Elder Bird's Missionary Blog


The Crazy Temple Trip!

11/07/16

Hello all! I hope things are going well for everyone!! I miss you all!

This week was another great week here! We knocked on a lot of doors, met many new people, and tried to share the gospel with anyone we could! I sound like a missionary, right?? My week was pretty standard, so I'll just give the highlights.

On Tuesday, Elder Sato and I gave service at a nursing home. We also got to talk to the people there about their military service, in preparation for Veterans Day! I met a lot of really awesome veterans who had some great stories to tell. I even met some veterans who had served in World War II!! That was a great experience, one that I am really grateful for.

Wednesday was our temple trip!! The missionaries in our mission get to go to the temple once every quarter. So, when that time comes we get really excited. It gives us such an uplift. Our session started at 6am, so we had to get up at 4:30am (kind of tough). We got up and got all ready, and picked up another set of Elders on the way to the temple. Well, we got to the address that our leaders had given us at about 5:35...and found that we had been given the wrong address. So we started panicking! We knew that if we missed our session, there wasn't anything we could do. We drove around for about 20 minutes looking for the temple, with no luck. Finally, we got the address from another Elder that we called, and found the temple (which had been across the street and down a ways, hidden by trees) at 6:05am. We were bummed, because we missed our session. We talked to the assistants to the Mission President and they said we were out of luck. But then, we called our mission president and explained the situation. He was nice and let us go into the 6:30am session! It was such a blessing!! We made it into that session with just enough time to spare. It was a wonderful to be at the temple and feel the Spirit there!

Afterwards, we were able to go to Deseret Book and do a bit of shopping. We were able to see other Elders there and I got to say "hi" to Elder LaPerle and my friends from the Westminster area. That was great and topped off the trip for me.

After our temple trip, we had a really great rest of the day. We took a recent RM (returned Missionary) to a lesson with a Muslim investigator we have. She is super curios about our church and the Book of Mormon. We had a great lesson about what the Book of Mormon is, and how it has brought peace to all of our lives. We gave her a copy and she said she would read it!

On Thursday, we had interviews with our Mission President in the morning. He checks in with us periodically. It was really nice to have a bit of a conversation with our him and just talk. He gave us some hints about what will be happening for the upcoming transfer. (I'm excited!!!) He told me that he was proud of the work I am doing and that made me feel good. Then, the rest of Thursday was spent out tracting and knocking on doors for about 5 hours!! We met some nice people and got a few return appointments. After dinner that night, we met with Julie, who was just baptized last Saturday. She gave us both thank you cards and little gifts for helping her. She is so sweet!

Friday was spent doing a lot of tracting, with lessons here and there. It was a great day of good work! It's funny though, when missionaries show up in a neighborhood -- everyone suddenly disappears -- people go inside, garage doors close . . . we must be scary!

Saturday morning started with a training meeting from the Stake leaders. Our teacher brought Krispy Kreme doughnuts (which is out of the mission), so that was a real treat! Afterward, we had a good day of more tracting and lessons here and there. We got back in contact with an old former investigator who loves missionaries. We had a really nice conversation and he showed us this pool table computer game that he had set up downstairs. He's a really sweet guy named Rob. We are going over again later today (on P-day) to play some pool with him and try to fellowship him a little.

We got a bit of a break on Sunday! We had a regional broadcast instead of our normal church meetings, which came from Salt Lake. It was basically all the Stakes from Colorado to Chicago. It was a really good meeting. General authorities gave good talks, including Ronald A. Rasband who gave great counsel. It was kind of nice to have a break from our normal 6 hours of church.

After church we did a lot of tracting and trying to talk to people. We met an R-LDS woman (similar to our faith, but separate because they believe that Joseph Smith's family could only be prophets) who came out and talked to us for a while. We had a really engaging conversation about our two faiths, and she even accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon "to compare it with hers."

Anyway, we had a pretty great week! I can really feel the work moving along in these two wards. I can feel my testimony growing stronger everyday as I teach and continue to learn. I love it out here so much!

I hope all is well back home. I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Bird

We found a cardboard cut out of one of our Bishops at the church!! How awesome is that??

Elder Sato holding a sword made by one of our less actives.

Oh yeah, one of our investigators put his doo rag on me. Fun stuff!


Halloween, Oh and a Baptism, too!!

10/31/16

Hello all! I hope you're all doing wonderful! Happy Halloween!!

