Hey everyone!! What a fantastic week! And, transfer info came out this morning, and I have some pretty exciting news...that I will save until the end :)
This last week started off kind of different for us because it was a regular day on Monday instead of a P-day. Monday was a fun day, spent mostly out tracting. The weather has been very beautiful lately, and it reminds me of home. So we were out with our sleeves rolled up knocking on doors. We didn't find too many people interested, but we did have a pretty awesome experience that night. As we were knocking on a particular door, no one answered, so we walked away. Then a guy comes running out to stop us. He introduced himself and we told him why we were there. He said he would like to meet and talk! His name is Mike, and we got his phone number and set up an appointment and everything. It was so exciting! Later, we exchanged companions with some other Elders, so that I could be with with each of my Elders before transfers. So I spent Monday night to Tuesday night with Elder Mork.
Tuesday was awesome. Elder Mork is a great Elder. We did some service at our Old Folks home in the morning, which he loved and thought was super fun. All the elderly people laughed at us trying to do the exercises they were doing. After that, we headed home and had lunch before going to see Jerry, a friend of ours who recently moved into Cherry Creek area after just getting baptized in another ward. It was really cool, because Elder Mork had helped teach him in the other ward! So they got to see each other again, and we talked with Jerry about the importance of have a calling [basically a job] in the church. He liked that he might be able to share some of his talents with people moving forward in a calling. We are hoping he will be called as a greeter at church. After meeting with Jerry, we went tracting. As we were out knocking on doors, the third door opened and a guy named Jon let us in. Jon is super knowledgeable about different religions, and studied Mormonism for a while. He has some concerns with some of our teachings, but the church just came out with some essays that I think will really help him. He is super nice and told us to come back anytime! I'm very excited for him. After seeing him, we knocked on some more doors until dinner. Elder Mork is very good at door approaches and being personable very early on, so I learned a lot from him. Then we had a great dinner with some sweet people in the ward and then knocked even more doors that night. After a solid night of tracting, we headed home to talk about how he was doing, how the day went, and what we could both do to improve. Then Elder Olson and Elder Cooper showed up and we exchanged back to our normal companions.
Wednesday was a great P-day, starting off with waking up early to go to the temple. Our session started at 6am, so we woke up at 4:45am to get ready. We showed up at Elder Mork and Elder Cooper's door at 5:15am to give them a ride, and there was no answer. So we knocked again. Again, no answer. I didn't really want to be late to the temple, so I did a "police knock" on their door. A minute later, they opened it up saying that they had just woken up from my knock! They hurried to get ready, and we raced off. It was a stressful car ride, but we made it in on time! It was a wonderful session and it was cool to feel complete peace during our session, especially after feeling so stressed that morning and just in general lately. After the session, we went to Deseret Book store. I decided to pick up some cute new scriptures with my name engraved on them, so they would be a little lighter for tracting. After browsing and seeing other missionaries for a bit, we headed home. We went to the library and emailed, and then Elder Olson and I went out to sushi with our friend Donald. It was really good, all you can eat.
After that, we shopped and hung out for a while. We played my homemade Settlers of Catan game that I made, with Elder Mork and Cooper. I won, with longest road and largest army :) Then we had a good dinner and spent the night with our Ward Mission Leader. We couldn't use our car that night because it was "grounded" because there was ice on the roads. So he drove us to our next appointment at 8pm. It was a good appointment with Jackie and Jordan Smith, a cute couple investigating the church in Piney Creek area. Our lesson was on how Christ established His church, and how ours is organized like it.
Thursday was a full day. It was a little different than a normal Thursday with my district meeting held later in the day. But we had a good morning tracting and even found someone super interested....in March - haha. That will be fun for the Elders who will be in this area then, because she was super awesome! We had a good district meeting that afternoon, more discussions about the new changes for missionaries and how we report now, and then we had some demonstrations from everyone on how they do door approaches. With transfers coming up next Wednesday, I was pretty sure I was leaving, so this was my last meeting with everybody! I made everyone sing "God Be with you Till We Meet Again" to make it super sappy. After the meeting, Elder Olson and I headed out to see Nancy, a sweet investigator that treats us like her sons. She told us she would come to church that week because it might be my last week! After seeing her, we saw the Johnson family and shared a small message with them before dinner. We had a good dinner and then saw the Angulo family in the ward, so that I could say some goodbyes.
