If you double click on the photo, it will enlarge and you can find the ward area where your missionary is serving. The Spanish wards cover the whole zone.

This is the Ashburn Zone

This is the Oakton Zone.
The Mclean Zone
The Annandale Zone
The Mt.Vernon Zone
The Woodbridge Zone

The Centreville Zone
The Fredericksburg Zone

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


This pictures includes the 3 sisters; Kim, Bagley, and Bennett and Owen and Joey with their friend before the baptism.

Sisters Bagley, Kim, and Bennett were the missionaries involved in the teaching of Joey.
Sis. Bagley shared their story with us.

Owen was a member of the church and came up to the missionaries about 7 or 8 months ago and said that he wanted his wife to learn about the gospel so she could become a member. I came into the ward shortly after that and we assumed that Joey was not interested, that her husband just wanted her to learn the gospel. So we started teaching her about Jesus Christ and a few weeks passed. We learned that before she married Owen and moved to VA, she was in Tennessee with her parents. Her step-father took her to the Baptist church a few times so that was all she knew about Jesus Christ.
During one lesson we were talking about the story of Lehi and the tree of Life. We applied it to their lives and said Owen had partaken of the fruit and now he wants you to also partake. She really liked that. We took them to the Visitors Center when the DC South mission was performing. She loved it. After these two events she really started learning and gaining a testimony. We told her we needed to set a baptismal goal with a date. She agreed with us. We continued to teach her about the commandments. When we were teaching her about tithing she asked "Do I pay tithing before I pay rent and food?" We told her, yes and then Sis. Kim shared a powerful personal experience about tithing. So we asked her if she would pay tithing and she said, "Yes, because I really need Him right now." What a sweet lesson I learned from her. With all the bad weather in Jan, we finally set a firm date and she was baptized on Feb 16, 2010. They are very excited about going to the temple and being sealed together. At the baptism, Owen said the closing prayer and in his prayer he said,"Please, Help me and my wife and my son to be together forever. It will be hard, but help us." What a humble plea to the our Father in Heaven. This has been an amazing experience.


Despite having 21 and 24 baptisms cancelled on two different Saturdays because of snow, we managed to have 46 baptisms in January. We consider that a great miracle and blessing from Heavenly Father. This is a 45% increase and we are excited about reaching the new year 2010's goal of 500.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Our wonderful office staff keeps our mission running smoothly. We are so thankful for devoted and hardworking Senior missionaries who come on missions to do this kind of work. We don't know what we would do without them. This is the office entry and front door. Sisters Holmgren and Cordner share duties at the front desk. Sisters Gwynn and Downey are singing a Spanish Hymn for them.
Elder Holmgren is the Financial Secretary and smart and fast as a whip.
Elder Holmgren at his desk
Elder Cordner is the Car Czar and Supply clerk. These two jobs keep him busy.
Elder Wasden is one of the Office Recorders. He and Elder Hougaard are great to work with, always being sent on all kinds of errands, plus all their office responsibilities and their still have a ward they are assigned to proselyte.
Elder Hougaard at Pres. desk.

Elders Ross, and Scoble watching Elder Johnson at the computer.
Sister Cordner works tirelessly. She is in charge of referrals and many other duties.
An office meeting with Elders Bell, Ross, Johnson, Scoble with Pres. Bell.

NEW ASSISTANTS- January 2010

Elder Sill and Elder Bell are the Assistants to President Albright. They are great young men and wonderful and spiritual leaders. Each week they write a newsletter to all the missionaries with powerful messages on it. We call it the KEYSTONE. I will be putting them on the blog occasionally.
We are so grateful to these young men who work so tirelessly for us. Their list of responsibilities is endless and they put in long hours helping to keep the mission running smoothly. They are great examples to the younger and newer missionaries and love to help teach the missionaries how to be successful. Thank you for your devotion.