We had a really awesome week this week, which concluded with baptizing and confirming one of our investigators into the church! It was such an honor and privilege to be able to do that for her and see the sheer happiness it brought to her.

So Monday we got ready for Halloween week! My mom sent a package that had some Halloween decorations and treats (she is just the greatest). Elder Sato and I decorated the apartment with them and then decided to carve pumpkins! This was Elder Sato's first time carving pumpkins, so we had a lot of fun doing it. It was a really good p-day!

Tuesday started off with us giving service at an old folks home. We began with doing Tai Chi with them, which was kind of hilarious moving around and exercising with these sweet elderly people. Then the person in charge didn't know what to have us do next, so I ended up playing the piano for them for about an hour. They seemed to really enjoy it, even though I was not the best. We met some really sweet people and it was fun to be with them for a few hours. After that, we met with a less active that actually helped us to fix up an old bike we had found in the trash!! That was pretty sweet! We met with another investigator afterwards, who told us he would come to our Halloween party! Then we helped move some stuff for a less active member and met with a less active young man who showed off his awesome car to us. That night, we sat down with our investigator, Daniel, who really had a desire to quit smoking at one point. We had a meeting with him and brought a returned missionary in one of the wards that taught with amazing power. We tried to teach him about the importance of priesthood authority and being baptized with such (he says he's already been baptized and doesn't need to be again). It was a powerful lesson, but Daniel still doesn't want to be baptized. Maybe someday.

On Wednesday, we exchanged companions for a day! I was with the District Leader, Elder Bjerga, in his area for the day. We had a really fun day. We are pretty good friends. We spent the morning tracting and talking to anyone we saw, and had some powerful lessons with two of their investigators and a less active they are teaching in their area. I was blessed to be able to see how powerfully Elder Bjerga could invite the Spirit into a lesson and see how good of a leader he is in our district. I was thankful to have been with him for a day. Elder Sato and Elder Mork also did some awesome work in our area that day! They picked up two new investigators while out knocking on doors and taught a great first lesson to a woman we had met previously. I was so happy to hear they had had a good day too!

Thursday we had a meeting in the morning and then lunch with a member in one of our wards. We normally have lunch with her on Wednesdays, but I had missed her because I was with Elder Bjerga, and so we had lunch with her on Thursday, too. She has been going through a hard time lately, and so we gave her a blessing. After lunch, Elder Sato and I tried to get into contact with some former investigators. The first one we met up with, was Ann, and she is Muslim. We talked a lot about her religion and what it consists of, and in the process were able to teach her about parts of ours in the process. She was very kind and open, and we even set up a return appointment where she wanted to learn more about the Book of Mormon and more about the gospel!! We had a good lesson and she could see that we were interested in her thoughts and not just trying to teach our beliefs. Because we listened and were kind, she is now open to learning much more!! After visiting with her, we knocked on a few doors and then ran over to the church to have the baptism interview for our investigator getting baptized!! Her name is Julie. Elder Bjerga did her interview and was really impressed with her testimony and knowledge. She is really awesome! After the interview, we had dinner with a man in the ward and then met with some less actives we are teaching.

Friday was a bit of a slower day. We did a lot of tracting and trying to see people without too much luck. But we ended the day with a Halloween Party in Piney Creek ward! We had a lot of fun and one of our investigators and 4 people we had saw while tracting that day showed up too!! Hard work does pay off :) The ward had a chili-cook off and then did trunk or treat afterwards. We helped set up before, enjoyed the cook off (one of our investigators even brought chili!!!), and then helped take down while people trunk or treated outside. It was a good party!!

Saturday was a VERY busy day! We started the day by meeting with a less active member. Then we went to the stake center so we could start filling the baptismal font for Julie! When we got there about an hour and a half early (we thought that would be good enough time) we found out that the font usually takes 2-21/2 hours to fill. Oh no! We were worried and started stressing! We ate lunch as it filled up, and then set everything else up. Julie showed up early and we had a super kind woman in the ward help her with her clothing and getting ready. The service started at 1pm, and the font was still filling up! We let it continue filling up while we started the program. A returned missionary from the ward gave a good talk on baptism and then a member sang a song about baptism. Then Elder Sato baptized Julie! The water wasn't very high, but it was okay. Elder Sato performed the ordinance and Julie was all smiles. While they were changing out of their wet clothes, everyone at the baptism wrote down their testimony on a card for her. Then our ward mission leader gave a talk on the Holy Ghost and I bore my testimony. The Spirit was so strong at the meeting and you could just feel Julie's happiness. I know that she did the right thing being baptized, and her example in following God's plan will affect many other people's lives!