Friday started off a bit slower. We did some planning for the week ahead. We had no clue what was happening moving forward, but I let Elder Olson take over the lead because he was most likely staying. We figured out what we were going to do for the next week and then went out to work. We did some tracting before seeing a young man in the ward named Joey. We have been helping him come back to church, and it has been cool being his friend. After Joey, we continued to tract and try to see meet some more potential people to teach. We actually ran into a guy who had served a mission! His name was Phil, and he served in Alaska in 2014. He said we could come back any time to talk with him! We had a good dinner after him, and had a meeting with the zone leaders about the district. It was good, and then we came home and finished the night.
Saturday started with a training session in the morning. It was about loving your companion and being able to work with them. Elder Olson and I loved it. We spent most of Saturday either tracting and going by some people's homes who had told us to come back. We found some very nice people who I have high hopes for moving forward, and then we headed over to see Trevor before dinner. We read scriptures with him and then I had to say goodbye. It was kind of sad saying goodbye to him! Then we had dinner, tried a few more people that night, and headed home to get ready for Sunday.
Sunday was a booked day as usual and we had two of our investigators come to church! That was awesome! I told everybody we saw that it was probably my last week, and so that got them there! Jordan Smith came to the Piney Creek ward. I bore my testimony about the Book of Mormon (because that is what he is struggling with). I think he liked the meeting. We had more meetings throughout the day, but the next big thing was that Nancy came to Cherry Creek ward Sacrament. She met a lot of the woman in the ward, and got a warm welcome. I bore my testimony in that ward about the Plan of Salvation, and she seemed to really like the meeting. She told us she wants to come back to more meetings in the future!! We were super excited! After seeing her off after Sacrament, we had one more meeting and then headed out too.
We had a late lunch after church, because we were there until about 3:30pm. Then we knocked on a few doors before people started to get a little irritated with us because the Superbowl was starting soon. Then we had dinner at 4:30pm with a nice new family in Piney Creek area. After dinner, we were a little lost as to what to do...because literally everyone was watching the Superbowl and no one wanted to talk to us. As we were driving around, wondering to go to next, we got a phone call from someone who had been moving around lately and wanted to meet up with us. We had a good meeting with her, and it felt like a blessing, sent from God, to meet with her and read some scriptures. After visiting with her, we went over to Nancy's house. She had some company who we visited with, who were wondering who we were, what we were doing, and what we were teaching Nancy. They actually paused the game while we talked, and got to know them! Then we headed home.
When we got home Sunday night, we got a couple of phone calls. Elder Olson got a call from an Assistant to the President...asking him to become a trainer for a new missionary in our area!!! I was excited for him and after talking for a bit about it, I got a call from our Mission President asking me to be...a Zone Leader in another zone! I was shocked! I had no idea if I was ready for it or if I could handle it, but I accepted of course. We learned this morning where everyone who is transferring will be going. I'll be heading to Arvada to be a zone leader up there, and Elder Olson will stay here with his new "greenie." The change will take place on Wednesday!!
Anyway, things were really good this week! I'm really excited for the people here and for Elder Olson to take charge!!!
I hope everything back home is going well! I love you all!!
Pictures: Me and Elder Mork
People we are teaching
Hello everyone!! It was a wonderful week this week! Our P-day was switched to today (Wednesday) because we were able to go to the temple this morning!! It was a wonderful session and I feel rejuvenated after feeling the special peace that is always found there.
We had a full week! And some pretty big changes! I'll start from the beginning.
Last Monday was another great P-day! Pretty standard. We were able to have dinner with a wonderful family. The wife, Sister Boughton, is a member, but the rest of the family are nonmembers, except for one son. One of her sons, Craig James, is mentally handicapped. Having dinner with them was super awesome! We were able to have a pretty good discussion on what a missionary does with her family, and it was fun to sit with Craig James and talk with him (he is hilarious and he loves visiting with us). After sharing a small message with them, we headed home. I ended the night by going to our zone leaders area, because they wanted me to go on exchanges with then so they could see how I am doing as a district leader.
Tuesday in the zone leader's area was pretty fun. They live in a very nice home with a member. We did some service in their area, some tracting around for a bit, and then taught a lesson with a recent convert named Andy. He's an older gentleman from Elder Olson's neck of the woods. He talked to us a lot about cameras, and then we talked about the Holy Ghost and his baptism, a few weeks back. He has so much wisdom from all of his years of experience, it was so awesome to listen and talk with him.
