Tuesday, August 1, 2017

June & July 2017 - Only 6 Weeks Left!


June 5, 2017
We had a really good week this last week, we have been working really hard to find people to teach and we had all our appointments fall through last week. We know that as we keep working the Lord will
provide a way and help us find the one who is ready to receive us. We had a couple cool experiences as we were finding this week. We weretracting and this man told us to try talking with a family on that
street, so we stopped by and no one was home, but as we were finishing tracting on that street we saw someone go into the house so we went and knocked again. A lady answered the door and it was kind of awkward at the beginning but as we began talking to her we started to answer the questions she had about life and she opened up to us and was willing to learn more. Yesterday evening we were knocking on some new houses and at the very end of the day we talked to this lady and had a really good experience as we talked about the restoration. She was open to learning more and we are excited to meet with her again.

This week we went on exchanges with the Assistants and it was a lot of fun. I was able to go with Elder Gray, this was the fourth time I have been on exchanges and we have become really good friends. The day went really well we were doing some administrative things and weren't in our area but as we were walking to the truck we started talking with this lady about the Gospel and then met her husband and they were interested in learning more. It was pretty cool to see how the Lord puts people on our paths.

Friday we had MLC's. It was President's last one and it was sad but President Mendenhall left a powerful testimony and told us to "Go Forth and Serve!" So my GoTo Scripture this week is D&C 1:5 – “And they shall go forth and none shall stay them, for I the Lord have commanded them." This work is the greatest work on the earth and God will continue to hasten it and move it forward. I have been studying the book of Acts quite a bit and it is amazing to see how the Apostles did not let anything stop them from sharing the truth that they knew that Jesus Christ Lives! I am striving to follow their example because this is truly his work.


June 12, 2017

I had a really cool experience on Monday. I was emailing a family about the convert fireside that was on Friday and inviting them to come because I baptized their 11 year old son when they were starting to get back into church. I hadn't really kept in touch with them and when they replied a couple minutes later they told me they were getting sealed the next day. I was really excited and I talked to President Mendenhall and I was able to see their family be sealed in the Fort Collins Temple. It was such a cool experience. It was great to see their progression in the church because I was a little worried about what would happen after I had baptized their son, but it was so powerful to see that he had received the Aaronic priesthood and was able to be sealed with his whole family.

I was able to go on exchanges this week with Elder Wright in the Rolling Hills Ward; their ward is in a rougher area and has a lot of apartment complexes. It was a fun exchange. There were so many people to talk to we didn't really have to tract much because we could just talk to people out and about. We met a lot of people who were interested in hearing our message. One was a really cool experience - we met a man who had some important things stolen from him and he was really stressed and sad and he was turning away from his faith in God as well. We started talking to him and tried to help uplift him at the moment. I couldn't see the impact we made but he let us come back and when the Elders did they said he was excited to meet with them and accepted a Baptismal Date. I think it really just shows how much charity can impact others.

I had and final interview with President Mendenhall. It was kind of like a departing interview since President Mendenhall won't be here when I go home. He shared with me 4 things that he has seen keep him on the right course. 1st - Prayer Morning and Night, 2nd - Read the Book of Mormon at least 5 minutes every day, 3rd - Always hold a current temple recommend, 4th - Live what you have learned. He also talked about how missionary work relates to finding a wife and that kind of caught me off guard. I really love President Mendenhall. He has had a huge impact on my mission and I know he was definitely a reason why I was called to serve in the Colorado Denver North Mission.

Friday was a great day as well. We stopped by our investigator and she let us in to teach her. The lesson started off a little crazy and unfocused but as we taught we began to answer her questions and she opened up and was a lot more involved in the lesson. It was a really cool lesson and at the end she prayed and the spirit was really strong. That evening we had the Convert fireside, H was there and spoke during the Fireside it was really great. At the end we took a mission picture and then President and Sister Mendenhall spoke to us and it was probably the last time he will be able to speak to the whole mission it was really special.

Well My GOTO scripture this week is Alma 8:10 “Nevertheless Alma labored much in the spirit, wrestling with God in mighty prayer that he would pour out his Spirit upon the people who were in the city; that he would also grant that he might baptize them unto repentance.” I am grateful for Alma's example of laboring diligently and his desire to serve the Lord. I know that as I have done that especially when it is difficult the Lord prepares us to receive tremendous blessings.


June 19, 2017

This week has been a good week. Transfers are this week and Elder Reynolds is leaving and my new companion is Elder Chun. I am going to miss serving with Elder Reynolds. It has been a lot of fun serving with him even though we didn't see a whole lot of fruit. It has just been great to work hard with him and to have a lot of fun while doing it. I haven't served around Elder Chun before so it will be fun to see how it goes. 

 

The highlight of the week was teaching A and two of her kids. We shared the restoration and we also showed the new restoration video as well. It was a really powerful lesson and we could tell they felt the spirit because A gained a belief that Joseph Smith was a prophet. We invited them to be baptized and they accepted the invitation. It was a really exciting experience.

 

The bad news was two days later we were following up on her Book of Mormon reading and she told us she talked to her husband and didn't think it was something for her whole family and they dropped us, that was pretty hard but we will just keep moving forward.

 

We had some really good experiences though. We had a lesson with Am that went really well, and we found a couple new people to teach.

 

My GoTo scripture this week is Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

 

June 26, 2017

This week was a really great week. Hey there is a kid from the ward I am in that is going to the same mission as Josh and he reports the same time as well, so tell Josh to look for Elder Marx. He gave his farewell talk yesterday and it was really good and it was pretty cool that even though I didn't get to hear Josh's I got to hear someone who is going to the same mission.

 

So we had transfers this week and my new companion is Elder Chun. He is from Hawaii and it has been a lot of fun serving around him so far. We had some pretty cool experiences as were working this week. First we stopped by a part member family that we had been trying to get in contact with and we were able to teach them. It was a really powerful lesson and we are excited to continue teaching them. We had a lesson with another family we started teaching but we were only able to teach the father and his daughter's boyfriend, but it was a really powerful lesson. He was really open and he began to apply these things into his life and he accepted a baptismal date. It was a really cool experience as well.

 

We are really excited for this transfer. There is already a lot of great things happening in our ward.

 

My GOTO scripture is Romans 8:31 "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can prevail against us?"

 

July 3, 2017

This week has been a great week. I had a lot of great experiences. Yeah it’s kind of weird that I'm going to be 20 but honestly don't worry about sending anything, I think I'm good for now and it won't be that long till I see y’all anyways. Also I sent Josh an email. Hopefully he gets it. The last couple ones he hasn't responded, but he doesn't have to respond to this one I know he is pretty busy. Our P-day is today. Tomorrow will be normal proselyting and we have to be in at 6pm. You should tell the kids that I said to get out of the house and have fun! Because honestly I don't remember any time spent on the games.