After the baptism, we went and saw a young recent convert and had a nice visit. Then we went to the Halloween party for the Cherry Creek ward! We had two investigators show up to this one too! We ate chili and chatted with them and watched all the kids parade around in their costumes. We didn't realize it, but many less actives who we didn't even know, showed up and some of them want us to give the missionary lessons to them! It was a very fun and a special night. After the party, we were supposed to visit with two other investigators from the other ward, but they both fell through. So we saw some less actives and other people and finished for the night. It was an amazing day!!

Sunday was crazy busy as usual. We went back and forth in between the two ward's Sunday meetings. I had the wonderful opportunity to confirm Julie a member of the church during Sacrament Meeting. It was an honor. I was glad to be able to bless her with the gift of the Holy Ghost. After all our Sunday meetings, we headed home and had lunch. Then we went to an appointment with an investigator that Elder Sato had met on Wednesday, when I was away with Elder Bjerga. It turns out that where they first saw her, she was actually at an apartment that she was babysitting at. We set up a return appointment with her, but we aren't sure where. I'm not sure. So we got her phone number from the people living there and walked around and tracted that area a bit. We really focused on talking to everyone we saw, and we were really blessed because of it! It seemed like everyone we happened upon really needed to see us or we really needed to see them. It was a cool couple of hours. Then we finished with dinner and an FHE with a sweet family in the ward.

It was a big week! It seemed to just fly by. We were so blessed to be able to talk to so many people this week and share the truth about what we know with anyone we saw. Even though it can be scary sometimes to talk with every single person you see (even if it seems like they don't want to talk at all.) I know that we were blessed because of it. And I know that this gospel is true and needs to be shared with everyone I come in contact with.

Anyway, I hope everyone's Halloween was awesome!! I love you all!

Elder Bird


Talk About a Crazy Sunday

10/24/16

Hello all! I hope everything is going well for everyone! You are all always in my prayers!

This week was crazy! There was a ton of stuff that happened and another amazing miracle!!! We're already halfway done with this transfer, but I feel like I just got here. The weeks go by so fast.

So the week started off good. After emailing at the library, we took the district leader and his companion out to lunch with us. We went to Red Robin, which I was excited about because I have been missing it. Two of the Elders with us are not from America (Elder Sato and Elder Bjerga) and had never been there before. They loved it! It was really good.

Afterward we had an appointment on P-day! This was with Ali and we decided to meet with her on P-day [their one day off] because she was leaving for the rest of that week and we wanted to see her before she left. We taught a good lesson and asked her to come to church with us. It was going to be the Primary Program [church service where the children 2-12 sing and give talks] This is always a nice Sunday program. The rest of the P-day went well, ending with an FHE [Family Home Evening - a night with the family] with a sweet family (a single mom with three young boys). We played Book of Mormon hang-man, talked about the Atonement, and tried to keep the boys entertained.

Tuesday was a pretty good day. We had some appointments with less actives and an investigator. This investigator, Andrew, is very smart and fairly hard to teach because he loves to go off onto tangents. BUT, this time, one of his tangents led to a conversation about the Tower of Babel, which we said was referred to in the BOM, He was intrigued, and we started to read Ether. He noticed a few things while we read that I think he noticed Joseph Smith wouldn't have been able to know about on his own (hmm, interesting), and I think it sparked his curiosity. So we committed him to read the rest of Ether!! It was really good to see him start to progress a little.

Also on Tuesday, we were out knocking on doors, when we met a man named Richard Cozzette. He invited us in and started talking with us. He's 53, the same age as my dad. It turns out that at one point in this guy's life, he held the world record for Defender (an arcade game in the 70's). He had played Defender for 28 hours straight!! How insane is that? We talked to him a lot and shared a brief message, and set a time for us to come back. He became a new investigator! That night we had dinner at Rubio's with a really nice Sister in one of our ward's, who always has us over for lunch or dinner. She is so nice. Dinner was good, and the rest of the night was spent trying to contact people.

Wednesday was a fun day! Three big things happened. We had dinner with a man named Dennis K. Brown. While we were having dinner, we learned that this brother had been a mission president in France, been the Denver temple President, and had written a book called "Evidences of the True Church." (a well known book in our church). He had done so much in his life and it was so interesting talking with him. He had had conversations and was friends with Gordon B. Hinckley!

