Elder Bird's Missionary Blog


The SWANKest Day Ever

6/19/17

Hey everyone!

I hope everyone's week has been great!! Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. Transfers are here and I just learned that I am headed down to Parker, CO in the Parker South zone!

I will be serving as a zone leader down there in the Crowfoot YSA [young single adults] ward with Elder Brown as my new companion. I am super excited, but a bit sad to be saying goodbye to Arvada and the people I have taught here. And sad to leave Elder Mork! We have become such good friends and it is going to be super sad to leave each other! Elder Mork will be training a newer missionary how to be a zone leader up here in Arvada. So next time you hear from me, I will be clear down in Parker (south east of Denver!).

As for the week, it was a pretty good one! We had lots of stuff going on, and I think Saturday was the busiest day I have ever had on my mission! I will try to give some highlights.

On Monday we had zone P-day!! We all hiked Table Top mountain, which is one of the only places you can hike in our mission. It as sweet! There were some awesome views and even a cool waterfall! It was a good way to spend the last P-day together with the Arvada zone.

On Wednesday, Elder Mork and I went on exchanges with the APs [assistants to the President]! It was pretty fun to be with such experienced Elders. I went with Elder Wood and had an awesome day of missionary work. It was kind of interesting because some boundary changes have happened in the Westminster stake where the assistants work, and so part of my first ward, the Westminster ward, is now in the assistants area. It is way crazy because we did a lot of work together on Wednesday right near the apartments that I used to live at!

On Thursday, we started with a lesson with Michael Gabaldon, setting a baptismal date with him for the end of July and getting him super set to be baptized! It was awesome! Then we drove over to the Mission Office for Elder Mork to have his final interview with President Mendenhall, before President Savage comes in. Then that night, we had an awesome lesson with Bryan Coffing. He is so set! We talked about tithing, the ten commandments, and obeying the law in our last commandments lesson. He agrees with everything and is even willing to try out tithing after he is baptized. There are like zero problems and he just has to get his wife and kids into it a little bit. Luckily something cool happened at the end of the week to really help with that!

On Friday, we had a busy day getting a lot of planning, service, and administrative work done. That night, Bryan took us out to Texas Roadhouse! It was super cool to just enjoy a meal with him and to sit as friends together. He was so funny, making us buy really expensive things on the menu and worrying if we had had enough to eat. He is so awesome, and we talked a lot about having his family come to church soon over dinner. After dinner, we went and saw Adam for a little bit. Adam was a bit frustrating, because he knows how good the church is, but he is not putting any effort into reading in the Book of Mormon. So we read a bit with him and then set a return appointment for the next night.

Saturday was a jam packed day! We had something set for literally every single hour of the day, including a quick lesson at 9pm, before heading home at 9:30pm. A few of the appointments fell through, but we had a pretty busy day running between all of the appointments. We taught the Gabaldon family, had an awesome lesson with a brand new investigator named Julie (who had done some awesome research and was super interested!), taught Adam again and got him committed to fast and pray about the Book of Mormon this Tuesday, and then ended by teaching a former investigator that we used to teach here and got him committed to come to church the next day! It was just an awesome day!

Sunday morning started out with a lesson at 8am with someone we had met on the way to Adam's the day previous. His name was Matt Lawson, a young guy in his 30's, who has researched a ton of different religions, but hasn't picked one yet. We taught him about the Restoration of the Gospel and he loved it! He agrees with just about everything, and is pretty excited to read through the Book of Mormon and to come check out the church! It was a good way to start the day! Then, we went to church. We pulled up 15 minutes early, at the exact same time as Bryan Coffing and his whole family! They had all come, on Father's Day!! It was so awesome! Bryan's wife Mia told us that when she had asked Bryan what he wanted for Father's Day, he had said that he wanted everyone go to church! So they came! When we walked into the chapel with them, we saw our former investigator that we talked to last night, talking to a member. We were so happy! It was an awesome Sacrament meeting and an awesome service. After the meetings ended, we had pie to celebrate the dad's for Father's Day. It was so awesome and such a good way to end the week and my time here in Arvada!

Anyway, some things are changing and it will be a bit sad to leave, but I am so grateful to be a part of it and to be serving the Lord and anyone I meet, no matter where. I hope things are well back home. I love you all!!

Elder Bird

Table Top!!!!


Mission Convert Fireside!

6/12/17

Hi!! I hope everyone back home is doing super well!!

