Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Catching Up to a New Year

Dec. 7, 2015

This has been a really fun and exciting week. Elder Sevilla and I set a goal to finish to the end of the transfer, because a lot of missionaries use the last week of a transfer or "P-week" as an excuse to be more laid back. That wasn't the case for us - we were so busy.  I got transferred from Bible Park to the Aurora South Stake, Aurora Highlands Ward, biking. My new companion is Elder Wohlrab - he is from Daytona Florida and this is his fourth transfer. It was sad to leave Bible Park, because Sister M's baptism is Sunday Dec. 13th. President said that we would have to either give a talk or a musical number to go to the baptism, so we are doing a musical number. We had another investigator J on date for the end of December, but I know this is where I need to be. We had a really fun P-Day last week. Elder Sevilla is kind of obsessed with Sushi so he dragged me to a sushi place. Don't get me wrong - I like sushi, but it is so expensive. After, we played Laser tag with our Zone Leader's. It was really fun.  We also got a car for the week. This week I was able to see the importance of service in missionary work because the lady we helped really wants us to come and share our message with her. We had a great District Meeting. It was focused on Diligence and I've realized that is one thing I could definitely work on. It's the small things that really make a difference. Saturday was great because we went as a zone downtown to the 16th Street mall and caroled and shared “A Savior is Born”- it was really fun. Sunday I bore my testimony for the last time in Bible Park. It was really sad I'm going to miss the members there. As I was packing last night I washed my towel and the hose to the washer busted, so our bathroom was filled with water and it took forever to clean it up. Because they are closing our apartment we had to clean out our apartment which meant clean out the oven, cleaning spots on the carpet, and cleaning of the marks on the wall - there were a lot. We were also cleaning out an outdoor closet that had junk left by old missionaries and as we were cleaning, two big rats ran out of the closet. It was a little frustrating this morning packing and then cleaning the whole apartment even though most of the stuff was not from us. I'll just leave with one of my favorite parts from the Christmas Devotional. I loved Elder Bednar's description of the Nephites during Christ's birth. Jesus Christ really is our light and as we look for him we will see that even in the darkest of times his light continues to shine bright.


December 14, 2015

This week a lot of cool things have happened. My new area is really different from Bible Park. There are a lot of homes, whereas my last area was mostly apartments. There are a lot of families here that have been in this area for a long time. So this week we had a Zone Meeting and one of the trainings was about having a vision for ourselves. I realized I never created a vision for myself and who I want to become as a missionary. So I've been working on creating a vision for myself. One of the things that really helped was a talk called “The Fourth Missionary.” The talk describes four different missionaries and the fourth one surrenders himself to the Lord and consecrates everything. We also had our Christmas Devotional. It was fun. We had skits in the morning from all of the zones. Some of them were pretty funny. Then Santa came and we did some fun activities. I got to read the letters you sent. They were really great - I really appreciate all of the letters from all of you. Afterwards we had a guest speaker because we had to move to a different building because there was a funeral taking place. Our guest speaker was Paul Anderson - he is the director of the Piano Guys. That was really cool and he shared some really inspiring stories. We also taught our investigator V. He is from the Congo and is really excited to be baptized. He is scheduled to be baptized on the 9th of January. Sunday was really great because I got to go back to Bible Park for Sister M's Baptism. I could feel the spirit really strong because Elder Sevilla and I taught her for two transfers and we know how much she has changed and how strong her desire is to follow Jesus Christ. I am really excited for her family in a year when they will have the opportunity to be sealed in the temple. Seeing how much the gospel changes other's lives has really strengthened my testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel.


December 21, 2015

This week was pretty crazy. Monday was pretty fun. Most of the missionaries in our zone met up and we played basketball, volleyball, and soccer. Later that night we taught a recent convert family. Tuesday was I woke up and there was a lot of snow and it was still snowing and it didn't even stop until later that night. In total, we probably got about a foot. Also, the heat in our apartment doesn't work, so it was really cold, but now we have space heaters so that's good. And the hot water in our apartment wouldn't work. So, for two days I took a shower with a bucket and boiled water. It was pretty fun. I felt like I was in a third world country for a couple days. Tuesday we had to walk because there was so much snow. We went around and helped shovel people's snow. Biking was really fun the rest of the week because there was still snow left on the sidewalks that people didn't shovel. Biking in the snow is a pretty awesome skill I acquired this week. Wednesday we had a really great district meeting and it helped me remember when I teach to make it personal because it is. We have also been picking up old investigators from the area book so it will be great to see them progress. Friday was really cool we were contacting some referrals from church headquarters and we met a really cool young couple. The wife has a cousin serving a mission and some other family members who are converts. We are really excited to teach them. On Saturday we taught V and we are very excited for his baptism on January 9th. It is amazing how much he loves the gospel and it will be really exciting once his family starts taking the discussions. This week my studies have been really centered on being a consecrated missionary - it is something I am really trying to work on because I know that is what kind of missionary the Lord wants me to be. I am really excited for this week because we will be really busy. The bishop gave us a lot of families that could use an uplifting message. I think that is one of the greatest things about this Christmas season - there are so many opportunities to lift people up. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and I look forward to talking to you guys on Friday.