After dinner, we were invited to a Baptist Bible study by one of our investigators. We sat in as they talked about the Bible. They were very nice. After that Bible study, we had our own scripture study on the second article of faith at our church. Our investigator brought three of his friends, and one of them became a new investigator. He asked us for a Bible and everything. So that was awesome! We ended the night playing basketball with everyone who came and sharing one more scripture.

Thursday started off with a training meeting with the other Elders in our district. After that, we visited a less active young man and read scriptures with him (his favorite of which was D&C 43:35 #besober). Then we did a whole lot of tracting and trying to get into contact with past investigators, without too much success. That night, we met with a less active member who likes to mess [tease] with us. He told us if we were going to share a message, then we had to recite a scripture from memory. I recited Jacob 6:12, one of my favorites, and Elder Sato recited D&C 43:35 (the one from earlier in the day.) He thought that was funny, and we all had a good laugh.

Friday was a tough day. We basically tracted all day long, with little success. Elder Sato used one of his new words to describe how he felt (exasperated). But, we met some nice people, one of which was a Jehovah's Witness. who was very kind. We set up a return appointment! We'll see how it goes. We kind of think she will try to convert us. Maybe we'll turn the tables on her ;)

Later we had an appointment with a less active brother. He was really nice to us and showed us some oil vials that he makes and sells to people on Etsy. He was very nice and it was cool to see them.

Then the miracle happened!! As we got back to our apartment, one of our investigators texted us out of the blue. She told us that she knew the gospel was true and that she was ready for baptism!!! Insane, right?? She will be baptized next Saturday by Elder Sato, and I will have the honor of doing the Confirmation and blessing her with the Holy Ghost. That will happen at church the following day, Sunday. Elder Sato and I were jumping up and down in our apartment and going crazy!! We were so happy! She was taking the right step and moving forward!

On Saturday some of our scheduled appointments fell through, so we did more tracting!! At 4pm we met with a young recent convert and read some scriptures with him. I tried to explain the House of Israel to him, which the scriptures we were reading kept referring to. It's interesting trying to explain things in a more simple way.

That night, Julie, our investigator who had decided to get baptized the night before took us out to dinner. Funny story . . . She wanted to have dinner with us, but we already had one planned with a family and we didn't want to cancel. We wanted to visit with both of them...so we had two dinners that night. At the first dinner, with Julie, she told us how excited she was and she shared her testimony. We also went over a little what would happen at the baptism. How it would work. She is all ready!!

After that, we met with a former investigator named Nick. He is from Ghana, received his degree in Germany, and then came to America to work for IBM. It was really interesting getting to know him, and we shared a small message about the Sacrament with him. Even though he has learned a lot from previous missionaries, I think we helped him feel the Spirit. We set up a time to meet again and we'll see what happens.

At our second dinner, we went out with a family to a "Japanese Buffet." Elder Sato was so excited! But when we got there, he realized that all the people working there were Chinese, and it was actually just an "All Asian" buffet. He thought that was hilarious. But he liked having some Japanese food again. While we were there, some Christians who had just gotten out of a non-denominational church service, came in and saw us. They all started laughing and I think were a little spooked of us. I don't think that they realize that we are normal Christians, too. Probably due to non-true rumors that are out there about our church.

Sunday was the craziest day of the week!! We were back to our crazy Sunday schedule with two wards. Basically, we had a ward correlation meeting for Piney Creek Ward at 8am, where we talked about the work we were doing in that ward. Then we had Sacrament Meeting for Cherry Creek Ward at 9am. Julie and a less active member who is been coming back to church both came, so we juggled our attention between the two of them. Some returning missionaries gave talks, so there were a lot of people there. Then we went to the Gospel Principles Sunday School class in the Cherry Creek Ward. After that we sat down and visited with Julie for a little bit and went over the baptism program and what was going to happen on Saturday. After that, we hurried in to catch the Gospel Principles class for Piney Creek Ward. Our investigator, Ali, was there with a friend she brought. We made sure they were okay, and then had to leave to sit in for ward correlation meeting for Cherry Creek Ward to talk about the work we were doing in that ward. We finally ended with Sacrament Meeting in Piney Creek Ward, which was the Primary program! It was packed with a lot of people. We sat with Ali and her friend. The Primary Program was cute and they enjoyed it very much.

