Aug. 7, 2017
This week has been pretty great. I did the endorsement thing online so that should be good and I will have a departing interview with President Savage this transfer so I should be able to do the interview then. A lot has happened this week. It was pretty tough leaving Thornton but we set it up for the next Elders to do some great things. We had a really great lesson with Sister S on Tuesday. We were able to plan every lesson that needed to happen before her baptism and it is just so cool to see how much she has progressed in the Gospel. They were definitely sad to see us both leave but I thought about it even though we are leaving there are three people who will always be there: Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. What was cool was after our lesson with them we were able to have dinner with them. Brother S cooked us Rib eye - it was so good! We were also able to say bye to M and I am definitely going to miss teaching his family. Wednesday was a really long day. We did transfers but I didn't have to be at the mission office until 2pm so when we got there we waited almost 2 hours till I met my Trainee. His name is Elder Leonard and he is from Surprise, Arizona. He is 18 and left straight from High School and is super excited to be here. We got to our place at 5:30 and then had dinner with our bishop. Then we went tracting and it was a lot of fun especially since it was Elder Leonard's first time. Our area is a Giant area. We cover two wards - Louisville and Boulder wards. Those wards combined cover all of Boulder, Superior, and Louisville which is a lot of people. Boulder has the University of Colorado in it and so it is pretty much a college town. People are a little bit more liberal here, but we have the mountains in our area. They are not quite as close as in Provo but I think they are bigger so it’s pretty beautiful. I just have to make sure I don't get distracted looking at them while I am driving.
A couple of really cool experiences this week - Friday night we were tracting and no one was answering their door and we get to the third floor and we here a couple arguing in their apartment. Well we knock on their door and the man answers and asks us what we thought about Joseph Smith, Elder Leonard immediately replied he is a prophet of God, and the man said no he's not and shut the door. Well we turn around and knock the door behind it and we here the wife say that that was rude and then she comes out and apologizes for her husband and then we begin teaching her. Elder Leonard gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and she accepted it. Then the husband comes out and apologizes but he still doesn't want to talk to us and he tries arguing with us and goes back inside, but the wife was really interested and wants us to meet, which is really great.
On Sunday a young man who is leaving on his mission gave his farewell talk. Later that day we found out his Grandmother, who is not a member, but has been coming to church for over 25 years wants him to baptize her and so they had an interview for her and she is getting baptized today! It is a pretty amazing miracle!
My GoTo Scripture this week is Moses 1:39 “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” One thing I have learned is that this is God's work and God's glory not Elder Blackham's and that the key aspect to conversion is not the missionary but our Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ
Aug. 17, 2017
This week has been great. We have seen some huge miracles. But first we have had some crazy weather here in Boulder. It has rained quite a bit, usually short showers, and it has been pretty cool outside; it definitely doesn't feel like August, so that's nice. As for writing my companions parents - I thought about it when I found out I was training. Then at a trainers meeting President Savage asked us to do it, so I did. It has kind of been a mental battle the past couple of days with not trying to think about going home because it really does get distracting. I know it is something exciting, but honestly I am trying to finish strong. It started Friday when I did My Plan which is the Churches program for Missionaries in their last transfer, where we take an hour a week planning and setting goals for when we finish our mission. Then as we are leaving the library we saw Jessica and her kids, which was exciting, but seeing people you know always throws you off. Then on Sunday there was a missionary homecoming talk which was really good but it got my mind going again. Anyway… I guess all I am trying to say is that it is tough to maintain the same focus during your last transfer, but I am going to keep working hard.
So this week was definitely filled with Miracles. We had the Baptism for Y on Monday and it was a really powerful experience. Even though we didn't really do anything directly, it was really cool to see this great event for her family. There were quite a few missionaries that new her because they lived with her family so that was really cool. On Tuesday we had a training meeting which was really great to see all of the new missionaries and their trainers. It took most of the day. Wednesday we had some really great lessons. One in particular that I thought was really great was while we were teaching R (he has been taught by missionaries for a while) we were teaching him the restoration, but as we taught him we really focused on his needs and the things that he was dealing with. We asked some really powerful questions, but at the end of the lesson he told us he really appreciated the lesson and that he had never heard it before, which I thought was interesting, because we just taught the first lesson and I am sure he has heard it many times. Friday was great! We were able to really start finding some new people to teach and we met some really cool people. Sunday we had a really cool experience with the lady we had meet last week and her husband didn't want us coming back. Well we stopped by and K told us she had talked to her husband and was fine with us coming by. It was really powerful to see how the Lord prepared her to hear are message and we are excited to continue teaching her. Yesterday I was on exchanges. I was with Elder Braegger from Corin, Utah. We had a really great exchange and we had a really busy day filled with a lot of teaching appointments and we managed find two new people to teach as we talked to people along the way. Today we went to the Temple. It was a really great Experience and I think it is my last time on my mission to go to the Denver temple and I learned some really important truths. A scripture that has had a lot of meaning to me lately is Mosiah 2:17 because when we are serving our brothers and sister by sharing the Gospel we are really helping our Heavenly Father. I am grateful for the time I have to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ it has helped change my life.