Dec. 28, 2015

This week was super great. We had a white elephant thing for our zone. It was funny because all of the gifts were pretty bad, but what do you expect other than canned food from a bunch of Missionaries on super cheap budgets. My gift was pretty good. A member gave me it because he got it as a white Elephant gift - the gift that keeps giving, it was a Star Wars toy shaving kit with tattoos and bath foam. This week was pretty busy we were able to share the message of Christ's Birth with a lot of families. It is so good to be able to bring the Spirit of Christ with us. We had the opportunity to give two priesthood blessings and what an honor it is to carry the priesthood and be able to bless people's lives. Elder Wohlrab and I took a member who had just gotten back from his mission to visit a less active who is struggling with an alcohol addiction. We shared with her the message of Christ's Birth. It was a very spiritual experience. Elder Wohlrab shared that Christ suffered for all of our pains and afflictions and you could feel the spirit so strongly. Christmas Eve we had dinner with a part member family the T’s - they are from Samoa. They are really great people and it was nice to spend the evening with them. Christmas Day was really great. I enjoyed talking to you guys and it is good to know how you are doing. We ate at a member’s home for lunch and she is from Laos. She cooked homemade PHO - it was really good. Our Mission President let us watch two movies - from a list I picked “Forever Strong” and my companion picked “The Nightmare before Christmas.” We had dinner with our investigators the C Family. They are really great and it was fun to get to know them more. We also taught Brother V on Sunday and he is very excited for his baptism on January 9th. We are really trying to get him to invite his family to take the discussions and he said he will invite them to Church this week. I also had a realization this week that has helped me a lot. For some reason I got stuck in a mindset of doing things to help me become a better missionary or better person, but I realized that when I have the mindset of doing things to help others it make things so much easier to accomplish. It is true when Christ says "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." This has been a really memorable Christmas I hope we all strive to feel the Spirit of Christ in our lives.


Jan 4, 2016

This week was a really good week. Every week Elder Wohlrab and I are getting better. This week even though we had quite a few lessons cancel on us we still made the most of it and found people to teach. Tuesday I went on exchanges with Elder Demerit - he is from Vermont and has been out just as long as I have been. It was a great day. We did service at a place called Stepping Stones - it is a place for Mentally Handicapped people and it was fun to help lift them up. Afterwards we taught a less-active that has been struggling with a smoking addiction. It was sad to see how much it affected his health but hopefully we can help him overcome it. When we were tracting we met a man named R, he is a really nice guy, and would have let us in if his girlfriend wasn't sick. He shared with us a miracle that happened in his life. The thing he didn't realize is that he was a miracle for us, because he is a really solid potential and we are going to try to meet with him this week. Later in the week we met D. He was on break from College but we were able to share the first lesson with him. Even though he wasn't going to be in town much longer it was great to share our message with him and help him come closer to Christ. On ChristmasEve we had a Mission meeting that was really great. We launched our Goal for 2016, which is 501 souls. A couple really great topics were taught as well. Our mission president always says to make it personal because it is. Also sanctify yourself, remember who you represent. One thing that really stuck out to me is that Our Saviors goal was always higher than his reality. Our Savior's goal was to save all of us and he suffered for each one of us even though not everyone chooses to use the Atonement. I am really excited for this year and to surrender all of 2016 to the work. I am trying to improve on the small things so I can be exactly obedient and give everything I have to Lord. It iss hard and I don't expect it to come all at once but I know it is achievable. New Year’s Eve we ate at a members and he cooked alligator. After that we had to stay home so I made the ginger bread house you guys sent me. We taught the C family the Restoration this week. It was really powerful and I felt the Spirit especially strong as Elder Wohlrab shared Joseph Smith's First Vision. We invited them to be baptized and they wanted to find out if it is true through the Book of Mormon. They are an awesome family and I have faith they will be baptized. It is just a little frustrating because they are moving to Castle Rock on February 6th. I am just grateful to have met them and to be a part of their conversion. We also taught Brother V and prepared him for his Baptism this week and we are really exciting, and I hope that his family follows his decision. My scripture this week D&C 11:12 “And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit. As long as I put my trust in the Savior and his Spirit than I can know that I am doing good.



Elder Blackham

1 comment:

  1. Elder Blackham, we love reading your posts! You are so insightful and compassionate - surely you are blessing all those you're serving in Denver! What a great scripture for the week you chose -- wonderful reminder to keep putting our trust in the Savior!