BIG DAY RIGHT?? We came home and had lunch and tired to relax a little. Later, we went out again and tracted and tried to get into contact with people. Then we met with a returning less active woman who is going through a really hard time in her life. We got to know her a little better and are hopeful we can continue to help her moving forward!!

Anyway, so that was our week! Lots happened, and lots of miracles, too. Even though Sundays are kind of crazy with juggling two wards with back to back meeting times. It amazes me how peaceful things feel when we feel the Spirit with the people we meet with. I know that this church is true because of that peace, that we can help people have it in their lives and in their families.

I hope everything is well back home! Love you all!!

Elder Bird

Pictures:

The Defender champ showed us some newspapers and photos of him. He went by "Captain Video"

The book that Dennis K. Brown wrote. He's not in the picture, but he's sitting three feet away.


The Golden Referral

10/18/16

Hello everyone!!

This week has gone by so fast! I feel like I was just here at the library yesterday! Lots of amazing things happened this week, with one being the source of the title!

We emailed on Tuesday because of the holiday. Afterward, we were able to go and visit some investigators that day and night. One, named Andrew, is a very, very intelligent man (worked in both law and computers) who likes to hold intelligent discussions about the state of the world. It was a great discussion, but we had to constantly lead the conversation back to our message. He is very nice, but I am wondering how I can help him!!

In the afternoon we did more tracting. And after dinner, we met with a young couple, the Smith's, who were kind of hard to teach. They were incredibly kind, but have lots of concerns and questions about our faith. They were actually scheduled to be baptized, but still had questions, so we had to push their date back. We talked a lot about the Plan of Salvation with them and they had a lot of questions. At the end of our time with them we were able to teach them a little about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At the end, Elder Sato and I simply bore our testimonies to them. We told them that we could talk for hours about the questions they had (and we would), but if they wanted true answers to their questions and evidence that it was true, they needed to read the Book of Mormon and ask God if it was true. I bore them my testimony that I had already done so and had received my answer, and so that was why I was out there trying to share that with them. Elder Sato did the same. I think they really felt the Spirit, and I am hopeful for them moving forward!

On Wednesday, the big miracle happened! We contacted and met with a referral we had received online. This woman, named Ali, had gone online and requested us to come visit with her. After texting her and figuring out the details, we set up a time for Wednesday afternoon to meet with her. It turns out that she has already gained a divine witness from the Spirit that our church is true!!! That made our job a whole lot easier! She actually has a ton of LDS friends in Utah, and even went to General Conference in the Conference center. She was telling us that her friend, a recent RM [returned missionary], was explaining the gospel to her when she felt that she needed to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost!! She even scheduled a day when she wanted to be baptized, November 19th. So we are teaching her in order to prepare her for baptism! She will be baptized in Utah, where she is moving, but it is such a blessing to be able to teach her! So we taught her on Wednesday, and then on Thursday and then Friday again! How awesome is that?? Some elders get all the luck ;)

On Thursday, we had a training meeting in the Stake Center with all the Elders. It was very good. I really felt the Spirit there, and it was good to get to know people in the Stake better. It was a little long though, so we didn't get too much time to work. We did see Ali again and answered some questions she had and went over more stuff. She continues to be awesome (or as we say, golden).

Friday morning started off with Ali again! We were able to take a young mom in the ward over with us to fellowship her, and we had a great discussion about the Word of Wisdom (the Lord's law of health). We invited her to come to church the following Sunday, which is the primary program! We are very excited for her to come, especially because she has two young kids. After seeing her, we had a slower day of knocking doors and trying to get into contact with people. We had some lessons planned, but they all cancelled. We did help out someone in the ward with some service, though, and afterwards he took us around all his neighborhood to meet all of his friends!! We invited them all to the Halloween party. The member, Brother Kumar, is an older gentleman from India who is just hilarious!

Saturday was awesome! We had some more training meetings in the morning, and then a lot of tracting in the early afternoon. Two things happened: we picked up a new investigator who is very open to talking with us! It was totally worth the two hours of knocking on doors we did to find him! We also met some other people. We started talking to them about our religion, and then they proceeded to tell us what we believed. I think it is interesting when people not in our church tell us what we believe. After telling them what we really believed, they replied back with "No you don't" and proceeded to tell us that we were wrong. That was my favorite :) We tried to be kind and instructive, but we couldn't really do anything.