I had an awesome week this week! Lots of fun stuff happening here, including a mission-wide convert fireside that we were all able to go to. It was super cool to be able to see a bunch of people all at once again, and even have Nancy, one of my investigators from Cherry Creek, come and see it!

On Wednesday night, we were able to see Adam for a little bit. We didn't have too much time with him because of another appointment and some stuff that made us start a little later. We did read 3 Nephi 11 with him and heard his thoughts. He said he really liked what he read and doesn't disagree with anything. we talked to him a lot about coming out to different things in the church, like activities or programs he could get involved in. He just needs a place to go with good people! We tried to get him to come to church again this week, but he was flying to Seattle to marry one of his good friends. Anyway, after seeing Adam that night, we went and saw Lisa and her kids. We had a pretty good time trying our hardest to teach them! Lisa has some non-conventional religious beliefs, but also believes a lot of what we have to say. So I felt bad for the kids and all the confusion the two different viewpoints were creating! Anyway, we got through a bit more of the Plan of Salvation and will hopefully finish next week!

On Thursday night, we had our weekly lesson with Bryan. Bryan is so awesome! He is finished with 4th Nephi now and is probably going to finish the Book of Mormon pretty soon. We talked a bit more about some of the commandments in preparation for baptism, which still doesn't have a time frame because of the strain it would put on his family. But we had a good discussion on the Sabbath and scriptures and prayer. At the end, Bryan even invited us to have a lesson next week and also dinner the day after on Friday of next week! I was super excited because that will probably be my last week here in Arvada! I am super excited for him moving forward, as always.

The mission wide convert fireside was Friday night! President and Sister Mendenhall was a good way to get the mission all together before they had to leave. It is also a good way to help recent converts feel a bit more like there are people out there that are like them. We were asked to invite converts of three years or less, and anyone we are currently teaching or have recently taught. So I got permission from President to give Jackie and Jordan Smith from Piney Creek a call, and also Nancy Flemming, from Cherry Creek, a call. It was so crazy to hear them both again! Nancy told me that she would come, and she did! Elder Olson and I got to see her and sit with her during the fireside and catch up a little bit. It was a super awesome meeting. At the end, when the missionaries were all leaving, we took a picture of the whole mission. Then we sang an impromptu "Called to Serve" for President and Sister Mendenhall. It was a pretty special way to end the night.

So that was pretty much our week! Lots of fun stuff happening here, and I am loving life!!

I hope things back home are well! I love all of you so much!

Elder Bird

The "dream team" back together (Elder LaPerle & Elder Brammer)

Me with Nancy!

Arvada Zone


June Already!

6/05/17

Hey everyone!

I hope everyone's week has been splendid so far! It is hard to believe that it is already June....I feel like it was just February. Elder Mork and I had an awesome week this week, and we are super excited for this upcoming week!

Lots of exciting things happened this week! The first of which was on an exchange day this last Wednesday! I was with Elder Haws, who is serving in the Arvada 3rd ward. We worked in my ward and had tons of fun! The biggest thing that happened was a lesson with Lisa Marie and her two daughters, Faith and Hope, (good names, right?). The family were all outside enjoying the summer night when we walked up and started talking to them for a bit. We asked if we could teach the girls about God's plan. We started to draw out the Plan of Salvation for them, and they had lots of good questions! We got to the end of Adam and Eve, and then had to go. But we will finish the cliffhanger next week!

We had another great lesson with Bryan on Thursday. Bryan is still going through the Pearl of great Price and had some questions for us. It was good stuff! We brought out a member that was really good at helping us answer his questions. Afterwards, we talked about the temple and about what we do there. We had mentioned it a few times, so he had said he was appreciative of the context. The lesson went great! Bryan is a super stud and has a strong testimony already. He is basically not being baptized yet because it would put a strain on his family. He even asked us in the lesson that "If I just outlive all of my family members by a year, then I can get them all sealed to me afterwards?" It was so funny! We are pushing hard to get his wife and kids to church sometime soon. He is so awesome!

On Friday, we had a Missionary Leadership Counsel for the month of June. It was President and Sister Mendenhall's last one, and they were a bit sad. It was a good meeting and we were given much counseling. The Mendnehall's were totally crying afterwards. It was sad!

We had a good lesson on Saturday with a girl named Zoey. We have been teaching Zoey for a while, but it has been hard to get through to her a lot of the time. She's just turning 14 and was baptized two years ago. Her dad passed away 6 months ago in an accident, so it's been tough to reach her. We went over and had lunch with her, then had to run to an appointment, and then came back after. The second time, she opened up and told us that she really did want to start coming back to church and explained how it was hard for her. So we sat down and made a goal with her to get to the temple to do baptisms by the end of December. We made some plans with her on when she was going to come to church and how often and things she would have to do to achieve that goal. It was a really good thing!