 

So President and Sister Mendenhall left the mission on Thursday and now we have President and Sister Savage. It was a hard change but it is exciting to see how things go. I haven't met President Savage yet but we will on Wednesday. The Mendenhall's had a farewell meeting on Wednesday with our zone and another zone. It was really special. We wanted to do something special so after the closing prayer we all sang the EFY medley - it was really cool. The Mendenhall's shed some tears and were grateful we sang. Something really cool that President said is that the Brethren see Denver as the SLC of the mid-west - Pretty cool.

 

I went on an exchange with Elder Holtry and it was a fun exchange. At the end of the day we knocked on a door and a lady answered and said they were too busy for us, but then her husband came to the door and said he wanted to hear what we had to say, so we were able to teach him. We aren't going to be able to come back till August because they are out of the country but it was a really cool experience. Also on Saturday I did a short exchange with Elder Naio while my companion and his companion went to a baptism from their last area. Elder Naio is from Australia and play rugby for the All- Blacks Junior team which is pretty cool. We had a great time talking to each other and teaching people we met. 

 

Our investigator M is doing really well. We had our second lesson with him this week, and we brought a convert with us who was baptized two years ago. They were a really good fit for each other because the member was able to share his conversion with M. We also learned he really desires to be clean from the guilt he has of his past mistakes and when we taught about the Atonement of Jesus Christ it helped him a lot. He was also at Sacrament meeting yesterday for the first two hours and he really enjoyed it and what was so cool was how the testimonies and lessons were geared toward him. Our other investigator Sh is doing really well. She expressed how she desires to be baptized, but she doesn't know when because she has some concerns with the word of wisdom. We are excited to keep working with her. The only problem is we aren't going to be able to meet with her for the next couple weeks because she is going to be out of town. We also started teaching a 9 year old, her grand-parents are in our ward and she comes to church every other week with her grand-parents and it should be a really promising opportunity.

 

Well my GoTo scripture this week is Alma 37:6  "Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." I have seen how God uses small and simple things to do great things, and I am grateful as well to be an instrument in the hand of the Lord.

 

July 10, 2017

Thanks for sending the package I really appreciate it. It will get put to good use. Well I buzzed my hair a while back - why? I'm not really sure but kind of because some other missionaries did it and one of my good friends Elder Wood really wanted me to do it, so I figured the best time to buzz my hair would be as a missionary. So it got chopped and my plan now is not cut the top at all. That’s exciting to hear about Josh. He probably won't meet the kid from my ward because he went to the Provo MTC because he doesn't have a visa yet.

 

Well this week was probably one of the best weeks that Elder Chun and I have had which is really surprising for how busy we were. Monday was fun. We started off with our Zone P-day it was a lot of fun. We played Mini-Golf and then after wards we played this game called Spikeball. I had never played it before but it was a lot of fun. Tuesday was the Fourth of July. We first went to a ward Breakfast which was really great. After that we went to drop the Spikeball stuff off to the Sisters and as we were about to leave Sister Savage came to take those Sisters to breakfast and then she decided to take us along with her. So we had breakfast with President and Sister Savage and a couple other sets of missionaries. It was really cool to meet both of them, they are both really great. As we left back to our area President Savage told us to look for two miracles that day and in my mind I was a little skeptical because I thought no one would want to listen to us because it was the Fourth of July. Well I changed my attitude and as we went finding that day we decided to try street contacting people and there were a lot of people to talk to, but even better was that there were many people who were listening to us and wanted to hear our message. Most people were in their garage getting ready for the 4th and so we started talking about their plans for the 4th and tied freedom into the restoration and at the end of the day we found three families to start teaching.

 

Wednesday was really cool as well. We had a Zone Tour where President Savage visited our Zone and another Zone. It was a very powerful experience. An Elder had expressed to President he was Struggling and in the meeting President Savage addressed specifically towards him. It was almost like a blessing but he didn't lay his hands on him, he just acted by the Authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood. The Spirit was very strong.

 

We had MLC's on Friday they were really good and I learned a lot at them. Saturday I was on Exchanges with the Assistants. I went with Elder Heiner and it was a really great experience.

We had a really interesting lesson with a couple that used to be Jehovah Witness but now are kind of Baptist. We brought our ward mission leader and they kept on bringing up Anti questions. At the end of the lesson I was straight forward and said some of these questions you are asking are like us trying to teach you calculus without teaching algebra and so they agreed to let us come back and teach the very basic principles. So we will see how it goes. We weren't able to meet with M this week which was a little disappointing but we have kept in contact with him so we will see how this week goes.

 

My GOTO scripture this week is Mosiah 4:30 – “But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.”

 

Hope Yall have a great week

 

July 17, 2017

Well this week was a really great week. We have had some really great things happen this week. First let me start with a miracle this week: it started in a dinner message we shared with a family. We invited them to pray for an opportunity to share the Gospel and to expect a miracle this week with sharing the Gospel. Well the next day it was about 8:45 and we had a little bit of time left so we went to these town homes (same ones where the members live), and I didn't know who we needed to go see, so I said a Prayer to myself asking who we should stop by. Right after we got a text from the members who told us she talked to her neighbor today and the neighbor said missionaries had given her a book of Mormon but never came back. Since we were already there we stopped by and were able to start teaching her. I love this experience because it really just teaches us that the Lord will provide miracles if we trust him to and exercise faith in him.

 

Our Sunday was really crazy yesterday and was packed with excitement. It started with 8am: Quail Valley Ward Coordination, 9am: Sacrament Meeting - we both spoke as well on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, 10am Quail Valley PEC, 11am helped teach a primary class, 12pm we had a lesson with J. It was shorter because we had to make it back to church but it was really cool to start teaching her and her son, 1pm-4pm Quail Valley Ward, 4pm we taught A - she is 9 years old and her Dad is less active but she goes to Church every other week with her Grandparents and she wants to be baptized, 5pm dinner, and 8:30 coordination with Trail Winds Ward mission leader. So yeah it was pretty busy yesterday but probably not as busy as Dad is on Sunday.

 

Anyways it is really cool right now we have a lot of trust in both wards because they see us working and we have been finding a lot of people to teach as well. It was crazy this week. We found a lot of people to teach in the Quail Valley Ward which is usually the more difficult ward to find in but this week it wasn't quite the case. There are a couple really promising people we have to work with which is really exciting. We are still working with M. He isn't ready to be baptized at the end of the month and we had to resolve some concerns of his but we set an expectation of Daily Contact and that seems to really be working.

 

We met some cool people while we were tracting this week. There were two people we met that already believed in the Book of Mormon. One was from the Community of Christ and the other was Bahai (which basically believes in everything so...) Also some guy asked where the Gold Plates were and I asked him where the Ark of the Covenant is and he said they discovered it. I know I am out of the loop of things but I would think I would have heard about that.

