Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Last Letter

Hey everyone,

The time has come. These two years have gone by fast. This is probably going to be my last letter that I send as a missionary. These past two years have been a great time of growth. There have been so many things I have learned and experiences that have changed my life. It's bittersweet to leave the mission. I remember how young I was when I entered the mission, and now I feel like I have grown and at the same time, I feel still like a young kid about to go to college...which is true.  I start BYU in January.

The mission is a strange thing. You leave everything you know and hold dear for a time, and you adopt a new culture, new friends and family, and for me, a new language. I have had the chance to see people change their lives for the better, and its humbling to know that I played a part in that. I have made dear friends along the way, and made lasting relationships that will continue to the eternities. I am thankful for all the people I have met, the things that have happened, and last of all for a loving Heavenly Father and Savior who have helped me all along the way.  

I know it would have been impossible for me to continue on my mission if I didn't know this work was true. There have been lots of trials for me, and I was still able to move forward. I know that these experiences I have had will help me in the future as a husband, father, and active member of the church. There are so many things I would like to say to explain how I feel, but I can't find the words to express them. Just know that I have grown in my love the Savoir while being on His mission, and that I have really learned what it means to be an active member. If there is one thing I have learned here in Europe, it is how to be an active member. I look forward to contributing to the kingdom of God on my return.

I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is at the head, and we all can receive eternal life by following the plan that has been set before us. 

 I love you all, and look forward to seeing all your faces again soon!

-Love Elder Race Acheson

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Hey everyone! 

I hope that you all had a great week! For us its starting to get colder here! We have seen snow all over people's cars as they come from the villages in the mountains. We have been hit a few times with some snow, and a good amount of rain. Anyway, for the week, we had our P-day that was tranquil, and calm. We were with the other elders for a little at the church. 

We went on Tuesday to go to Besancon for an exchange. While we were going on the train, it was snowing, and we got off at a stop to change trains, and there was a good amount of snow. We got to Besancon and I went on exchange with Elder Liddle, hes a really cool british lad, we had a good exchange passing people and talking to people on the street. It was refreshing to have everyone speak French. 

After our exchange we came back to Bienne and didn't have that much time before we had to go to the Nasufis to have dinner. We taught about the importance of Christ. It was a nice evening with the family. I feel really connected to this familiy.

We went to Lausanne on Thursday for a zone training. We all gathered together and was taught by the zone leaders. We talked about always leading the charge in the battle of missionary work. We then all ate together and made some skits that we are going to perform for zone conference. 

We have an activity with the branch the 19th of Nov, where we are going to show Meet the Mormons. So we made some flyers and printed them out and started to pass them out to the less activies in the branch. That takes some time. We then spent the evening with a less active sister and setting up some shelves. We then ate an almost vegan meal! Turns out, that vegan/vegetarian is really not all that... good!  Yeah, its ok. Not my favorite. 

On Saturday we took some trains and passed some members to see how they were doing. We then went home and spent some time putting people into the area book. 

We had a really good experience at church on Sunday. I always feel the spirit and a closenes with the members. I like having small branches because all the members are right there. No one can hide, all 20 of them are in your sights. I really love this branch.
So there are some of the things we have done this week. I love you all, and hope you have a great week! This coming week is interviews and zone conference with President Brown.

Ill let you all know how that goes!

I love you all, Love Elder Race Acheson


Hey Y'all!

 Hope you all had a good week! It's starting to get cold here... well, ca va. I'll let you how the week is. On Monday we traveled a good amount for our P-day. We did our groceries and then we went hiking in the canyon behind our house. We then caught the train and took it to an outer ville calls Courtalary. There is a big chocolate factory there and we wanted to go visit it and get a tour. When we got there, it was under construction, so we weren't able to get a tour. We did buy some chocolate. We then went and did emails. 

On Tuesday we tried to contact a little, and then we worked on our area book. We got the new application for the area book for the iPad, and we need to put all the people in our paper area book into the iPad. So that means we have to spend a long time putting all the info in. So we are starting to invest some time into that. After doing some digitizing, we went to Moutier to pass a potential we contacted a few weeks ago. We knocked on her door and there was no answer. So we knocked on some of the other doors that were around the neighborhood. We got a few people to answer.  When we got home, it was a little later, so we got a kebab and brought it to the house. 

Wednesday We planned to go knock on some doors that evening, so we went to the church and worked on the area book. We spend some time in the bomb shelter to put the info in. When we got out, we had lots of missed calls on our phone and turns out the mission secretary had called to say my parents were going to call.  There was a problem with my password in order to register me for BYU. I got to talk to my dad for about 50 seconds and that was pretty cool! It felt weird because it was a normal call and felt like talking to another missionary because it was super random and quick. 