Sunday was a big day for us! Adam, a guy we teach, had committed to do a church swap with us! So we woke up and went over to his complex so he could give us a ride to the church he has been going to, called Red Rocks Church (a huge church in Denver that thousands of people go to). We went and had a good time with him! Adam doesn't really care too much for the "worship" part of the service, which is the Christian Rock music they play. So we were there for the sermon, which was really really good. After the sermon, we left and Adam got a little more dressed up to come to our service, which was testimony meeting. So we showed up there with Adam. He really liked the sacrament, and then some really good testimonies were given. Adam asked us if he could go up and share some thoughts, and we told him he absolutely could. So he got up and shared a really good testimony just explaining his situation and how we and the gospel has helped so far. It was so awesome!! After he got up, Elder Mork and I both shared our testimonies and sat down. The woman sitting in front of us, who is a convert herself, talked with him a bit during the meeting and they really connected! So she went up and shared her testimony, and then a 9 year old girl (part of the Gabaldon family) got up and shared a little testimony of her own. So we had 2 non-members share their testimony!! It was so awesome! Everyone in the ward was pretty surprised after the meeting and were winking at us after...it was cool! It was a really good way to end the week!

Anyway, exciting things are happening here! I am super excited to see what people will do this next week! Thank you so much for all of the love and support so far! I love you all!

Elder Bird


2 out of 3 Mission Birthdays. Check!

5/30/17

Hey everyone! I hope everyone's week was good! I hope that everyone had a good Memorial Day holiday yesterday and that it was well spent!

I had a good birthday and am glad that now I can finally tell people I am 20, and not a teenager anymore! It was a good way to spend a birthday out here.

We had a pretty good week! We did the usual...finding and teaching! We even had the chance to witness a baptism this week!

The highlights of the week were some of the lessons we had with our top progressing investigators. We met with Bryan Coffing on Thursday, and had an awesome lesson with him! The cool thing is that I feel that we are helping Bryan continue on the path he is already walking, and that he is a friend. In the lesson, he told us that he has finished Alma and has read through a bit of the Pearl of Great Price. He already has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet! He says that since he has started reading the BoM, he has felt more patient with people and tried to be kinder, and is even trying to pray more, by himself and with his kids. It is so awesome to see him change and recognize the change! Moving forward, Bryan wants to be baptized, but is worried about if his wife and kids do not join him. We talked a lot about things and set up a plan to help moving forward. It was so awesome, and it felt so good afterward to just come out of a lesson with this new friend.

We also had a lesson with Adam this week, and brought the Elder Quorum president, Dave Kubic, with us. They really hit it off and it felt super natural to be talking and discussing things in the little group we had made. Adam is just holding onto some things and has a lot of hurt in his life. At the end of the discussion, Adam even asked Brother Kubic to pray with him and grabbed onto Brother Kubic's hand in the prayer. It was a tender moment filled with the spirit, and Elder Mork and I just sat back and let the Spirit work. After the lesson, we visited Adam again on Saturday night to see if he was still committed to coming to church. He is going through some girlfriend struggles. But, we talked and we will be going with Adam to his church early on Sunday this upcoming week, and then Adam will come with us to our service after. SO we are super excited!

We went to a baptism on Saturday, and we were able to bring Michael Gabaldon, a 14 year old investigator, who is getting close to receiving his answer about church, with us. We had a lesson earlier that week with him and when we asked him why he liked to come to church, he said that when he came to church, he "had a sense of knowing that it was true!" So we took him to the baptism so he could see what it was like. We elbowed him a couple times through, joking that "this will be you in a few months." He had no objections to that. It was so awesome to have him there and to have him feel the Spirit that was present.

Saturday was also my birthday. I woke up that morning and was able to open a few of the presents my parents had sent earlier that week. It's so funny that my mom always sends decorations in the packages she sends, so I got to decorate the apartment for my own birthday. I got some awesome things, including a sweet new fanny pack. But the best part of my birthday was having so much love from people back at home and out here. Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes and the support.