 

We also had Zone Conference this week. It was really great. It is crazy to see a lot of the missionaries that came out with me giving their departing testimonies, but it’s also crazy that my next zone conference will be my last.

 

My GOTO scripture this week is 2 Nephi 2:8 – “Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.”

 

July 24, 2017

Well this week was really great. We had some really great things happen. But first last week in the Quail Valley ward we found a lot of new people to teach and this week all of those appointments fell through, but I am kind of used to it now, so we are just going to have to get in touch with everyone and set up a new time. We still had some really great experiences the first was with S. We met with her for the first time in three weeks and we had a great lesson. She wants to set a baptismal date, and is really excited to start reading the Book of Mormon. She really understands what we teach her and she was at Sacrament meeting this week as well, We are really excited for her and it is really cool to see her progressing. Also we had a good lesson with M and we were able to reset his baptismal date although it seems like now we might have to resolve some concerns he has.

 

We saw some really cool experiences finding because it just seemed a lot more difficult finding people this week, but every time it got tough it seemed that there was someone we were supposed to meet. One was last night - we were tracting and towards the end I saw a man sitting outside, we actually had talked to his wife a couple of weeks ago. As we were talking to him they seemed to be really receptive and wanted to meet with us. It was really cool to see how the second time things had changed in their family and they were a lot more willing to meet.

 

We also had interviews with President Savage this week and it was really great. He is a really great mission president.


My GOTO scripture is 2 Corinthians 12:9 – “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

 

I know Christ can make our weaknesses our strengths I have seen that time and time again while on my mission.

 

July 31, 2017

This week was really great. We found out transfers and it is always the same feeling - exciting and sad. I am going to be training a brand new missionary so I am really excited since I haven't had that opportunity yet. I am also going to be a District Leader and I felt a lot more prepared than I was when I was a district leader over a year ago. I am also getting transferred to Boulder and will be sweeping into my area. I am excited to go there and now I will finally be close to the mountains, but I am sad because we are getting swept out of our area. I am going to miss serving in Thornton, also I am going to miss teaching S - she is now on Date for the 25th of August and has been at church the last 2 weeks. We had a great lesson with her and it was great to see her husband at church this week. Also we are continuing to teach M and it is going really well. He invited us to his sons birthday party and we went for 20 minutes and it was awkward at first because everyone was staring at us, but then we told everyone M invited us and it was good. We have seen some really cool miracles this week as we have been teaching this week and it is really cool, it is just really sad to leave this great area. Also I got my tooth fixed, so that is good. It was probably the most painless visit I ever had at the dentist and it only took like 20 minutes total. Well that’s about all I have. A scripture that has been on my mind a lot is "Look unto me in every thought doubt not fear not" I know if we have faith in Christ all will be well.

Love,

Elder Blackham

Monday, June 19, 2017

April - May 2017


April 3, 2017

This week was great! It just felt like a spiritual recharge. To answer some of your questions - I have played the piano on my mission, mainly just for district meetings if no one else can play the piano. It definitely makes me wish I would have practiced more because I am not that great. As far as my teeth I'd say they are pretty good. Well we had transfers this week and it went really smooth which was nice. We have been using the new “Prince of Peace” video which has been great. It is a really powerful message that we have been able to share. This weekend was really busy and we didn't have a whole lot of time to proselyte. On Friday we had Mission Leadership Council. It was really great. President Mendenhall, showed all of the past Easter initiative video's and had us share one word that described when we felt the spirit was very strong and that meeting had a big impact on me. One thing I am trying to do when I talk to people is to imagine what the Savior would do and then follow him. It’s helped me talk to everyone because I know the Savior would talk to everyone. General Conference was also really special it was my last one on my mission and it was a very special conference. I love President Monson’s talk on the Book of Mormon. Some people may not like how short his talks are but I think it makes it even more important to heed his council. He could have spoken on anything and he chose to speak on the Book of Mormon and the anchor it is for our souls. His invitation was simple - read it every day - how long or in what detail he didn't say. Just read it. I also loved Elder Rasband’s talk to not only recognize the spirit but to respond. It is something I am trying to do better to act on promptings I receive. Sunday night was so cool. I just felt such a desire to talk to everyone. We talked to people up on their balconies on the phone it didn't matter I wanted to sound a trumpet that this gospel is restored. Also Saturday night we were leaving the Priesthood Session and I felt we need to stop by B's. My companion felt the same and we did. We committed him to watch General Conference and when we followed up the next day he did. He listened to the Prophet and for the first hour of the Sunday morning session. It was really powerful because I don't think B would have if we didn't heed the Prompting to act. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to share the Gospel. It is so great and a special privilege. My GOTO scripture this week is John 12:26 "If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me him will my father honour." I am trying my best to follow Christ I know as I do he will be with me.

 

April 10, 2017

This week was really awesome. We had a car fast on Tuesday and of course Tuesday was the coldest day this week and we did a lot of finding, it was pretty funny - we were tracting and we met a man who was a member but wasn't on the directory. He wanted us to keep in contact with him but what was funny was that he lived right behind the church. Also we were able to find a couple new people to teach. We taught two Sister's in our ward that are coming back to church and I felt we really needed to emphasize on preparing for the temple and when we invited her to do that she told us she had met with the Relief Society President earlier that day and had talked about a plan to prepare for the temple. It’s pretty cool that we were able to reconfirm that for her. Thursday night we felt prompted to stop by an Investigator but he wasn't home. What was really cool was that someone we had been trying to meet with for the last transfer pulled over next to us and we scheduled to meet with her the next day. Her name is K and when we stopped by the next day she told us she had been called into work earlier but she just ignored it because she wanted to meet with us. We taught her and her two sons the Restoration and invited her and her son who is 9 to be baptized and they accepted a date for May 13th. We are really excited for them, but we definitely have a lot more to teach them. Saturday night we had a really cool lesson we stopped by D’s, she is Christian but is really just searching for truth, and she told us she was on the phone and that after we could talk with her.  While we waited we talked to one of her room mates, M. He believes in Native American beliefs and was telling about the Sweat lodge, and then another room mate came down, C. He believes in all scripture basically Christianity, Hinduism, and probably something else, but at first I was wondering how we were going to teach three different people with three very different beliefs our message. The great things is the Gospel can be related to everything and since their beliefs probably all came from the fullness of the gospel we were able to teach the Plan of Salvation and answer all there question. The funny part was partway through the lesson D grabbed this quartz rock and only the person who held the rock could talk. It was a lesson to remember. Also this week I finished the Book of Mormon for the fourth time. It took me over a year because I had been thoroughly studying it and not to mention I read the Book of Mormon in between for the Book of Mormon challenge. It was kind of like Book of Mormon inception. I know that the Book of Mormon is true it has strengthened me so much and brought me closer to Christ.

 

April 17, 2017

This week has been really great! It’s so cool to hear about all these mission calls. Also I am glad Tyler had a great time at youth conference. I think those experiences had a big impact on my life and helped me a lot in my life. 