After leaving the church we went to Tavannes to port. We went to a nice neighborhood where there were lots of big houses. We got lots of responses, but no one was interested to learn more. We gave some of our cards out though. When we got back to town, we went over to the German elders apartment and we ate dinner together. 

We had district meeting Thursday, and we got to see the whole zone. We all do our district meetings together. While in district meeting we watched a video of President Brown, and he told us that we need to go speak with the branch presidency and leaders to see if there are part-member families we could teach as soon as possible. 

After district meeting we got to Bienne and we went and helped Sr. Ferron with her shelves again. She made us a cake and we talked about things going on. She loves to talk and so we listened because we are her only contact with the church in bienne.

On Friday we did our weekly planning, and passed the Branch President to see about the part member families we could teach. He gave us a good amount of people that we could go pass. After seeing the branch president we went to the church and started working on an announcement for an activity the 19th of Nov. We are going to watch meet the Mormons. So we started to make the flyer. After working on that, we took a train and ate dinner with the Nasufis. We had Raclette and it was really good. I ate a lot of melted cheese. 

Later we showed a video of the drummer of Neon Trees. Mirsad the son we are teaching loves music, so we were able to show that and get him interested. We then talked about how we could improve our relationship with God. We read Alma 7 11-13 with him and we are trying to push him to be more motivated with learning the gospel.

On Saturday we went out to try and talk to some people. We tried to do some business contacting. There is a car booth in centre ville where there are Tesla Cars for display and people could go up and sit in them. While we were checking out the cars, a worker came up and said hello. He said that he had a friend that was a return missionary and told him about how missions work. We were able to talk about what he knew and that there was a temple close by in Bern. He then showed us all the cool things about the cars. 

We also had to get a new hat because it was raining a lot, and so we went into a snowboard shop. While looking for a hat, a 17 year old guy who worked there came up and talked to us. He asked why we were here and spoke to us in really good English. We talked about what we believed and why we were here. I talked to him about snowboarding, and then even showed him an "I'm a Mormon" video of a snowboarder. Since i couldn't find it on my iPad, i had him download the Gospel Library app for the church. Then watched it. We also pointed out that he already download the Book of Mormon so he should read that. He said that he wasn't super spiritual and not looking for anything, but he has the app downloaded;) he he. He was super cool.

We then tried to pass by some people and no answer from our pass backs. So we went to the church to have a meeting with our branch mission leader. He didn't show up because he was sick. So we went home and made some calls. 

On Sunday we had a good day at church. Lots of members gave good testimonies and Fr Nasufi got the Melchizedek Priesthood. We are happy that there is now a priesthood holder in the family! After church we had a meeting with our mission leader and talked about the people we want to work with. Then we came home and ate lunch, and then studied and spent the evening putting people into the iPad. Super fun... But necessary. 

Well, that's the idea of things that went on! We are entering the 3rd week of the last transfer! 

I love you all! 

Love, Elder Race Acheson 


Hello friends and family!

So it is the end of the first week of the transfer. Elder Shirley and I are already getting along great and doing well. Elder Shirley and I are both goofy and do weird things and we have fun. I'm really glad to have someone like him as my last companion. This transfer should be really good, 

As for the week:)

We mostly have been doing some pass backs. We have visited the far corners of the city to try and see if people are home who have talked with the missionaries in the past. On Wednesday evening we went to the Nasufis and had dinner with them. It was the first time that Elder Shirley met the Nasufi family. I told him that they are my favorite family. We always have a great time and they laugh at everything I say. We shared a message on knowing Christ and following his example. 

On Thursday we dropped off a book of Mormon to the Nasufis with our testimonies inside so Sister Nasufi could give it to a co-worker. We then went into centre ville to contact for a bit. We talked to a man about the restoration and gave him a brochure. We continued contacting throughout the day, and then went to Sister Ferron's apartment. She had us put together some more shelves. She made us some banana bread and sent us off home. 

For Friday we had our weekly planning and then went to the church to set up a projector to help out with a Relief Society activity that evening. We later went to Tavannes, an outer ville, and tried to contact for a bit. We talked to a few people and testified, but no one was willing to meet with us again. We had to take the train back to Bienne so we could meet with Fr. Luzubu for our missionary correlation meeting. Once we finished the meeting, we stayed and attended the relief society activity. We played a video for the sisters and then stayed and enjoyed some Italian food that a sister made for everyone. 