"We had a dinner planned on Sat. night with a less-active member that fell through at the last minute. We went to our back-up plan of some streets we would tract. When we arrived there, it just didn't feel right and so we prayed and we felt like we should go to another street that we had planned to tract earlier in the week but hadn't been able to get to. It was a more wealthy and developed area outside Manassas. We began knocking on the doors and it seemed like everyone we talked to was in a bad mood. Nobody would listen or even give us the time of day. A guy even threatened to call the cops on us which isn't uncommon. After looping down the street, knocking on every door on both sides of the street, we reached the last house. We were prepared for a similar experience as all the other people we talked to but felt like we should do just one more house since it was the last one. A bunch of Asian kids came to the door followed by their mother, who tried to get us to leave. Before closing the door another woman, their grandmother, came forward and started asking about us. The children and mother went back to eating their dinner and the Grandmother, Mimi, quickly invited us in. She sat us down and was so excited to see us. She kept saying "I so happy you come." She proceeded to tell us how
she had been earnestly praying to the Lord just two days ago, to send a sign or someone or something with the path for her to come closer to God and have more truth and direction.
She's from Vietnam and converted from Buddhism to Christianity when she moved to Philadelphia in 1994. She found a Baptist church but just felt that something was missing. She told us of two Mormon missionaries that helped her in Philadelphia with a service project and left a blessing on her family and her home. She saw the results from that blessing and felt happiness and health following their visit. She did not know how to find them though and later found the Baptist church. She then told us how she felt we were an answer to her prayers and proclaimed: "I ready to listen to your message from God." We taught and testified to her of the power of prayer and the Restoration of truth through Joseph Smith. She came to church on Sunday and even dragged her husband who is still Buddhist. She stayed all three hours and loved it. Her husband left after sacrament meeting but she told us after church that it takes just one step at a time to change her husband. She's already trying to convert him! Here's the funny thing, she commented on how we work as missionaries. We were a little confused and asked her more about that. She told us that her and her husband have the movie, "The Best two Years" and absolutely love it. What? How'd they get that? The Lord works in mysterious ways. We were so grateful for the Lord leading us to her home. What a miracle.


Another wonderful letter. This is taken from one of our Elders weekly letters,

"Well a week just passed and it was an amazing one, we had an amazing miracle happen on Thursday. We were knocking doors and this guy, named --------opened the door and we asked him what gives him peace and he said nothing. So he invited us in and we started talking about the importance of feeling peace in our lives. Both of us felt prompted to talk about baptism, so we talked about the difference between happiness and pleasure and then we told him that you obtain happiness by having faith in Christ, repenting, Baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. He read a scripture in Mosiah 2:41 and he loved it. And then my companion, following the prompting asked him if he would like to be baptized. And he accepted. We praised him for that decision he had just made and testified of its truthfulness. Then we asked him to pray and ask Heavenly Father if everything that we had said was true and he did. When he started praying, the spirit felt stronger than it was before and I started to listen to the most sincere prayer I have ever heard from someone we had just met. He recognized us as Heavenly messengers sent by our Father, and that we had just spoken of the things he had to do in order to obtain peace and happiness. He told God about his commitment to baptism and told God that he was willing to do whatever it took in order to follow the teachings he had just received by His 'angels'. He asked for guidance and strength to keep following that path. During the whole prayer (while hearing the most sincere words for guidance and help) I was praying to Heavenly Father in my heart that this man would receive an answer. When he finished praying, we waited for a couple of seconds and we asked him if he had felt something special and he said YES, I JUST FELT LIKE A WEIGHT WAS LIFTED FROM MY SHOULDERS. Then again the spirit testified to his heart. It has been one of the most amazing experiences of my mission I visited him this week and he is still strong. "

What a beautiful story and testimony.


This is taken from a beautiful letter written by one of our outstanding sisters.