This week was great. First off on Saturday, I was able to attend the Baptism of H. I found her when I was in Aurora in the Sable Ward. It is so cool to see the progression in her conversion. I remember knocking on her door and how excited she was to first meet us and this weekend she made the covenant of baptism. I attached a picture.  She said she didn't really want it on social media though. It was a great Baptism. Elder Dale was able to baptize her and hopefully her husband C will follow soon. We had Zone Conference this week and it was a great meeting. I was able to learn a lot and I really desire to have my eye single to the glory of God or in other word to see others as our Heavenly Father see them. We had a great Easter and we were trying to get as many people to sacrament as possible. F and M went to Sacrament Meeting which was really great and also the R family were there (they are recent converts that haven't been to church in a while). We have spent a lot of time finding this week and we were able to share the “Prince of Peace” message with quite a few people as well. We met a man named V and it was really cool because we were in these apartments and I had felt prompted to knock on their door before but no one answered. Well we were walking by their door and I felt we should knock on it again and this time they opened. They are from India and are Hindu but he was really open to reading from the Book of Mormon so that was a neat experience. Also we had a lesson with D, M, and C. It was a crazy lesson. C is the most interested out of everyone I think, so we will see where that goes. Also we have been doing lessons with the members to find people who are ready. It’s just beginning, but over time I think it will really help. Have you been able to invite anyone lately? Just curious…Well my GOTO scripture this week is Alma 34:32 "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors." Have a great week!

 

April 24, 2017

This week has been a great week - some great things are happening in our area. Really quick one thing that they don't tell you to bring is a GPS. It’s pretty useful. I don't know if Josh would be able to use one but most missionaries use them. I have one that I bought from a missionary. Well we did two exchanges this week. The first was with Elder Cluff - he is a really great missionary. We had to drive to the Denver Temple to meet a senior missionary who had packages for us, so that was fun. We had a great time as went about sharing the gospel and had a lot of good conversations, but one of the coolest experiences was when stopped by a member who is getting married or got married to a non-member. We didn't get to meet the non-member but we were able to talk to her about teaching him. On Wednesday I was on exchanges with Elder Hartwig in the Auburn Hills and Newlin Meadows Ward. They are some nice areas with really nice homes. That area had been struggling with finding but we were able to find a new person to teach. His name is M and he is Jewish. He was really nice. We had a cool lesson with a part member family later that night but the nonmember wasn't home. It was still a really good experience because we were able to help the member open up and invite the whole family to read and pray together. The rest of the week we spent a lot of time finding. We were tracting one night and this older man opened the door and said “you tracted into me come on in.” We were a little confused but this man was actually a less active member that had moved in about a week ago. That was pretty cool. We have to move K’s baptismal date back because she wasn't able to make it to church. Anyways this should be a good week My GoTo Scripture is Matthew 26:39.

Love,

Elder Blackham

 

May 3, 2017

Sorry I forgot to tell you are P-day is on Wednesday this week because we had a temple trip today. Well this week was really great and I had a lot of fun. So last Monday we had Zone P-Day we played some pretty fun games, like glow in the dark capture the flag, indoor foosball, and this balloon came where you tied balloons to your ankles and tried to step on other people’s balloons. We went on exchanges with the AP's on Wednesday and had a really good exchange while we were there we tried a prank that Elder LaPerle did to me a week earlier, where he put one of those Easter Egg tablets into the shower head and for the first couple seconds the water looked like Kool-aid. Well it kind of back fired when we tried it on the AP's because it launched the shower head off. I guess it built up to much pressure but we eventually got it working again. We had a great lesson where we really listened to the investigator's comments and where able to teach to her needs. We actually taught some really good lessons that day. We had Interviews with President this week. That was really great - President and Sister Mendenhall are awesome! Friday evening and all day Saturday it snowed, yeah in April it was crazy but we saw some huge miracles from that. We first met M. He just moved from Alabama and his family is moving here soon. He let us teach him and we had a great lesson and he was really willing to search for himself. The second was on Saturday night we hadn't really found anyone to teach and it was almost 8pm. We first met C who let us schedule a time to come back. We were then on the third floor of an apartment building and my feet were wet and freezing and we knock on a door and this lady lets us come in and teach her family. She has two sons and we had a great lesson with them. Her kids were asking tons of questions and they have been looking for a church to go to. We are really excited to start teaching them and helping their family even more. We had a car fast yesterday and even though we had all our appointments fall through it was a really good day and we met a man that just moved from Florida and would like us to come back and teach his family. I have really seen huge blessings this week for being diligent and enduring to the end because that is where the Lord truly blesses us. My GoTo Scripture this week is 3 Nephi 27:13 "Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me." I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ it has brought me so much peace in my life and helped me do things I didn't think I could do.

 

May 8, 2017

So transfers are this week I am leaving Parker and I am going up to Denver North to the Quail Valley and Trail Winds Ward. I have never really been to that part of the mission so it should be a lot of fun. Also I am going to be with Elder Reynolds. He came out with me but I haven't really served around him so this should be great! I am really going to miss Parker though. This is such a great area and I have meet some incredible members. This area is great and hopefully it will continue. We have had some pretty awesome experiences. We had a lesson with our investigator C. We were able to teach her sons as well and we had a great lesson, they had a lot of questions that we answered and we are going to be able to continue teaching them. Also we had this crazy experience where we were in an apartment complex and some lady told us to not be surprised if people were rude. Well we knocked 5 doors in a row and they all opened said we aren’t interested and then closed the door. Well we kept knocking and we meet A and we are going to be able to start teaching her and her family. Also last Tuesday night as we were finishing up the night we talked really shortly with this young couple and they told us to stop by. Well when we stopped by they let us in and we were able to teach them. It was a really cool lesson and we are going to be able to continue teaching them. My GOTO scripture this week is Moroni 7:33 "And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me." I am grateful for the opportunity I have to serve, I need to use the time I have now to the fullest.

 

May 15, 2017
I really enjoyed talking with everyone last night. Everyone seemed to be doing great and I was excited to here that Josh has done a lot of preparations for his mission. Could you really encourage him to go out with the missionaries? I never did that and I wish I had, also another thing that would help him would be to give a copy of the Book of Mormon to a friend. I'll always remember one of the missionaries back home who said the one thing he regrets was not giving his friend a Book of Mormon. That really helped motivate me to give a Book of Mormon to Paul.