After the tracting, we were able to sit down with a lady, Nancy, who we met last week! We had tried to contact her before, but she never answered. So, we thought she wasn't interested. We tried again, and she let us in and we had a great discussion!! She has just lost her husband, so we just let her talk and tried to listen and be there for her. After an hour of just her talking, we told her we had to get going. We hadn't been able to share any sort of message, and so were worried about that, but she told us that she really enjoyed talking with us "because we listened and really cared" and that she would really want to come to a church service sometime!! After meeting with her, we read scriptures with a young recent convert and tried to continue to keep his interest in them.

Sunday was a blast! It was the temple dedication for the Fort Collins temple!! So we were able to take part in that dedication from our Stake Center. Elder Uchtdorf dedicated the temple and gave a wonderful talk. It was a wonderful experience to have out here, and I really felt the Spirit as we sang the Spirit of God afterwards.

After the dedication we helped Andrew, the investigator, with some service. He was very kind, and maybe our helping him might get him more interested. Through our service we showed him kindness that we and the ward have love for him. Later afer dinner, we were on our way to visit a couple that lives in our apartment complex when a man called out to us and asked us who we were. We explained and we had a great conversation with this man named Josh. He didn't accept the Book of Mormon that we tried to share with him or set a time when we could come back, but respected a lot what we do as missionaries. We thanked him and told him we'd pray for him as we moved forward. Then, we saw the couple. They were funny and had a friend over, so we shared a scripture from the Bible and invited all of them to the Halloween party. It was good, and I think they'll all come and enjoy it!

It was a really awesome week! Elder Sato continues to be hilarious and bold with everyone we meet. We continue to learn and grow together as we try to balance these two wards!!

Anyway, I hope things are well back home. I love you all!

Elder Bird

Pictures: Elder Sato and I at the Library

Me "holding" Elder Sato's flash cards for him


A Balancing Act!

10/10/16

Hello Everyone!! I hope your week is going fantastic! So much has happened since last Monday, I will try to tell you the best parts!!!

I am now serving in both the Piney Creek and Cherry Creek wards, in the Denver area. These two wards are in a nice part of the Denver suburbs to the south.

So on Monday I started to pack and get ready! We went to Golden Corral for lunch with another companionship of Elders one more time to say goodbye. It was sad! Then Monday evening we had dinner and an appointment saying goodbye to one of our less active members who we teach on Monday nights.

Tuesday was filled with meetings and teaching people who I had become close to as we taught. Along the way, we picked up a new investigator named Mikey, while we were near the library. And, then met with some recent converts who we had been teaching. Afterwards, we went and talked with a lady in the ward who does our dinner calendar. It turns out she made me a tie with my initials on it!! It was so sweet of her! We had dinner, and then saw another less active guy named Glen who we've been teaching. He is a really sweet guy. He bought us cheesecake to say goodbye!! How awesome is that?? We finished the day with one final less active we had been teaching, and we said goodbye to her and her two sweet kids. It was a hard day, saying goodbye and leaving all these people, who I had somehow become very close with in only 3 months! I will miss them a lot.

Wednesday was transfer day!! I finished packing and then Elder LaPerle and I drove to the stake center, and I got on the transfer van. I was heading to Denver with Elder Bjerga (an elder from Norway who was in my last area) where we would again be in the same district. I was glad to have one familiar face go with me. We arrived at the new stake center, and got all unloaded. Then I met my new companion, Elder Sato!! Elder Sato is from Chiba, Japan. His English is very good for having only been out here for 3 months. He is hilarious and one of the most humble and kind Elders I have met out here!

After we met, we got all my stuff loaded in our car (which, as Elder Sato pointed out to me, is a Toyota Corrola) and then I drove us to the new area! It feels awesome to drive again, especially in a Toyota.

We arrived in the new area to a beautiful apartment. I unpacked quickly and then we got to work! We did a lot of tracting that first day, and we were blessed because of it. We picked up a new investigator, a sweet woman named Nancy, who was very open to talking with us and was very kind. We have a return appointment to see her tomorrow! At the end of the night, our ward mission leader helped us put on a Bible study class, where we went over the 1st article of faith. We had two investigators show up and we had a great discussion!! Afterwards, we played a small game of basketball with the bible study class and even some other non-members, and then headed home.