On Saturday we contacted before lunch.  We ate and then went to Lausanne for Stake Conference. Fr. Nasufi gave a talk and he did really well! He has been a member for 9 months and has progressed well! Fr and Sr. Nasufi were kind enough to give us a ride home. While talking in the car, we talked about Rolex watch company where Sr. Nasufi works. She told me that I should try and do an internship there next summer. I might think about that. It would be cool to return to my mission and be a member and not a missionary. 

Sunday we went to Yeverdon-les-Bains for the second part of stake conference. We sat by some members. After that was finished we took the train to Bienne and did some studies and ate. We then tried to contact in the streets and then caught a train to the Nasufis. We spend the rest of the evening with them and talked with their non-member son Mirsad. 

We caught the train home and got ready for the evening. I even gave Elder Shirley a haircut. 

Well, we are in a finding moment right now. We don't have anyone really to teach but we have 6 referrals from the German elders, so we will see what we can do with those! 

I love you all, and pray that we can have success in my last transfer. I love you all!

-Love, Elder Race Acheson

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Hello everyone! 

So transfer calls happened, and I am going to finish my mission in Bienne, Switzerland with Elder Shirley. 

I received some wonderful news from my last ville of Carcasonne.  A couple we taught and prepared to be baptized were just baptized.  They are an amazing golden couple who are dedicated to following Jesus Christ.

This last week went by really fast for the last week of this transfer. To start off the week, We had a less active come and eat pizza with us on Monday night, and we spent the evening with the German elders as well! 
Saying goodbye to Elder Trapani

On Tuesday, we tried to pass by some less actives in an outer village and then we met up with the same less active as the day before, and we went to the family Nasufi to have dinner together. The less actives name is Fr. Ragusa and he hasn't been to church for a while. While with the family we shared a spiritual thought on faith. 

The next day we spent some time with our branch president. We tried to pass an ami, but she wasn't home...she forgot we had a lesson planned. Afterwards we went to the president's house and we talked about how we could invite more less actives to church and talked about what we could do to try and reactivate them. Later that night we ate dinner with the German elders at a Kebab shop. 

On Thursday we had our travel day. We went to 4 outer villes and passed the people we had to see there. We were able to give out a Book of Mormon, so we will try to pass her sometime soon.

We visited a less active and shared a spiritual thought about following Christ. The less active was really nice and he even asked us to help him move in a few weeks to another city. After getting back to Bienne we went to branch Council and talked about having more activities. 

On Friday we got our calls, and we were able to go help out another less active member put together some shelves. We then went and had dinner with the Chèvre family We had some homemade pizzas!

On Saturday we packed and did some service for the mom of Sr. Nasufi. We rearranged things in the garden and got the yard ready for winter time. Her name is Mammy Joe, and she's the best. 

Later that week we helped out the same less active that we set up shelves for, and we had dinner with her. She made us a vegan/vegetarian meal. It was a type of curry, and it was pretty good! 

We had a great Sunday at church. Elder Trapani bore his testimony and after we had lunch with some Italian members. We had some of the freshest mozzarella I have ever had! I got stuffed with Italian food. We then took a train to Geneva to stay the night to meet up with my new and last companion Elder Shirley.
My new companion Elder Shirley

I am now entering my last 6 weeks of my mission. Here we go...

-Love, Elder Race Acheson

Monday, October 17, 2016


Hello everyone! 

So we are now into the last week of the transfer. Last week was a little slow but we were able to do some hard work. On Monday we went to Dijon, France to do an exchange and spend some time shopping on my p-day. The main purpose was to buy a suit. I got a nice navy suit that should go great with my new tan shoes. We explored the city with the elders and had a good time. I later went Monday night with Elder Teuscher and we went to the ward mission leader's house for an FHE. They gave us some cake after and we took the bus home.

I have great news to report.  An amis that I was the first to teach got baptized this past week in my former town of Nimes..  I'm so happy for her.

On Tuesday for the exchange we went around and tried to pass people to see if they were home. We traveled around Dijon and went to pass some families and potentials. None was home. So we spend the rest of the time contacting. We contacted one man and we were able to teach him a lesson. We invited him to church and continue studying with the missionaries.

On Wednesday we got into Bienne at noon and met up with the zone leaders to buy us some bus tickets. It costs several hundred dollars for a bus pass in Switzerland. We later gave a blessing to less active member. He contacted us last week and told us he wanted to have a blessing. So we met him at the church. We felt the spirit during the blessing, and we are going to try and pass his family this week so we can do an FHE. After the blessing we then went to the Family Chèvre. We ate some really good mushrooms and pork. We then shared a spiritual message about rejoicing in Christ. We asked them if they knew any old investigators that were taught in the past that they haven't seen for a while. We love going over to their house. This last Sunday they invited us over again.