Afterwards we went and saw an investigator, named Melissa. She is the sweetest woman. She has an autistic son and they are preparing for baptism. We had a great talk with her about the Atonement. She told us as she was going to read all of the "Teachings of the Presidents: Gordon B. Hinkley" By the end of the night. We were amazed!! After seeing her, we tracted a bit. Then we had dinner with some great members, and tracted again that night. Not much success, but we were able to reconnect with a guy named Chris that they had met a while back and talk with him more about the Book of Mormon and how much peace reading it brings. Afterwards, we headed back to my area and exchanged back to our companions. Elder Olson had had a good day with Elder Burt. We talked about our days for a bit, then the zone leaders headed out and we went to bed.
Wednesday was a big day for all missionaries across the globe. There was a broadcast for all missionaries around the world! They gave lots of good training about our job and how to best help people. Also, they announced some new changes for us missionaries, changes that I think will really help us. Our schedules will change a bit, so we will have a bit more flexibility. Also, they announced some changes with how we will report to our leaders. This new system will really help us focus more on helping people progress, to actually change their lives and become happier. I love the new system. After the announcement, we came home and had a great day of teaching. We taught two member families who we are working with to come to church, and had great lessons. We also saw our friend Paul, who is our atheist friend. Unfortunately, he is just not too interested in coming closer to God or going to church or even asking questions, so we probably won't be seeing him too much anymore.
On Thursday, I held a district meeting for my Elders in the morning. We went over the changes that were announced and what it would mean for us now. I talked a lot about accountability. This new system will provide a lot of missionaries with more freedom, but it is going to be harder for mission leaders to see from their numbers if they are doing the work that they need to be doing. We had lunch and did a bit of studying, and then headed out to work. We tracted a lot. Not too much came from that during the day, but after dinner we met a guy named Brandon! He and his girlfriend have been looking around at different churches to go to lately, and so we offered to teach him about ours! He seemed interested, so we have a return appointment with him next Friday! We are super excited! That night, we also taught a young girl from one of our wards, Breyonna. We are taught her about the Gospel of Christ, and invited her to attend a baptism with us to see what it was like. She said she'd like that! We left excited, and then ended the night.
Friday was a good day, but a slow day. I had a district leader meeting in the morning. The meeting was a training on how to be a good district leader and how best to do our jobs. It was a great meeting and I learned a lot. We also talked about the new changes and what that will mean moving forward. At the meeting, I got to see all of my old companions, which was awesome! (E. LaPerle is a DL, and E Brammer's and E. Sato's companions are both DL's). After the meeting, Elder Olson and I headed out. We picked up lunch and then planned for the upcoming week. We decided how we will find others to teach (mostly by tracting, but we are trying hard to diversify). Then we went out and tried to see some potential investigators, who told us we could stop back. We also tracted around for a bit. Nothing much happened, but Elder Olson and I had fun being out. We had dinner, and then tracted around again that night before having a District leader Counsel with the zone leaders (so many meetings, I know). We again talked about the changes and what we can do moving forward. Then we headed home for the night.
Saturday was a pretty full day! The morning started off with meeting a former investigator named Ryan. We have been trying to meet with him for a long time, but we finally caught him! He was super nice. He isn't too interested in learning more or coming to church with us, but he was very kind and prayed with us. It was a good conversation. Then we tracted some more before heading over to Willow Creek Elder's baptism. They were baptizing a sweet older woman named Tara, who actually all four of us had taught (Elder Olson and I on exchanges). We had invited some investigators to come and see it, but no one ended up coming. It was a great baptism though, and we were very happy to see Tara's excitement and happiness. After the baptism, we tracted a bit before dinner. Then we had dinner with a nice family in the ward and shared a message with them. We ended the night by going to see the Monson family, who are a part-member family in the Cherry Creek ward. After talking with them for a bit, we headed home.