Thursday was a good day! I met lots of new people, in both ward areas. A lot happened, but I'll just share one miracle that happened as we were out trying to contact someone. We were looking in our box of commissary (literature that we pass out, including Book of Mormon's, pamphlets, DVD's, etc.) and we found a Russian Plan Of Salvation pamphlet. We thought it was weird, but Elder Sato grabbed it and put it in his bag. As we were walking down the street not 5 minutes later, we met a man who only spoke Russian!! We handed him the pamphlet, and he was very impressed and said he'd read it (at least I think that's what he said). It was truly a miracle, and I know God had a large hand in that experience.

On Friday we started off the day with breakfast with our new Stake President and all the Elders in our new zone, to see and meet each other. It was such a nice way to start off being here! Then, we met with a recent convert named Frank (who was just about to call us for help to move stuff when we showed up on his door step #miracles). After helping Frank, we tracted and met some more less actives and recent converts. Good day!!

Saturday was more of the same! It has been hard trying to remember who is in which ward, (now that we are working with two) but I'm sure I will get it soon. We had a couple of set appointments, our first was with a young recent convert named Trevor. With him we read 1 Nephi 3 with and then talked about it. It was amazing to see his excitement grow over the Book of Mormon stories, as his understanding of them increased. Chapter 3 ends in a bit of a cliffhanger, so we asked him to read chapter 4 on his own. :) The second was with a less active in his 20's who was very nice and kind to us. He talked our ears off about how amazing Apple is, (I would guess much to my father's shagrin), and then we shared a lesson on the Sacrament and how it relates to the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him. We all knew that the Spirit was there during our visit, especially during the lesson portion.

Sunday was an absolutely crazy day. That's where this week's blog title came from...it was truly a balancing act! We started with a ward missionary correlation meeting with one of our wards, and then went to Sacrament Meeting with the other ward. We stayed with that ward for Sunday school and went to the Gospel Principles class. Which was followed by the other ward's Gospel Principles class. Then we went to the other ward's missionary correlation meeting, and finally the other ward's Sacrament Meeting! How crazy is that?? We went to two of each type of meeting and were at the church for 6 hours!! These two wards, Cherry Creek and Piney Creek, have kind of different timing because they combine their youth program during the middle hours so that means that one ward's Sacrament Meeting is at the beginning of the block and the other is at the end of the block. It kept us very busy! Everyone in both wards were very nice, and it was good to meet so many new faces.

After all that craziness, we went home and had lunch. After that, the day was spent mostly tracting and seeing less actives. We met some very nice people and had a good rest of the Sabbath.

Finally, yesterday, Monday we had P-day! It was filled with normal P-day activities like shopping and cleaning and laundry. Elder Sato and I both picked up great winter coats at a Goodwill nearby! We had lunch with Elder Bjerga and his new companion at a Golden Corral over here, because he said that he wanted to keep the tradition going! P-day ended at 4pm, so we met an investigator that evening. He is a heavy smoker. The lesson was haphazard because he was having a hard time listening. Finally, we just stopped the lesson and I focused in on his smoking. I asked him about it and why he did it. He voiced some desires to stop, and I told him that the Lord could help him stop, if he had a real desire to. I told him we would help him too. He got excited then, and we set a plan for how he could stop. I didn't know really where to start, but I suggested for him to cut back 25% of the cigarettes he was smoking a day. He said he usually smokes 20 a day, so asked him to cut it down to 15. We told him we would be there to help him as he moved forward. We then gave him a priesthood blessing to help him. It was very powerful, and he said he felt the Spirit! Amazingly, this morning in our apartment, as I was looking through things, I found a packet called the Stop Smoking Program. This is a program to help smokers curb their addictions. It gave me lots of hints about how I can help this investigator, and I knew that it was in our apartment for this reason. I'm very excited for this guy moving forward!

We ended P-day with dinner and a Family Home Evening with a family in one of the wards. We played Book of Mormon hangman, which was really good for the young boys to get excited about learning more. Afterwards, we talked to an investigator that is living with this family and had a great discussion about the struggles in her life right now.

And today I got to email!! It has been an awesome week, and I'm very excited moving forward!! I hope everything back home is going well!

Lots of love, Elder Bird

Pictures: Elder Sato on Mission Parkway!!

Elder Sato has a yoda costume for pajamas, which he found in the apartment. Isn't that hilarious???

In our apartment

Eating pie at a ward member's house


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Elder Ryan Bird
Colorado Denver North Mission

Contact Information

E-mail Address:
ryan.bird@myldsmail.net

Mailing Address:
Elder Ryan Bird
1250 Main Street
Broomfield, CO 80020