"Another week; another full and grateful heart. I can't begin to express the deep gratitude I have, "I stand all Amazed". The Lord is changing His children right before our very eyes, thanks to the power of the Holy Ghost. I feel like Aaron and Ammon whom saw the fruits of their labors and the power of the Spirit work on their investigators and change them...on the Lord's time. The capstone of this week was looking into ----eyes that were filled with tears when we asked him, 'What made you decide to be baptized?'How did you know?' He looked down to gather himself for a moment and then with so much conviction and trying to fight back the emotion, he said,
"I just felt it". What a miracle. I literally feel like leaping for joy! I have no words to describe the happiness we felt when he set his baptismal date. I have have a testimony that the Lord is the head of this great and marvelous work. He changes us, line upon line and precept upon precept...

Receiving letters like this each week causes my testimony to grow. What amazing young missionaries. They truly are the Lord's army. This sister has had many baptisms and great experiences, but feels just as joyful with each one


One of our Assistants, Elder Sill was on splits with Elder Metcalf in Arlington and had a wonderful experience. From his letter, I quote,
"We went tracting and on our way home I had a distinct spiritual impression to turn the car around. So I did and just sat there trying to figure out why I had done such a thing. Then I remembered that an inactive I had knocked into lived right by there. So, I couldn't remember his name. So I called the ward mission leader of that ward and he reminded me who it was. (name left out) who was from Lebanon. We knocked on the door and a lady answered and said he is not here. in turn responded, "yes he is, will you find him for us". Elder Metcalf was a little surprised at my indelicate response
Well, then came a teary eyed -------down from his room that he rented. He then proceeded to tell us he had been praying that he would get into contact with us. He had lost numbers and was thinking bad thoughts about ending his life. So he called his friend in Utah to try to get a hold of us. Then five minutes after he called his friend we knocked on hi door at nine o'clock at night.
He agreed to come to church and was there last Sunday."

I love this. Our missionaries are so in tune with the spirit. I am so grateful that they listen so intently and are able to follow that spirit when it communicates with them. Heavenly Father really does love all his children and sends missionaries to help save them.


Each week the missionaries are supposed to write a letter to their mission president and give a report on their work. These letters are one of the highlights of the week. They are filled with inspirational stories and testimonies. I thought I would share a few excerpts from them without sharing the names unless permission is given.

This first letter is a beautifully written letter from Elder Stewart who said it would be OK for me to share it on the blog. He really has a gift for writing and I thought many of you would enjoy it.

. . . and it came to pass that their days in the land of Stafford continued. And Elder Tovar was known at this time as the District Leader among his people, and labored with much effort for the well being of those, his fellow servants, that they might all come to a greater understanding of the purpose of the Lord concerning them. It was during this time of exhortation and leadership that Elder Stewart took to recording the events of the people in his own words and by his own hand, and in time was able to make a full account of the things which he had hitherto not be able to write.
And behold, in these days the land did become covered with a heavy snow, which encompassed them in the land round about, on every side. Yea, it did encompass them even on the North and on the South, even to the East and to the west, until all the land round about was covered with snow. And when the storms and tumults did cease, and the earth was white, even to exceed all other whiteness, yea, when the heavens were pacified toward the earth and her inhabitants, it came to pass that the people did remain in their places of dwelling, to go no more out until the whiteness of the land should be removed.
And Elder's Tovar and Stewart did visit those who remained in their homes, nad did exhort them in the faith of Christ, and did find much success, even that they did discover that there were those among the people who had been prepared by the Lord to hear their words, and did receive them willingly into their houses, and did partake of thegoodness of God.
And they did teach many of the restoration of all things, and of the goodness of God in preparing for them a Plan of Happiness, yea, even a Plan of Salvation.
And now behold, There was one who was named Laura, and she having been tught the truths of the evelasting Gospel by Elder's Smith and Johnson, was baptized in the name of the Lord. And it came to pass that the more faithful believers among the people of Elder Stewart and Elder Tovar, yea, even those that did believe all their words, did witness the baptism of Laura, and did later bear witness of the sweet feelings of the spirit, which did visit the hearts of all the people who had stood at the waters to witness the baptism of Laura. And these believers were convinced that they had felt of the spirit of the Lord. and from that time forward they did begin to study the sacred records, yea, even the Book of Mormon and the Bible, which had been given them of God.
And Elder Tovar and Elder Stewart did continue in the work of the lord, that they might bring these, their brothers and sisters, unto a knowledge of their God, and of the things which He had done for them in the land.