Aug. 21, 2017
I emailed on Wednesday because we had a temple trip on Wednesday. Henry Scott Savage is my mission president. Facebook doesn't recognize that Savage is a last name because it is a pretty slang word these days. Anyways this week was great. We definitely had some great experiences this week. We started teaching a lesson with a guy that is a youth pastor at the CU campus. Our lesson was pretty good with him and one thing I noticed was that when we taught from the lessons it was very powerful, but when we got off track as we answered different questions he had, the lesson wasn't as powerful and the spirit wasn't as strong. Friday we had a really busy day. We had to help clean out the Institute building in CU and then we had a baptismal interview for the Spanish Elders. It was for a mother and her eight year old daughter. The mother was really ready and it was really great to meet her, but it was hard when I interviewed the daughter because I really wanted her to be baptized, but as we started I felt she didn't have a very good understanding of what was being taught and I wanted her to have some understanding of the covenants she was making and so she didn't pass. Part of it was that the mom was progressing really fast and it was hard for her daughter to stay on track. We also had a lesson with T this week and it went really well. She has been coming to church for a while and we are really excited to help her progress even more. On Saturday we had a cool experience - we helped a lady carry her groceries and we found out her husband was raised in the church but no longer went to church. We are going to start teaching their family which is exciting. Sunday we had a non-member at church that we introduced ourselves to and we are going to start teaching him pretty soon. And today we had a mission P-day. It was pretty cool! We all had “eclipse” glasses, but since it wasn't a full eclipse it wasn't as cool. The rest of the time was sweet though we did a lot fun games. My Go To Scripture this week is Moroni 10:32 "Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him" That truly is the invitation we all have to accept in our lives, and the Gospel really does bring us closer to Christ.
August 28, 2017
Sounds like it’s pretty crazy in Texas, I would definitely love to help when I get home and I think that would be great for me after I get home. This week has been pretty great. We had some really cool experiences with finding new people and this week has definitely been our best week finding people. On Wednesday I was on exchanges with the Spanish Elders and it was a lot of fun. They live in Boulder Canyon with a member which is pretty cool so we got to do a short hike in the morning. I'll try to send the video I took. I wrote down a couple things to say in Spanish. I didn't really use this one but it is pretty good – “Yo se que lo que mi companero dijo es verdadero.” You can use it any time your companion hands the lesson off to you. So we were teaching this lady in Spanish and I had no clue what was going on and honestly was having a hard time staying awake until Elder Day had me read a couple passages from the pamphlet where I completely botched the Spanish in it. At the end of the lesson the lady didn't want to say the prayer so Elder Day asked me and I was like yeah no problem I will just say it in English, but he had me say it in Spanish and so my prayer was something like “gracias por la familia y gracias por jesu christo y bless (I can’t remember what that word is in Spanish I actually asked how to say it in my prayer) la familia. Anyway… the key point is I said a prayer in Spanish!
We had Zone Conference on Thursday and I gave my departing testimony. It was pretty crazy. You never think you will get to that point and then there you are standing right in front of the pulpit. It was a very powerful meeting. The theme was “Give Me This Mountain” from the Old Testament when Kaleb desires his inheritance - it’s a really good story.
Friday was really special! Sister S was baptized in the Trail Winds Ward. It was a very special experience, and the spirit was very strong during the baptism and confirmation.
Sunday was pretty busy. We first went to the Boulder Ward and left after 2nd hour to go to ward council in Louisville, which is in a building about 10 minutes away, and then came back for Boulder ward council, and went back to Louisville Ward meetings, and left after Sacrament meeting to meet with C. We just started teaching him. His friend Cl is in the Boulder Ward and introduced him to the church so we are excited to see where it goes. We then went to dinner with the Whaldrips - they are a really cool family and he is actually the Second Counselor in the Stake Presidency. Then all the District Leaders in the Mission met at the mission home for a District Leader Meeting. It lasted from about 7pm to 11:30pm. It was pretty long but also really great. We stayed overnight at the mission home since it was so late. It is pretty funny because my original release date is actually today, so I would have been at the mission home last night originally – kind of weird. We woke up this morning and had breakfast and then headed back to our area
Well my GOTO scripture this week is 1 Nephi 4:6 “And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.” I am grateful for the role the Spirit has in my life in guiding me even at times when I may not know what to do and in helping me share the Gospel.