Finally, Sunday! Our day was booked with meetings, as usual. Sacrament in Piney Creek ward started us off at 9am, which was awesome because two of our less active families and one of our investigators came to church! It felt so good to see them there, and I am so happy that they were able to come and feel the Spirit! Then we had a fun Gospel Principles class in both wards (it is interesting because they are both in different places in the book). After the classes, one of our meetings got cancelled that is usually in the middle of the day...so we got to take a lunch break!! It was so nice. We hurried and ate, and then headed back to the meetings. Next was Sacrament meeting in Cherry Creek, which was a great meeting (we always get to pass the Sacrament in Cherry Creek with the young men, so that is always fun and a blessing). Then we finished with our missionary coordination meeting in Cherry Creek, where we explained to the Ward leadership the new changes and then talked about the people we were able to see and visit that week. After all of those meetings, we ran home and got ourselves changed and ready to work after the block of meetings, and headed out again. We tracted around a bit before dinner, then had dinner with the Bishop of the Piney Creek ward and his family. The Bishop is hilarious! He actually did stand up comedy in college, so he is really fun to eat with. We had a great dinner with them, and then headed out to see some more people that night.
We were able to stop by some of our investigators in Piney Creek who had just gotten back from a trip. We talked for a bit about their trip and set up a time to meet the next week. Then we were able to stop by another investigator's house, who we haven't seen in a while, Robert. Robert is super awesome, but very busy. We stopped by, and they told us they were just having dinner and couldn't see us. As we were walking away though, Robert ran out and invited us to come and eat with them! Never being one to turn down food or the opportunity to break bread, we accepted and had a great conversation with not only Robert, but his whole family over a "second dinner." We learned so much more about Robert and his family, and it was a great visit. After seeing them, we saw a woman in the ward, Sister Hartt. Apparently she has Bronchitis again, which is tough for her with her three boys. We went over and saw her, but mostly just to see and teach the boys for a bit. Finally, after seeing them, we stopped by to see Breyonna and to follow up with her because she didn't come to the baptism or to church. It turns out they were all sick, so we offered to help. After that we came home and finished the week!
Anyway, it was a great week. I absolutely love the new changes the missionaries have and just feel so good to be a missionary. I really hope we can continue to help all of these people in this area and with whatever God needs from us. I am so glad we get to be doing this work and working hard at it!
I hope you all have great weeks! I love you all!
Hey everyone!! I hope you are all doing well back home! We are doing great out here. Except, as you could have guessed from the title of this blog entry...Elder Olson and I are both sick right now. We kind of feel terrible...but we are good! We started feeling it yesterday, but really felt it this morning. Hopefully we can beat it and be better by tomorrow!
Aside from that, we had a good week! We had tons of meetings and lots going on!
So after emailing on Tuesday, we were able to see 6 people, mostly less active friends we teach in the ward. They were all good meetings, and we are working hard at getting them all to church! One of my favorite conversations that day was with a young man in the ward who is struggling with his testimony. He's a nice kid, but having a tough time. We took him out to get milkshakes at Chick-Fil-A and talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ. He really enjoyed it and we had a fun time. He's really grown since we first started seeing him and comes a lot more to church. It has been cool to see how much just being friends with this young man has helped him. The other cool thing that happened that day was we were taken to dinner at a place with unlimited ice cream. It was awesome! Elder Olson didn't have any, but I think I had enough for the both of us.
Wednesday was dominated by a zone conference for all of the missionaries in the south half of the mission. It was held at a huge stake center down in Parker, CO. I was extremely lucky, because all of my old companions are serving in the south half of the mission right now! I got to see Elder Brammer, LaPerle, and Elder Sato! They are all doing great! It is so cool to see how much I love all of the people that I have served with. The meeting was on zone changes that are coming to missionaries worldwide! There will be a meeting this Wednesday that talks more about it, so ask your missionaries what it is. I am excited!! After the meeting, we came home and met with a few people, and then had 2 dinners (one with someone in the ward that had signed up and then another with one of our investigators.) We were able to teach this investigator about the Plan of Salvation and its purpose. This was some big ground for this investigator, who is an atheist professor of theology!
On Thursday, I held a District Meeting for the elders in my district. It was a good meeting. The focus of the week for us is on getting more investigators to Sacrament meeting, so we all practiced how to invite people more. We had a pretty solid day afterwards of mostly tracting and trying by former investigators. We had a pretty cool experience! While we were driving around trying to figure out what to do, we felt directed to a certain street. Someone's garage door was open on the street, and I always go for open garage doors because it means that people are probably home. So we knocked on that door, and an old Chinese man walked out. He smiled at us and I tried to go into my usual door approach. Well, this guy knew no English, only Mandarin! He pointed at us and said "Hallelujah?". So we said "hallelujah" back to confirm. He smiled and let us in! He sat us down at his table and we looked at each other. I tried to speak and communicate with him, but we couldn't figure anything out. Then, I remembered that we had some Chinese pamphlets in the car! Elder Olson and I ran out to the car and grabbed them, and were headed back to the old man's house to see that he had slipped on some ice and fallen!! We ran over and helped him up, and helped him walk back inside. Then we gave him the pamphlets and he thanked us, and we left. It was such a strange experience, and I have no clue if anything will ever come from it, but it was certainly important that we pick that man up. I just thought it was interesting.