Anyways this week was a great week, it was bittersweet to leave Stonegate - I really loved that area. Tuesday before I left was really great. We first drove Elder Fry to the mission home - he just finished his mission. I was able to stop by a couple families before we left and that night we had a great lesson with the B Family. We were able to begin teaching them the Plan of Salvation and it was a really great. Also that night before we were heading home I got to talk to C and F and say good bye to them. Transfers went really well, I am excited to be serving with Elder Reynolds, I have learned a lot from him already. We are really excited for this transfer and to make the most of it. We had some really solid lessons this week one with M. She was really open to our message and wanting to learn,
and she was going to be at sacrament meeting this Sunday but she wasn't able to leave work. The other was with D. He has been reading from the Book of Mormon a lot and we were able to help him begin to recognize the spirit and help strengthen his testimony. We had a Leadership meeting on Friday and I was able to take away a lot. Two things I am trying to focus on are: Accounting to God in my Prayers and also finding ways to express my love for Christ. My GOTO scripture this week is Alma 5:26 "And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so
now?" I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be serving here on my mission


May 22, 2017
Hey Dad I heard you were called in the Stake Presidency. How did you feel when you received that call? I know you have been called by revelation and because that is so, I know you will be supported and Strengthened in your calling. I love this quote by Elder Maxwell "God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only about our availability, and if we then prove our dependability, he will increase our capability!" This week has been a really great week. It has been really great working here in the Thornton area. Elder Reynolds and I have really been working hard. We have been doing a lot of tracting and talking with everyone we see and we have seen blessings from that. We have a couple investigators that we are working with consistently. First we met with M this week and we were able to bring a member from our ward to that lesson. The spirit was really strong and we focused on how we can receive an answer that the Book of Mormon is true. We also met with D he has been reading the Book of Mormon and that has helped him a lot and he is praying to know if he should be baptized. We had some really cool experiences while we were finding this week. On Tuesday I was on splits with another Elder because Elder Reynolds and another Elder went to a leadership meeting. While they went to the meeting we were finding and the first person we met was a lady from Pueblo who was living with family here and she had been dealing with some trials. We were able share part of the plan of salvation with her and we are going to start teaching her. Also it was crazy at the end of the week it was snowing and we met a member that was living with her daughter's family who weren't members. We stopped by the next day and taught the grandson, it was a great opportunity and I am grateful we had the chance to teach him. The other really cool experience we had was with K. We had been tracting all day and we met him. He had met with missionaries in the past and had been to church before and we are excited to start teaching his family. My GOTO scripture this week is Mosiah 28:3 "Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble." I am grateful to be able to share the Gospel and for the time I have left to continue to do that


May 30, 2017
I appreciate your letters, it is really cool to here that Josh went through the temple and that he is going to be a temple worker. This week was a really good week. We had Zone Conference this week and so that took up a lot of time. We spent quite a bit of time getting ready for a training that Elder Reynolds and I had to give at Zone Conference. We trained on teaching with your companion in unity and something I took away is sometimes I think for things to be fair or equal within a companionship it has to be I do 50% and you do 50% and that equals a 100%, but that’s not the right way. It works best when I give 100% and you give 100%. We also had to drive all the way down to the south side of the mission to help with car inspections so that took up a lot of time. Zone Conference was really great. It was President and Sister Mendenhall's last Zone Conference so it was pretty special. The theme was Strive. Some things I took away were that my mission is a turning point in my life and that I never need to turn
back and if I do my best now that will prepare me for the future. Also I learned to use Teaching in the Savior's Way - it is a really cool manual and I had never really read it before, it is a great tool to help me evaluate myself as a teacher. So during the beginning of the week we didn't get to as much proselyting as we would have liked and it made it even harder when D and also M dropped us. But we pressed forward and continued finding and we had some really cool experiences. We felt we needed to rely more on the Lord and so we set some goals to pray more as a companionship. As we did that we found a lot of people that were willing to let us come back and share more of our message with them. One specifically was G. I saw his family outside while we were on the phone and I felt we should go talk to them, so we went and knocked on their door. We began to talk with G and teach him the restoration and he had never heard these things before. So as we taught him he was willing to search for himself and meet with us again. My GOTO scripture this week is Matthew 4:20 "And they straightway left their nets, and followed him" I am grateful for the opportunity I have to serve the Lord. Yes I am asked to give much up but as the Apostles left their nets I have left mine and will continue in service to Christ.
Love,
Elder Blackham

 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Feb-March 2017


Feb. 6, 2017

Hello,
So that was Paul (Alex sent a picture via text on his pday) -  he  is a member in the Auburn Hills Ward and we were at his house getting haircuts from Oz, who also lives at Paul's. Oz is working on getting re-baptized and he will be going to our ward. So yeah Oz gives really good haircuts. Oka,y Popcorn prayer is like popcorn reading where you start praying and in the middle of the prayer you say "Popcorn Elder Blackham" and then I would start praying. It was kind of awkward and I tried to end the prayer, but instead B said to popcorn it to Elder Barker so I did. For the schedule change our planning at night got moved to the morning so we can go to bed any time from 9:30 to 10:30pm and from 6:30 to 10:00am we exercise, get ready, prepare for the day, have personal study and plan. Companion study is done during the day, and lunch is cut from an hour to 30 minute. On P-Day, we get ready, plan and have 30 minutes of personal study from 6:30 to 8:00am and P-day is extended 2 hours from 8:00 to 6:00pm. The only Key indicators we track are Baptisms and Confirmations, Investigators at Sacrament, Investigators on Baptismal Date and New Investigators.

So it has been a great week we had some really cool things happen this week. Wednesday night we had to park the cars and it was about 8:30 and we were tracting in these town homes and someone called the Cops on us. So a cop pulled up and got out and walked up to us and asked us who we were with. We told him we were from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and he told us we were good. We decided to start walking back to our home when another cop pulled up next to us. He was actually a member and he offered us a ride home so we got to ride in the back of a cop car. It was pretty cool. We had a really great lesson with M. It was his birthday on Tuesday so we gave him a vocal point cd when we saw him on Thursday. We had our lesson with him in a member’s home and it was so cool how big of a difference it made. We also had a great experience on Saturday. We were walking around an apartment complex and we saw a lady looking at a desk that she was trying to move. We offered to help and after we had done that we told her our purpose as missionaries and she told us she hadn't been to church in a while and she knew her sons really needed it so we have an appointment with them today so we will see how it goes. I am pretty excited for it. Sunday was as exciting as last year with the super bowl so it was pretty normal. We decided to go to an area where there are a lot of Indian people, figuring we would have a better time with people not as integrated into American culture. I am staying in Stonegate this transfer and I am going to be with Elder LaPerle.  I served around him when I was in Sable so things should go well. I am pretty excited for this transfer.