Oh there was one crazy thing that happened to us this week. My companion and I got the cops called on us!! How awesome is that? So we were out tracting on Friday and ran into this lady who opened her door and told us that that she was Buddhist and wasn't interested. But she said she wanted us to come in and see her Buddha statues. So we stepped in for a minute and then left. Well, like two hours later, we got a call from the Arvada 3rd ward Elders saying that they had been pulled over by the police and said that there was a report made about two Mormon missionaries, a tall blonde one and a shorter one with dark hair (both wearing glasses). The lady had reported that we had stolen her cell phone. The report said that we were accused of breaking and entering!! I couldn't believe it! So we went immediately to the police station and got the officer who was assigned to the case. While interviewing us, the woman called and said she found her phone and "didn't want to press charges." It was so ridiculous! But everything turned out okay and it only took about an hour to sort out. It was definitely something to remember!

Anyway, things are going great here! It is so hard to believe that May is over and the transfer is half done. Time flies when you are having fun!!

Love,

Elder Bird


My Brother is 16 Now!!

5/22/17

Hey howdy hey everyone!!

I hope everyone's week is going well thus far! We had a pretty awesome week. The biggest news is that my brother turned 16 this week!! How crazy is that? It's like he is all grown up already! So I wanted to give a shout out to Nathan and tell him Happy Birthday!!

Anyway, so the week was pretty good! It started out Monday night with dinner at the Stake President's home for all of the missionaries in the zone! That was pretty fun! Our Stake President is super awesome, and quite a scriptorian. After dinner, we had a small devotional. I sung a duet with Elder MacPherson, one of the district leaders here, that we threw together last minute. The Stake President spoke and it was super good.

On Tuesday we did some service and had some meetings for the leadership in the mission. That night, we were able to see an investigating boy named Mason Thompson. We had a really good lesson with him on the gospel of Jesus Christ, and Mason is now working to be baptized in July! His family is totally backing him and everything, even though they are nonmembers. We just need to get him to church!

On Wednesday, I went on exchanges with Elder Glenn, one of the district leaders here in Arvada. It was a fun day! We did a lot of tracting, which of course was super fun! Elder Glenn is a good Elder and pretty funny. He is kind of having a tough time with his companion right now, so we talked a lot about that and how to move forward. We are so grateful for the wonderful job he is doing at leading the missionaries he is over!

On Thursday, it snowed!! What the heck!! It's the middle of May and it's snowing! Denver is crazy. Luckily, the snow didn't stick and Elder Mork and I had fun knocking on doors out in the weather. That night, we saw Bryan Coffing, one of our most solid investigators. We went over the Word of Wisdom with Bryan, and he literally had no concerns and committed to live it! We also brought him a triple combination and talked about the Doctrine & Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. We brought a member with us to visit with him and invite him to Stake Conference that weekend. He couldn't come, but he committed to coming to church on Fast Sunday in June [the first Sunday of the month]. He is so awesome, and so easy to talk to about the gospel, because everything clicks with him. We are blessed to have found him. Then after Bryan, we went and saw Mason again and had a good lesson with him about Adam and Eve and who prophets are. He had never heard of Adam and Eve, so it was cool telling him the story for the first time.

Friday was a pretty uneventful day with service in the morning, planning for the week in the afternoon, and Stake Meetings that night. But as we were walking to dinner, something really cool did happen! A guy told us to hold the door for him, saw we were missionaries, and then told us to come to his place after dinner. We did, and gave him a Book of Mormon and chatted for a bit. He is a super nice guy named Wes, who is going to a Christian college around here. It was super cool to meet him!

Saturday was a full day! We had a lesson with the Gabaldon family where we read in the Book of Mormon the story about Lehi's Dream. The kids seemed to pay a bit more attention than usual at the lesson. Then we were surprised to hear that the whole family was going to come to Stake Conference!!! That meant the mom and 7 kids were coming to church! We were surprised, but excited! After the lesson, we did a bunch of tracting and street contacting.

The big day was Sunday with Stake Conference! We showed up at the Gabaldon's house at 9am to help the kids get ready and tie their ties! They were all dressed up super nice! Then, they all piled into their school bus (their mom bought a school bus to haul them around) and they headed to the church. It was a tad tough to make the 7 kids sit through two hours of church, so Elder Mork and I spent most of our time sitting in the Nursery room with them, making sure they didn't get into any trouble (I felt like I had been thrown into early parenthood). But the mom was able to see the whole thing!! It was a super awesome way to end the week!

Anyway, so that was the week! It seemed like it all just flew right by! I hope everything back home is going well!! Thanks for all the love and support out here, I love you all so much!!

Elder Bird

The Gabaldons in their bus


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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