Friday was a bit of a slower day for us. We planned for the next week, and then grabbed some lunch with some members in the ward at Chick-fil-A before heading to a meeting in north Aurora. The meeting was for all of the missionaries who were training a companion. I had almost forgotten that Elder Olson was still being trained by me! It was a good meeting, and Elder Olson was able to see all of his friends. I let the assistants (to the President) know that I thought Elder Olson was capable of training next transfer if they needed him to. I really think he is, he is kind of a rock star and we work well together. He must have had a good trainer ;) After the meeting, we tracted around Piney Creek for a bit and met some interesting people. Then we had dinner and continued to try and contact people before we had to head to another meeting, this time with just the zone leaders and me to follow up on the progress of my district. It was a great meeting. I really like our zone leaders. After the meeting, we headed home for the day.
Saturday was a pretty full day too. We had yet another meeting to get some training from a member in the Stake. After that meeting, we had lunch and headed out to work for the day. We were able to see our atheist investigator, who is now stuck on some very small things that he found in the gospel principles book. We tried to work him through it, but I am worried that he won't want to move forward. After seeing him, we saw our friend Jerry, who is a recent convert that just moved into our ward. We had a good meeting with him and tried to settle some of his concerns about coming to the ward. Then we saw our friend Trevor, a young recent convert, and talked with him about the priesthood and blessings, because he was sick. Then we had a great dinner at Chipotle with some awesome members, did some service that night, and headed in for the night.
Sunday was good! We had our usual 6 hours of church. We were disappointed in Piney Creek ward, because none of our people who said they would come came. But, we had an investigator we didn't expect to come, come to Cherry Creek ward! We also had three of our less actives, we are working with in Cherry Creek, come! We were super excited about that! Afterwards, we came home and napped during our lunch hour because we were so tired and we were starting to get sick. Then we went out to see some of the people who didn't come in Piney Creek and find out what happened. We also tracted for a bit, and then that night made some real progress with an investigator in Cherry Creek, teaching them about the Gospel of Christ. Then we came home, and I made some calls to check on my elders because the week was ending. After all that, we crashed for the night, dead tired.
It was a pretty good week! We were happy to see some work pay off with inviting all of our people to Sacrament meeting. We were also able to get a lot of work done, even though we had tons of meetings to go to. Anyway, it is so cool to have experiences out here and to continue to learn and grow every week! I hope all is well back home, I love you all!
Our "posterity stick". It has the names of people who have trained, down to us.
Maps of our areas on our walls!
We had another great week here in Denver!! It was pretty snowy, but Denver is strange because it snows and then it is gone 2 days later.
So this week was a little tough because it felt like all of our investigators decided to cancel on us...and so we had a hard time meeting with anyone! But we didn't let that stop us. We had a pretty good week and things are going really well, and we are loving the work that we are able to do!
Last Monday was a pretty standard P-day! One interesting thing, was we got a "posterity Taiaha stick" from some Elders in the zone. A Taiaha stick is a weapon that the Moari of New Zealand used, and is sometimes passed down the generations. So the "posterity" part refers to who your trainer was as a missionary. So, someone made a stick with the names of Elder Olson, me, Elder LaPerle, Elder Stradling (E Laperle's trainer), Elder Stradling's trainer, all the way back for 7 "generations" and had carved all those names into this stick. We have that stick now!! I forgot to take a picture but I'll send that next week! It was really cool!
Tuesday was supposed to be a full day of appointments, but everyone fell through! That was okay. We tracted around and tried to find some new people to teach, as well as tried to get back into contact with former investigators. We met a guy who is really interested in bikes, so we are going to bring our bikes over to him and try to build a friendship so that we can teach him about the Gospel. He's a really nice guy!