The Masonic Temple

A statute of George Washington in the main hall.
The ceiling

A replica of the Ark of the Covenant

We were in McLean for church business and when we passed the Masonic Temple we decided to take the opportunity and go on a tour. It is an impressive building with alot of symbolism and stands as a tribute to George Washington and other famous Masons.
George Washington and many influential men of that time period belonged to the Masons. The Masons are still an active group involved in charity work and it's members share a strong brotherhood. The little I know about them is because President Albright's grandfather was a very active member of the Masons and Shriners and loved this group. He was not a member of the Mormon church and this group was a big part of his life and very important to him. Because of grandpa Bud I have always had a great respect for the group.


This is Gina Dickleman. What great lady. She was in the depths of dispair and praying to God that she could get some answers. She had thought of ending her life. She didn't know where to turn. There was a knock at her door and there stood Elders Bell and Shattuck. She let them in and her life changed. She is now happy and content and has even converted her friend and roommate. As she spoke and told her conversion story, it made me cry to see the incredible change that comes to a persons heart and life as they hear and accept the Gospel and incorporate into their lives. Elder Bell, Gina, and Pres. Albright
The mission home filled for the fireside
Pres. with Angie Gretz
Chris was baptized about a year ago. His girlfriend, Christina was taking the lessons now. As this is being typed, she is now scheduled for baptism and they are getting married.
Chris and Christina
Sister Kim and Martha Ward (who is now commited to baptism.
Sisters Bagley and Kim with Emily Chow, one of their investigators.
Elder Scoble
Sister LeSueur
Sisters Hahn and Banks
Elders Knowles, Tamir and Peterson
Elders Franzwa and Bell
Eldlers Bell, Ross, Baldwin
Elders Johnson and Scoble
Elders Strong and Packer with Pres. Albright


Elders Ray and Hall, Joseph Gregory and Stake Pres. Gerard
Joe Gregory and all of his family that came to see him baptized with the elders.
The celebration after the service.
The outside of the Scots Run Chapel
The beautiful chapel

This was a special baptism. It had snowed so much and church had been cancelled. In fact 42 stake conferences were cancelled the week before and now church was cancelled again due to all the snow in the parking lots and no where to park and very icy roads. So the McLean Stake decided to hold this baptism anyway. This was because Joe had invited his family from North Carolina and they had driven all night thru the blizzard to get here. His parents, siblings and even an uncle and their family had come for the service. With that much family support the baptism was postponed from Sat evening to Sun morning. It was held in the beautiful old Scots Run Chapel at 9:00 am. And so it was a very special meeting because they had the sacrament served since it was Sunday and most of the ward had turned out to support Joe. And afterwards they had refreshments that had been prepared for the evening before. So it was a unique baptism, but the spirit was very strong and everyone really felt it.
Joseph was a member referral by a friend of his, Sis. Lisa Chapman.
Elder Hall performed the baptism and Elder Ray gave a talk on Baptism.


What a sweet experience. Sister Reid and Sister Ferry are such wonderful missionaries. They gave the opening and closing prayers and they performed a beautiful musical number: Sis Ferry on Cello and Sis. Reid on piano. They love working with Henry because of his humble spirit. Sister Reid and Ferry with Henry and Bro. Gabriel who baptized him.
This is Henry's friend Isolina who introduced him to the church. A beautiful story.
He is being baptized on the same day that she was one year ago. Henry made a deal with Isolina that he would go with her to her church if she went to his and he had No intention of changing religions. But Isolina had perfect confidence that if he was ready, he would feel it. And he did.
Brother Henry Martinez and Gabriel

Pres. Albright and Henry
Sis Ferry playing Cello
Elders Kirkham and Greer also attended the service.
Sister Larsen and Alvarado
Sister Reid at the piano with Isolina watching