Elder Trapani woke up in pain on Thursday, so we spent the whole day inside. 

On Friday we did weekly planning and went to an outer ville called Delémont. It was raining a good deal. We went there to pass some old amis and less actives. We couldn't find any of them on the names of the houses, so we were a little bummed about that. We did talk to a few people though about the church. We taught this old man about prophets and apostles.  We ended up going home and had enough time to make a few calls when we got to the apartment. 

On Saturday we went contacting and taught a father and his little son about the church. He didn't know that much about the church, and we were able to let him know about some of our believes. He was thankful and took a card. He was already following some of our beliefs in service. He has a company that gives 10% of their money to the poor. He was a really nice man. 

We then contacted a little more and then taught our old Italian ami Lorenzo at Burger King. We talked about the plan of salvation and the restoration more. We told him that we will try to get a Book of Mormon in Italian for him so he could understand more. 

We then went to Fr. Luzubu's house. We had some sandwiches there and had a good time talking with him. I love Fr. Luzubu! He is super nice, and is excited to do missionary work. I'm glad that we have him as our mission leader. 

Sunday was a great day at church. There was a member of the stake presidency there, and we had some good talks. After church we had some food with the members that were hanging back. We were all laughing and eating cake. They all spoke Italian and so I entertained them with the few Italian phrases that I know.  They laughed a lot. 

After church we went home and ate and did some studies. Then we met up with two Italian members and had a evening together. We playing piano and guitar, ate some pasta and talked about random things. We did a spiritual thought on Abinidi. We talked about how his fruits from his efforts were never seen, but he made a huge impact because he converted Alma, and Alma was a prophet and his great grandson was an apostle when Christ came to America. The sister who we were with told us that she got a call that day from an old investigator during her mission 30 years ago, and she was able to reconnect with this old friend. So our message worked perfectly with that. 

So that's a few things that happened this week for us. We are now in week 6, and we get transfer calls this Friday. This is going to be my last real transfer call since I leave for home at the end of next transfer. We don't know what's going to happen.

I love you all! And I hope that you have a great week!

-Love Elder Race Acheson

Monday, October 10, 2016


Hello everyone! 

I hope that you have had a great week! It seemed like this week was pretty quick like the last one. We had some great things during the week. Before I get ahead of myself with the things that went on, I'll tell you what we did last Monday:) 

We went hiking in the beautiful canyon just next to our apartment. Then we started looking at stores for shoes and suits. My parents gave me a birthday present (in April) to buy a new suit and suits before I leave Europe. I couldn't find any suits that I liked. But! I did happen to find some shoes. 

On Tuesday we met up with some people from Elder Trapani's  home ward in Italy. The ward was in town to go to the temple. There was an older senior couple that is working with Elder Trapani's mom who is investigating our church.

 We saw some of the young adults that also came with them. We then showed them the lake that our town surrounds. We later tried to pass a less active in an outer ville. We tried to knock and leave him a card. Then we went and ate with the Family Nasufi. I shared the spiritual thought about a talk during LDS General Conference that spoke about the child that wouldn't listen and read the scriptures. I told them that I was just like that when I was younger. Mirsad the son, is going on vacation for a few weeks, so we wont see him for a while. 

We had to catch a train that evening to go to Geneva for zone conference the next day in Lyon. Before that we did some contacting in centre ville to try and find some people to teach. I talked to one guy that knew about the Mormons thanks to South Park the tv show. Unfortunately, it is not the best source of information on our faith. I was able to share with him true principles of our church and give him some brochures.He was just visiting Switzerland, so we couldn't really teach him another time. It was a good conversation though.

The next day we woke up at 4:30 a.m. to catch the train to Lyon. It is going to be my second to last zone conference. President Brown talked to us about things that were going on in the mission. He had us ask questions about things and he told us what the reasons were for things happening. It was a really great zone conference. 

On Friday we did our weekly planning, and we had our meeting with the mission leader for the branch. We talked about people we wanted to work with, and he helped us select a few people to put on priority. Later we went contacting and we were walking down a road with no one on it, and there was one man at the end. We contacted him, and ended up teaching him about the restoration and plan of salvation. He was from Albania, and I told him my brother served his mission there. I also told him that there was an Albanian family in the branch that would love to help teach him. He gave us his number, and he said that he was hesitant to really get into the lessons without learning more in Albanian. 