On Wednesday, I held a mini-District meeting to try and inspire my Elders to reach for their goals for the week. One of which was to ask more ward members for names of friends that they could have us teach. The meeting went well! Afterwards, we tracted around and then had lunch with a member in the ward. After lunch, we were supposed to see Ian, who is scheduled to be baptized on February 4th...but Ian was a no show. It was a big bummer, because we really needed to see him. After waiting around for a while, we went back out tracting. Then we saw one of our investigators, Nancy, around 4pm. She was super busy getting ready for a 2 week trip and was leaving the next day. So we helped her and then prayed with her. She said she hopes to start coming to church with us when she gets back. After Nancy, we met with a man named Jeff, and talked with him about what he is learning as he reads the Book of Mormon sections we gave him. It was all positive! After his lesson, we had dinner and then saw a less-active guy in the ward. We read some scriptures with him and his wife to bring the Spirit back into their house and then asked him to come to church. Then we headed in for the night!
Thursday was a pretty booked up day, with a zone meeting taking up most of the time. It was a great meeting, I learned that my BYU roommate, Jacob Stratford's sister, Sister Stratford, is now a Sister Training Leader (basically a district leader for the sisters) in our zone!! It was cool to see her. We also had some really good training given and I was able to address the zone about setting good expectations for investigators and earning trust. The fun part was we got to eat cheese balls. The day earlier, Nancy had given Elder Olson and I a huge number of cheese balls and we had no clue how we were going to eat them all. So we brought them to the zone meeting for lunch. They were a big hit and all the Elders and Sisters loved "Cheese Ballin'."
After the meeting, Elder Olson and I went over to a less active woman's house in the ward who is going through a hard time. We tried to comfort her and help her to see how much the Lord can help you when you have faith in the Savior. After seeing her, we went and saw another less active woman in the other ward. It was actually a miracle that we found this woman, Donna. We had found her son, Dusty, on two occasions as we were walking around. We helped Dusty with his addictions and to get him into rehab. Well, it turns out his mom was baptized a few years back and now just needed a reason to come back to church. We are lucky enough to be that reason. We went over and learned her story and shared some scriptures with them. After that, we had dinner and then read some scriptures with some other less active friends in the ward. It was a good day!!
Friday was a full day. Elder Olson and I planned out what we were doing for the week and then saw a few people. The first, was a less active guy in one of our wards. We talked with him about getting the priesthood which he really wants to do. Our goal is for him to be able to pass the Sacrament. We are so excited for him! Then, we had a lesson with a Christian professor of Theology. He was very kind, but basically sat there for an hour telling us that we were wrong. Since I have had meetings like this before, I was able to ask a few questions to get to the heart of the differences between our theology and his. He respected that and was very kind, but we weren't invited over again. It was tough, because he would have really benefited from more discussion (and so would we, it was a good talk!).
Later we went and tracted around for a bit before contacting some referrals we had received from some members in the ward (part of our goal!!) Then we had dinner and saw our friend William. We sat down and really focused on the reason for our visits. William is aiming for the person that he wants to become and wants to know how he can become that person. I decided that a good way we could help him was to go through the Preach My Gospel booklet and have him develop Christlike attributes. We picked one for him to work on during the work and committed him to it. It was a good lesson!!
Saturday was really cool, because we were invited to attend a Tongan wedding! We teach a guy named Ricky, and his brother-in-law was getting married. We went to show our support and to be there for Ricky. It was an awesome wedding (Tongan families are huge). The food was really good too! After staying and enjoying that time with them, we headed out and got back to work. We were able to see one of our investigators, Paul, who is another professor of Theology, but an atheist. We made some real ground with him and got him to think about what God's characteristics would be if He did exist. We are having dinner with him this Wednesday to figure out what he thought! We had dinner after and then were able to see a less active guy named Tony, who is basically a Buddhist now and talk with him about the church. We had a good talk with him and then he invited us to his daughter's birthday party the next day. We were excited to get that kind of trust from him!
Sunday was business as usual. Unfortunately, all the people we had seen throughout the week that told us that they were coming to church...didn't. It was kind of a bummer because we had really felt sincerity from these people when they told us they would come. But, that is kind of the usual life for a missionary. We had good meetings otherwise and then went to work after. We were able to go to the Birthday party for Tony's 4 year old (she is adorable) and meet his Mormon parents. We were even able to have a conversation with Tony's wife, Kay, about the church. She is really tentative about it all, just like Tony, but we talked about the community of the ward and the support it can bring. She was actually really interested and she wants to meet friends in the ward. We plan to start bringing people from the ward over to their house so that they can have friends in the ward. We are super excited! After that, we had dinner and then saw a potential investigator we were trying to meet up with. Because it was snowing by then, the family let us inside (something they apparently never do). We had a good conversation with them. The wife was born a member of the church, but left and the husband was never interested. Because we had a good talk, hopefully we'll see them again in a week or two! Then we headed home for the night and I made District Leader calls to see how everyone's week went.