February 13, 2017

This has been a really great week, and pretty crazy. On Monday we were finally able to meet with a less active member, D. She has been going through a rough time. So it was good we were able to finally talk to her - we had been trying this whole transfer. Tuesday was another car fast and that was fun. We had a lesson with B which was really good, she is from Ghana and she has three boys. We have been teaching the restoration with them and we were able to teach them on Saturday as well, but the coolest thing was that they came to church on Sunday! They made it to about halfway through church but it was really great to have them there. We also had a great experience with M. We had a lesson on Tuesday that went really well. He is making so much progress and after that lesson we had a cool experience. Brother Poelman's brother in-law is in a different ward in the stake and invited M to speak to the youth about his experience with meeting with the missionaries. It was really cool because he had a great opportunity to share the blessings he has seen in his life. Transfers were pretty crazy. We had 3 sweeps in the zone. We had to move some beds to a member’s home where the sisters were going to be
staying and we had a set of Elders in our apartment because the Sisters got locked out of their home while the members they lived with were out of town, so they stayed in the Elders apartment. Not to mention our apartment has been a wreck this whole week. Elder LaPerle is really great. He is from Seattle, Washington and has been out almost a year. We were able to meet with D and two of her daughters and that went pretty good. It’s kind of funny - we have been working with 3 families with single mother and 3 kids each. Friday we had a meeting up in Broomfield and we had to take a box spring and 5 mattresses up to the mission office. The first way we put them in the truck didn't quite work so we had to pull off the I-25 and readjust them. Dad, don't laugh at the way I first put them in. I didn't realize how much the wind would catch them. This week my GoTo scripture is Moroni 9:25 “My
son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever.”  We have got a lot to work with this week and it is pretty exciting. Also there is an Elder in our Zone from the Philippines, Bhutan City.


Feb. 20, 2017

Hello! This week was really good. I got your package y’all sent. Valentine’s Day was good - we had dinner at Bishop's and we had these heart shape pizzas from Papa Murphey's. Also we finished our 63 day challenge to
read the Book of Mormon. I made a comeback and I finished even though I was in Ether on Tuesday. It was a really good experience reading from the Book of Mormon and then we had our Zone Conference on
Wednesday. It was themed “Look to the Book Look to the Lord.” There was a lot of good training given and it really helped me realize how the Book of Mormon relates so well to all of us. Also we won the clean car award! I never thought we would win it but we did. It’s not that big of a deal. When we judged the North side of the mission and their cars, there was no real format to winning; we just kind of picked someone to win. Thursday we judged cars but we had to drive all the way from Parker to Brighton which is an hour long drive. Later that day was really good. We were able talk to a lot of people and we met this Methodist Pastor who was interested in talking with us. He was really nice. After a guy who I think was a Born Again Christian came up to us and started talking and we talked and talked and it wasn't really going anywhere, but it was frustrating and so after a while we ended it. I still need to work on not getting caught up in those kinds of conversations and really searching for those who are ready and not as much those who want to argue. We are still working with M. He has a calling as a an assistant in the varsity scouts the 14-15, which is exciting, but we are going to have a lesson with him tonight so we will see where it goes. Saturday we had a great day - we found some really neat people. One family we met was from India and they are Hindu. What was really cool was how excited they were to learn about Christianity and to let us come by again. Right now we just have to get more consistency going because we are able to meet with people but not on a regular basis which makes it pretty hard for them to progress. But good things are happening. Yesterday we went to the Broncos training center since it is in our ward. The trophy room was closed which was a bummer but we were able to see a part of the facility.

 

Feb. 27, 2017

Hello, so this week went really well. Um I kind of know who Sister Smithson is but I didn't ever serve around her. Anyways… things have been great down here in Parker. Tuesday was great - we had a really good lesson with M. We had it in Brother Poelman's home and it went really wel. We really emphasized the Doctrine of Christ and helped M see that he needs to prepare for baptism. He is overcoming some of the concerns he has and I really think he will be on date pretty soon. Thursday I was on exchanges with Elder Palmer in the Newlin Meadows and Auburn Hills Wards. They are pretty small wards with a lot of newer homes but we had a great day. It was snowing most of the day but we were out and about talking to people. That night we were out knocking on some homes and we saw a car go around the corner and then a couple seconds later we heard a huge BOOM! So we went around the corner and there was a car wreck. A couple of neighbors came to help but one of the drivers was
drunk. We waited till the ambulance and everyone came and they told us we could leave. Thankfully no one was severely hurt but that was really crazy. On Friday we met a lady from Nigeria and her grandson. We had actually been trying to get in contact with her daughter but she wasn't home. The Grandmother asked what church we were from and I told her and showed her a Book of Mormon and then she told us she wanted to study with us. It was pretty cool. Saturday was great - we had a lesson with A, rewind to last Sunday, we were with Brother Poelman and we stopped by the R family who are recent converts but haven't been to church for a while, and A answered the door and Brother Poelman asked her if she wanted to still take the lessons and she said yes. A is the oldest daughter but she wasn't baptized with the rest of the family but we had a great lesson with her and hopefully this will get their family back to church. We also had Stake Conference this weekend and there were some really good talks. I think I realized I need to be more grateful for what God has blessed me with because I sometimes forget. Yesterday we had some great lessons. One was with B. We finished teaching the Plan of Salvation and the other lesson was with a family from India. We actually meet a lot of people from India and in this one apartment complex there are a lot of Indian families. This was the family that last week they just let us right in. Yesterday we taught the restoration and it was really powerful. They are Hindu but they have so many similar beliefs and as we were teaching the spirit was really strong. At the end the Father offered a kneeling prayer and it was really powerful to see him take that act of faith. Well I am pretty excited for this week the only thing is we are losing our whole Saturday because we will be on exchanges in Westminster with the AP's, but it will be good. We got Oz cuts this morning you probably got the pictures from Paul. They are pretty fresh! Well my GOTO scripture this week is D&C 6:36 "Look unto me in every thought doubt not, fear not." Some of my goals this week are to update the area book every day, to have more spiritual dinner conversations with members, and have no wasted time because with the new schedule there is no excuse to have wasted time so if you want tosee how I am doing with that next week that would be great!


March 6, 2017

Hey! That is so exciting. (Josh got his mission call to the Dominican Republic) How excited was Josh? Was the whole fam around?  I am really excited for Josh. Well this was a great week for us. M is on Baptismal Date for March 25th. I am really excited for him. We had a great lesson with him. It was in Brother Almeida's home and we went through parts of the Plan of Salvation and really outlined progression and then we extended the invitation to M. We are going to try to be there for M to help him reach this date. One thing I have learned this week is the importance of being bold and direct. We have had some lessons where we had to be bold. Sometimes I think I sugar coat things too much when really being direct is the key. It’s important to do it with love, and the Spirit though. We have been
really working on talking to everyone this week and we have done a really good job.  One thing I learned from the Assistants is to eat the AwkoTaco, which really just means don't let awkward situations become an excuse to not talk to someone. One way I did that was when I was on exchanges with Elder Gray there was a lady sitting in her car and so I said hi and walked up to her window and began teaching her. it was pretty cool. I normally would use that as an excuse but now it’s not. So yeah, I was on exchanges with Elder Gray - he is one of the AP's now. It was really fun. He has been such a great example for me and we had a great time sharing the gospel. Things have been great for us. I have been studying diligence this week. I am trying to find ways for me to be more consistent, and not let my diligence be effected by others, and to keep my focus on the work. I have been finding a lot of answers
in the scriptures. My GOTO scripture this week is Alma 36:25 "Yea, and now behold, O my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors." I feel that I need to seek more joy in my labors, and as I do that I will be more diligent.