On Saturday Elder Trapani woke up not feeling super well and so I called the nurse and she said that we should stay inside. So that's what we did. I read some Book of Mormon and some old Ensign magazines on my iPad.

On Sunday we went to church, and we had a friend of one of our members come. We can't go to his house to teach him because he lives out of our sector. We did schedule a lesson with him and a member though! After church we went home and ate lunch. We then did some studies and Elder trapani had to lay down because he didn't feel super well. So that was the end of the day.

Right now (Monday morning), we are on a train going to Dijon for an exchange. Should be fun! 

I'll finish my email with what I said for my testimony yesterday at church. I mentioned that I was just like the kid during the conference talk that said "Mom, I'm not listening!" I explained to the branch that I was a very hard kid to raise, and that even though I was not self reliant with the gospel, I have now become someone that actively studies it and tries to apply it. I challenged all the members to do the same.

I love you all! I hope you have a great week! 

Love, Elder Race Acheson

P.S. Thanks Mom for the fun gift.  I love the Seattle SeaHawks!

Monday, October 3, 2016


 Hello friends and family! 

This week was a great week! It went by really fast i I was surprised. We did a bunch of different things. Today for Pday we went hiking and it was really pretty! The start of the hike is right behind our apartment. There's a big river that cuts through the mountain.

So just to start off the week i guess, On monday evening we went and visited the Chèvre Family again. We played Uno and shared a message about charity with them. 

The next day we worked on my Absentee Ballot for voting in November. We mailed that in, and then we tried to do some area book work because we were going to Dijon later that day. We took a train and traveled for a few hours to get to Dijon in France. It was weird being back in France. I forgot how different it is. When we got to Dijon we went and got a Kebab with Elder Strong and Teuchser. The Kebab costed $5.50. In Swiss it would be $10.

For our exchange I was with Elder Strong. We went contacting in Centre ville and we were asked to do a questionnaire with some Austrian Kids doing a class assignment. They asked us about religion and asked if we believed in the bible, if there was a life before this life, and what would happen after... Golden Questions! We gave them our card and told them to look up the church to learn more. 

After contacting, Elder Strong and I went to an outer ville and did some porting. We talked a lot about Mont-de-Marsan. We both served there with Elder Douglas, so it was great to talk about lots of things in common. He told me some stories about the man I baptized, Jean Louis. I miss Jean Louis and his wife Dominique.   We knocked on doors for a 2 hours. We did a small neighborhood and you could easily see the whole area we worked in when were on the road going back home. 

The next morning we all drove to Yerverdon in Swiss for district meeting. It was a beautiful ride, but really windy and I was uncomfortable in my seat. 

For District meeting we talked about getting more power from the Holy Ghost when we work and teach. We went over a talk that we were given by President Brown. After the meeting the whole zone was there and we all ate food together and played games. 

When we got back into Bienne we taught a lady named Esperanza. She speaks Italian so Elder Trapani taught her. We went to Burger King so we could teach her. After teaching her we went to the church so we could go to Branch Council. We arrived late because we were teaching. 

On Friday we did weekly planning, then we grabbed a train to go to a small city called Tavannes. We had a few pass backs there. So we went to see if they were interested. We gave one of them a Book of Mormon. She said she wasn't interested in seeing us again. She said that she would read when she had some time! The other lesson was this older lady that we helped get to her house while she was carrying groceries. She said that we could come back in a few weeks when she came from vacation. 

We took the train to Pery, and ate dinner with the Nasufi family. The son Mirsad is going on a trip for a few weeks, so we came to eat with them before he leaves. We talked about how trips can help refresh us and give us a new perspective on life. Hopefully he will come out of the trip a new person! After eating and talking we played games.

The next day we went contacting for a few hours. We went to the beautiful lake, and we tried to pass some people. It started to rain a good amount. We got home and changed and went to Neuchâtel for General Conference. We met up with the sisters and got a Kebab and then went to the church to watch, in English, LDS General Conference. 

Sunday was very similar. We woke up and did studies then went to Neuchâtel again to spend the whole day there at the church. We ate at a members home between one of the sessions. The members come to our branch every Sunday to help strengthen it. 

It was my last General Conference on the mission. That's a weird thought. It feels like conference was just last month. Its also strange to think that it has been 1 year since i was super sick with Pneumonia. 

Well, that's the week for us. This upcoming week we have zone conference in Lyon, and that's exciting! Its already week 4 of the transfer.. Time is going by fast. I love you all, and hope that you have a great week! Its starting to get colder here and I'm actually enjoying it! I have spent too much time in the heat. Time to get use to Utah again;)

Love you!

-Elder Race Acheson