Yesterday [Monday] was P-day and a holiday so we couldn't email because the Library was closed. We were also snowed in and couldn't use our cars until 12pm, so we invited the Elders who are assigned to the Willow Creek ward, who live in our complex, over for a game and hamburgers. It was fun and a much needed break. After 12pm, we were able to use our cars, so Elder Olson and I went grocery shopping and got haircuts. We didn't have an appointment for dinner, so we went to a Japanese restaurant and had a great meal that finished off a great P-day. After dinner, we saw a less active friend and read scriptures with him and then saw a new investigator, Breyonna, who is a young woman in a less-active family, that we are working with towards baptism. Both were good lessons, and a good start to this week!
Anyway, it was honestly kind of a tough week for us, people cancelled, people didn't come, people flaked out. Sometimes the hardest part of your mission is being disappointed by the people you are trying to help. But, the best part of your mission is helping these people. Really, your mission is about the people, and helping them in whatever way they need. It has been interesting interacting with so many different people and learning so much from those interactions. It has also been interesting to see the happiness and comfort that God can give these people, if they only come and see. I know that they can find happiness here in Christ's church, I have seen it. Because of that, no matter what people do, I am still determined to help as many people as I can out here.
Anyway, we are looking forward to an awesome week this week! I hope all of you has one as well! I love you all and pray for you all the time!
Something cool I got from one of my friends who was part of my Indonesian group at the MTC
It feels like ages since I have had a P-day! My last P-day was last year (10 days ago)!! I hope all is well for everyone and that you all have had a great first week of 2017.
First off, I want to give a shout out to my amazing little brother. Nathan got two awards this last week for his performance in the marching band!! How awesome is that?? He is a little champ, I am so proud of him :)
As for my week, we had a long but successful week! We now have three investigators who are scheduled to be baptized in the next few weeks!!
Saturday [12/31 - New Year's Eve] was a good P-day! We did normal P-day things, and then had dinner at a party with all of the empty-nesters in the Piney Creek Ward. It was awesome!! I loved hanging out with all of them! The missionaries had to be at their apartments at 7pm that night, so we had to leave at 6:50pm. Elder Olson and I put the polishing touches on our talks that we were giving the next morning, and then we went to bed at 10pm. We set an alarm on our phone for 12am (The New Year) and when it went off, we got up, popped some poppers we had bought at Walmart, and had some Martinelli's. After our 5 minutes of party, we headed back to bed!
Sunday was fantastic. Elder Olson and I gave talks in the Piney Creek ward about the Plan of Salvation. Because we were speaking, two of our investigators showed up!! After we spoke, Elder Olson and I went to the church of one of the investigators who had come to see our talks (a church swap, if you will). We had a fun time with him and his wife and kids at their church! Their kids held our hands as we walked them to their nursery and then out again once the sermon was finished. Afterwards we went back to our church for the Cherry Creek ward Sacrament meeting. The rest of that day was good too! We felt particularly directed, through some thoughts and feelings we had, of who to see that day. In one particular instance, as we sat in our car, close to the end of the nigh, we prayed to know what to do and where to go. The thought came to us that we should go see our Ward Mission leader (weird, right). So we drove over there, and as we pull up, another car pulls up at the same time, and a former investigator gets out of the car! We started talking to her, and we learned a lot about her and her background!! She said she loved talking to us and we could stop back anytime. How crazy is that?? The Holy Ghost is real and really does direct us out here.
Monday was a normal working day. We had two really awesome lessons. One was with a man from Ghana named Robert. He is a former investigator that is still searching for things in his life. He was super sincere, and we talked about how he could be guided by the Holy Ghost. He said he'd be interested in talking more with us. Then later that night, we met with a less active woman who hasn't been to church in a couple of years. We read 3 Nephi 18 with her and her daughter. That chapter talks about the importance of the Sacrament, and we asked them if they would come this Sunday to take part in the Sacrament with us. They said they would!!