March 13, 2017

This week has been really great, a lot of exciting things have been happening. Monday we had a really fun Zone P-Day. We bowled using water bottles as pins and mini basketballs, and we played this fun game called gaga ball. What you do is you set up 6 tables on their sides so they make a hexagon and that is the arena. Then you hit the ball with your hands. The goal is to not have the ball hit you from your waist down. It’s really fun. On Tuesday I was on exchanges with Elder Labastida. He is from the Philippines- from Bhutan City. He is still working on his English and he can teach well but he doesn’t' talk a lot. It was a lot of fun helping him and talking to him. We had some cool experiences meeting with people. We talked to one lady and at first she didn't seem very interested but she told us how she didn't think God was always there because she had lost family members. Well as we taught parts of the plan of salvation she really wanted to hear how we could answer the questions she has. We were out talking to a lot of people that day. Later that evening we had a lesson with M. It was a roller coaster lesson, he wasn't in the best mood and a high council member and a member of the elder's quorum presidency stopped by Brother Poelman's to join in the lesson. M felt a little uncomfortable but he is still on date and he felt bad after the lesson about how it went. One night we were out tracting and it was around 8, 8:30 and this guy tried to scare us and started cussing at us. Doesn't happen too often but honestly I am kind of used to it. On Saturday, we were in this apartment complex and this lady was looking in a tree. We started talking to her and she was watching this hawk in the tree. Well the hawk flew out of the tree and this dead bird fell from the tree - it was nature at its finest. We continued talking to this lady and she was interested in learning more - pretty cool. We met with B this week and had a really good lesson. We helped him recognize he needs to read from the Book of Mormon more to receive an
answer. Also we had a zone leader meeting at the Grant Building last night - it was great. My GOTO scripture this week is Alma 36:6 "Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." I have been trying to have smaller goals so I can achieve more. Have fun in Disney World


March 20, 2017
All that was in the tube was the picture, I got it back in Peoria. It was made by a member in the ward and I thought it was pretty cool, I have been carrying it around for a while and so I decided I should just ship it home because they are limiting how much we can transfer with. I am glad to hear y’all had a good time at Disney World, I don't
know how you can stand in those lines. I don't think I could just stand around for that long. Anyways this was a good week for me. A couple crazy things have happened. So M isn't on Date any more. He is struggling with the Word of Wisdom and really needs to take care of that before he gets baptized. He is still coming to church and is
progressing in a lot of ways but we might give him some time before we pick him back up. We also had Interviews with President Mendenhall this week. President Mendenhall is the best. This week we were doing a lot of finding. The weather has been great and with daylight savings we have been able to do a lot more street contacting. We have had a lot of good conversations with people and we have found a couple new people to be working with. One cool experience I had was we were meeting a woman from India and she was Hindu. I was teaching about Prophets and dispensations and she didn't really understand.  I asked her if there was something similar in her religion and she explained it to us and it allowed for us to reteach it to her understanding. It shows how the Spirit teaches to the understanding of the individual and to their knowledge. My GOTO scripture is Matthew 6:34 "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the Day is the evil there of." I need to focus more on the tasks that are at hand and what I can do today. Also B and V M were investigators. I taught with Elder Bake in Greenwood Village and we took them to the Fort Collins Temple
open house. Well they got baptized this weekend, I wasn't there but it was a really great service and it is great to see them make that step in their lives.

 

March 27, 2017

This week has been a really great week. We had some pretty incredible experiences this week. Transfers are this week and Elder LaPerle and I are staying in Stonegate, I am really looking forward to this transfer. We have some great things going. We came up with a cool nickname for our companionship we are "the BlackPerle" pretty cool right? So, we met with the B's this week - they are a part member family. The mom is a convert and her 10 year old son hasn't been baptized. We had a great lesson with them and we really emphasized how the gospel can bless their family. One really cool experience we had was on Thursday we were in the Grandview Estates tracting. These homes are on a lot of land probably similar to our home. We were close to the end of the street and we get to this home that has an open gate at the drive way with a no trespassing sign. We were debating whether to go knock on the door but we decided to knock it. Well, as we head up the driveway their dogs started barking at us and before we got to the door a man comes out. He was so nice, he kind of looked like Blake Shelton and we began talking to him. One of his dogs face was a mess because it had been digging with its face, but anyways… we began talking with him and he was really open for us to come by and it will be really exciting to start teaching his family. Also we met with C this week it was a really great lesson. We taught the plan of salvation and we were able to answer a lot of questions for her. At first I wasn't sure how it was going to go, because she was like are y’all Jehovah's and we explained that we were Mormon's and she just sat back in her chair and was like do y’all live there and we were like what? She thought we were Amish. It was pretty funny. At the end she offered a prayer and it had been a while since she has last prayed. Also Sunday morning I was asked to fill in and give a ten minute talk in sacrament meeting, so I gave a talk on personal revelation. Luckily I had my personal study to prepare. Well My GOTO scripture is Alma 34:27 "Yeah and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare and also for the welfare of those who are around you." I am trying to work on having a prayer in my heart more often.

Love, Elder Blackham

 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Jan 2017


Jan. 9, 2017
I am doing really well and I really like it here in Parker. It is definitely different but it is a good different. It has been pretty cold and snowy last week but now it is finally warming up. Our apartment is pretty nice. It’s probably the nicest one I have been in on my mission.

This week went really well. We have spent a lot of time finding and searching for those who are ready to hear our message and we have had a great time doing it. A couple cool experiences we had while finding - On Tuesday we had our mission car fast. We re-established contact with someone that had met with the missionaries a month ago, but in the afternoon we were not having any luck as we were talking to people until about 5:00pm. Then we met P. He was really nice and had just moved from Missouri and was willing to let us continue teaching him. It was really cool how after a couple hours we were placed on someone's path. On Friday night it was pretty cold outside and we were walking by some people in an apartment complex. We saw a lady outside and she was getting some fresh air. As we started talking with her she told us it had been a rough couple months with some friends and family passing away and so we began to teach the Plan of Salvation. As we shared what she needed to hear she opened up and was really willing to let us come by again.

On Saturday I was able to travel back to Aurora and perform the baptism for E. It was a very special experience. She first met with missionaries back around 2002ish and was supposed to get baptized but never did. She was found about 6 months ago and actually I had been to her home once when I was on exchanges in Sable but we taught someone else that was living there at the time. Well anyways she has really shown a desire to come to church and to follow the commandments and it was very special.