Tuesday was solid! It was a biking day! We started with service at the old folks home, which is always fun. Then we went out on our bikes and tried to see some people. Most all of our appointments fell through, so we ended up tracting most of the afternoon. We had dinner with an active and less active member, and taught a lesson. The less active man (who had been sipping on his beer during dinner) asked some questions and we had a good discussion. After dinner, we had two more lessons. One with a solid investigator, who we helped through some concerns that he had and we had a good talk with him. The next was with a family and we shared a good kids lesson about the Holy Ghost. We used mints as our object lesson. It was a good day! After we had all finished, we came home and we exchanged companions, for the next day. The new Elder, Elder Cooper, became my companion and Elder Olson and Elder Mork became companions for the Willow Creek ward.
Wednesday turned out to be pretty cold. Elder Copper and I did a lot of tracting around and knocking on doors because all of our appointments had fallen through. We did some good work, and it was fun to be out doing the hard stuff with a brand new Elder! We did have a lesson with a Muslim man from Bangladesh, and Elder Cooper got his first taste of teaching the Plan of Salvation with a language barrier. It was a good lesson though! We had dinner after that, and by that point it had started snowing and was coming down pretty hard. Our area was expecting at least half a foot. Because Elder Cooper didn't have snow boots already, and I didn't want him to suffer until P-day, after dinner we went to Target and picked him up a nice new pair. With those in hand, we got a text saying that the cars needed to be parked for the rest of the night. So we headed back to the apartment. Elder Olson and Elder Mork showed up there, too, and we finished the day by exchanging stories and saying what we had learned that day, and then exchanged companions back.
Thursday was super snowy!! We did get about half a foot of snow overnight. The cars still had to be parked until we were told we could drive them. This stressed me out a bit because I was supposed to be holding my weekly training meeting for the Elders in my district that morning. I was given permission to hold the training meeting in our apartment, so the Willow Creek Elders who live there also, and we could be there, while the Zone leaders in my district could phone in. It was kind of fun to hold the meeting in the apartment. Elder Olson and I both gave training talks. Afterwards, Elder Olson and I needed to get to a lunch with a member, so, we walked there because we still couldn't drive the car. Luckily it was only a 15 minute walk and we were out of the cold quickly. We had lunch and then the message came that we could now use our cars. The big thing that day was we had a first lesson with a young man named Ian. He is 21 and super interested in learning about religion. We taught him the Plan of Salvation, and he was super interested the whole time. We gave him a Book of Mormon to read before our next visit, and when we asked when we could meet again, he told us that the next day would be good!! How exciting is that? It would be so great if we could have more lessons like his.
Friday was great! We We had some good lesson with people. I'll talk about the main three. The first one, was with a guy named James, and we went over to help him with genealogy. He had been born into the church, but was never active and was pretty distant for most of his life. We ended up finding his baptism and confirmation certificates online, while we were there, and re-taught him about the Plan of Salvation. He is super cool! The next big lesson was with Ian again. We taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He had done all of the reading we asked him to do and his prayers were fantastic! He accepted the invitation to be baptized and decided on February 4th. Now we need to prepare him for it the best we can! We are so excited for him! The other big thing was a blessing we gave that night to an investigator. He finally told us why he hasn't been coming to church or reading. We gave him a blessing and are going to work a lot more closely with him as we move forward. The night ended with a meeting with myself, the other district leaders in the zone, and the zone leaders. There will be some interesting things happening in the mission soon, and I learned the name of my new mission President, who will be coming in June.
Saturday was a good day again. I led a meeting for the Elders in the zone in the morning, and then we did some service and had a few lessons in the afternoon. We had dinner the family who we went to church with last Sunday. They are super sweet, and we were able to talk with them about Joseph Smith after the kids went to bed.
Finally, Sunday!! We had fast and testimony meeting in both of our wards. The big news is that Ian came to 2 hours of church and liked it!! It was so awesome to have him there. Elder Olson and I both bore our testimonies in both Sacrament meetings. After church, we saw a lot of people, just checking up on them and making sure they were still reading scriptures, praying, and going to church. We headed in for the night and I made some phone calls as a district leader, checking in on my other Elders.
It was a long and fantastic week!! Every week, miracles happen. We are so blessed to be able to experience so many and be able to recognize them as they come!!
I hope everyone has a good week!
Braving the cold and snow
I got a new chair and desk. I feel like a real leader now
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