I am really excited for this week - it should be great. We will be doing a lot of finding and following up with people we have met. I want to share my testimony of the Atonement. It can change our lives and it was truly performed out of love. Christ stood in our place perfectly and all he asks of us is to follow him. Christ has already paid the price and now I must use this gift he has given me to the fullest.


Jan. 16, 2017

This week has gone really well. We had a couple days where at the end of the day I was in Heaven because it was just a great day.  I just love those nights when I am able to finish strong in sharing the Gospel. We are finding, but it has been hard to get some consistency going. We have had a lot of canceled appointments but we found some really solid people this week. M is getting there - he was at church this week and we asked him to pray about a date. I learned a lot from the Zone Meetings I went to this week. I am trying to make sure my motive is following Christ and gaining Charity. One way I have done this came from a Zone Meeting I went to while I was on exchanges with the Assistants. One missionary shared Missionary Work and the Atonement and in it Elder Eyring talks about his rallying cry "Remember Him!" Whenever I sense my motive is fading I say that to myself and it has really helped me.  I really enjoy the Stonegate Ward. It has helped me realize the importance of members. I feel that I haven't utilized seeking member referrals as much in my mission even though many of the people that I have taught and that have progressed towards baptism were referrals themselves. I am trying to find a way to go about working with members so that I can implement that into the work. Sorry it is a short letter I will try to include more details next week. I love ya'll.

 

Jan 23, 2017
This week so far has been great. Things are really picking up here in the Stonegate Ward. Tuesday we started off emailing and we got groceries because Elder Salmon was sick on Monday so we didn't get out. Also we spent a little bit of time finding in the neighborhood.  It’s a little hard in the neighborhood because people are pretty content but we have to share the Gospel with everyone. We had a lesson with M and he is trying to make changes in his life so he can be baptized. It may take some time but it is great to see his efforts and when he was at church yesterday he really seemed engaged and he is doing a lot better. We also met a man named R. He was nice and we talked to him for some time but he is going to be moving soon. Wednesday we had Zone Conference. It was really cool. A couple things I took away from it: I need to trust the thoughts and feelings I have when I feel the spirit, I need to be more optimistic by finding Joy in things, and I need to apply the things I learn. Also there is going to be a missionary broadcast this week and I am really excited for it! We met with D. He is really cool. He is searching for truth in his life and he is really open to seeking it through the Book of Mormon. Thursday I was on exchanges in the Grandview Ward with Elder Barker. They live with a member and they have a bench press! It didn't have a whole lot of weight maybe 60lbs but still it was cool to bench. Anyways we had some cool experiences - we stopped by someone and I heard someone in the door behind us so I knocked on the door and a Pastor opened it. I think he was Presbyterian but he was really interested - he didn't try to argue at all. We met some other pretty cool people. We were knocking on these townhomes and a lady told us to go knock on a certain home but we weren't sure if it was the right house but a lady answers the door and told us they were having dinner. We asked to come back and her husband said to come by Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. Then he came to talk to us and he told us he used to be a member of the Church but fell away because of drugs and now is finding Christ. It was a cool experience. Also we meet with a guy named B. It was pretty cool - we taught him the restoration but before we started the lesson he wanted for us to do a popcorn prayer. It was kind of awkward but we just went with it. Friday night we stopped by J and N we had a great lesson. They are Jacobite’s but they have been going to a catholic church because it is the closest church to them. N told us she didn’t feel any satisfaction from the churches she was going to but they are really open to learning and coming to church. Saturday we met with the Ch family it was a quick lesson but I feel there is a lot of potential with their family. We also met H. He let us into his apartment and we were able to teach him the Restoration. Sunday was great we had 3 people we are working with at Church and it was a really great sacrament meeting. I am looking forward to this week. Stonegate is such a great ward. Our ward mission leader is awesome. Hope yall have a great week.



Feb 1, 2017

So I have made the decision to stay out till September 13. I feel like that will be the best for me which means I’ve got to start figuring out what I am going to do with my time. This has been a good week. I love the quote in Preach My Gospel about Diligence and how Work is the Key to missionary work, and it’s that simple. This week some cool things have been going on. We taught a less active family whose son is turning eight and wants to be baptized. The cool thing was the mother grew up in Spring and went to Klein High School which is pretty cool. We are still working with M. He is a really great guy and he wants to serve in the Church. He just needs to change some things in his life so he can be baptized. We had the Broadcast this week, President Mendenhall actually prepared us for the schedule change so it wasn't a huge shock for us but it has been pretty exciting to make the change.  I just love that I am able to journal every night because it was a lot harder before because I would get pretty busy at night. Also the morning schedule is nice - there is a little bit more flexibility in it. The change I didn't know was coming was in the Key Indicators and honestly that has made a big difference because I am not as focused on teaching lessons but more focused on helping people change and  repent. The weather has been a little crazy. It is really weird because it can get really windy during the day which makes it freezing outside and then at night the wind stops and it seems warmer at night than at times in the day. We had a cool experience - we had a lesson that a member was supposed to come to us with. Well the lesson fell through and the member decided to come with us as we dropped by some people. We were really blessed we met a guy named J who is living with a person we have been trying to get in contact with. We had a really great conversation with him he is Christian but he has some really great beliefs that line up with ours. He was talking about repentance and how it is more than asking for forgiveness, but changing ourselves, and about how sin is separation between us and God. He is a really cool guy. The next night we had a similar situation where our appointment fell through and the member that came out with us stopped by a couple people. We stopped by A and it was cool - A is Hindu and as we were teaching the Restoration. Our Brother Samson talked about how he was a convert and how he used to be Buddhist and it was really cool how he was able to connect in a way we couldn't. We also have been working with the C family and it was cool because we weren't sure if the Mom had been letting us come by just because her mom was in town (her mom is a member), but we really felt she wants to meet with us for her family. Her husband was pretty sick and so we offered to give him a blessing and he let us. The spirit was really strong and I think we are making some great progress with them. We met with B this week as well. He is progressing slowly so we just have to be patient with him. He really wants to strengthen his relationship with Christ. We talked to D again - we had met him a couple weeks ago and as we were teaching he started asking why his church didn't have a prophet? Then he asked one of my favorite questions - what happens to some group of people living South America in some tribe that has never heard of Christ before? He is really cool and really desires to find answers to his questions. On Monday I finally met the R Family - they are recent converts and were baptized when Elder Krulish was serving in Stonegate. We had a really good lesson and I think they realized they need to get back to Church. It’s been hard because their family has been going through some hard times. We had a cool experience last night it was about 8:45ish and we were about to head home but I decided we should knock one more door. It was pretty cool we met J. He was really nice and willing to learn more, but the crazy thing is we probably wouldn't have met him if we hadn't knocked his door that night because he is about to be traveling a lot soon. Well this morning we had our temple trip. It was really great. I love the spirit that is felt in the temple. Afterward we had French toast at Kneader's - it was good. Well hope y’all have a great week.
Love,
Elder Blackham