Sunday, June 12, 2016

March - May (Sorry I'm so behind, but it's life!)

March 14, 2016

So guess what! I am now in Aurora! This week was pretty great. I was in a trio up in Brighton and I found out Thursday I was going to be emergency transferred to the Peoria Ward in Aurora. There was an Elder in the Peoria Ward who had to go home to take care of some things. That left my new companion, Elder Burt companion-less, so because I was in a trio, President felt that I should transfer to be companions with Elder Burt. So, yeah It’s kind of been crazy with a lot of things happening in the last week. This week started off a little slow. We were still organizing our ward that had just been formed. We had an awesome lesson that we were able to teach to an investigator. It was really powerful, especially as we asked inspired questions to help them understand what we were teaching. As we taught this family they had a greater desire to understand what we were teaching them and wanted to learn more about the gospel. So, I got to Aurora on Friday and I was able to meet Elder Burt. He came out at the same time as me and he is from Pocatello, Idaho. The Peoria Ward is pretty interesting. It is in a rougher part of town and Elder Burt was telling me about some interesting experiences he had there. We live with a member, which is something new for me and we have a car which is also pretty nice. A couple weeks ago in Aurora Highlands, Elder Wohlrab and I ran into a less- active in the Peoria Ward. He had never transferred his records but we got all his info and passed him off to the Peoria Ward. They hadn't gotten a hold of him, but on Saturday Elder Burt and I dropped by and we were able to talk with him and he came with us to the Stake Conference. It’s pretty cool how the Lord is already preparing people for us to meet. I am really excited to be here in the Peoria ward. 


March 21, 2016

Things have been going pretty good in Peoria. We taught a lot of people this week. We found a new investigator this week his name is M R. He is about 16 or 17, but he is pretty interested in what we have to share. We were able to teach quite a few less actives as well. Sister F - she currently has cancer in her skull and every day she has Chemo therapy treatments where the doctor inserts 6 inch long needles into her skull. It is a very painful procedure, but the most amazing thing is how much she has turned her life around and now has such a strong desire to return to church. We also met a man named Brother M. He has a real desire to learn more about the gospel. We had Zone Conference this week. The Theme was "What Lack I yet?" It was pretty great. I am focusing on how I can improve as a missionary. My Go To scripture this week is Alma 38:5 "And now my son, Shiblon, I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day." I am really excited for this up-coming week and know I need to keep my trust in the Lord.


April 4, 2016

This week was a great week! Monday was a solid P-Day. We taught a recent convert the Plan of Salvation. It was very spiritual. She was only about ten years old, which was good because I felt like I got better at teaching simply. Tuesday was a weird day. We went to teach a couple Muslims who had walked into Church last Sunday and wanted to learn how to teach English. We were just going to see how it went and when we walked in we saw two hookahs in the corner of the room. At the end of the lesson they were about to fire it up so we decided to just leave. We got an awesome call though on Tuesday, a man named J called us and said he wanted to meet with us. I was trying to remember who he was and then I remembered he was a former that I texted a week ago while Elder Burt was in a District Leader Meeting. We are meeting with him today so I am really excited. We were also trying to meet with our investigator J and so we called him. Before we called him he had a seizure and we were able to give him a blessing and I was amazed at the Lords timing. Wednesday we met L and A. They are from Liberia and they were a referral from a member in Heather Ridge. It was and awesome lesson. They both accepted baptism but only L accepted a date. Afterwards we met a family that moved into the ward - the L's. They were less active but want to come back to church. Brother L owns a vape company and he is pretty into the vape thing himself. I am not a fan of it at all because it just makes a bunch of smoke. The awesome news was that their eleven year old son wants to get baptized, so we are really excited to start teaching him. Thursday we had District Meeting and I had to do some training. Elder Burt asked me to give it the day before because I had been studying the topic in personal study. We had baloot for dinner which was pretty interesting. It is basically a fertilized duck egg - pretty popular in Asia, and you eat the whole bird. It tasted good and it was a good thing to eat so I can say I ate that. We taught J and it was a rough lesson. He kind of dominated it and we didn't go anywhere. As he was talking I could see a concern he had and so I stopped him and shared with him a scripture and my testimony. The spirit was really strong and I felt that I answered his concern. Friday was cool - we were tracting and I started to remember a training given in Zone Conference about relating just a random object to the gospel. So, as we were tracting we met a man named A. As we talked to him I wasn't sure if we were going to get in but I noticed a painting in his home and I said "I like your painting." As I said that, he said come on in. As we taught him, he told us he had a dream that we would knock on his door. it was super exciting. Saturday was cool we planned on watching the morning session with L and A. It was awesome. A was really funny sometimes. He was way into it - clapping, or saying amen, and other times he looked like he was falling asleep. When Elder Hallstrom spoke about his experience in Liberia L woke A up and told him to pay attention. You could tell that it was meant for them and that it really touched their hearts. After the Priesthood Session I felt prompted that we visit a less active family. The M family is from the Philippines. While we were there we were able to give her son a blessing. I asked them if they were all baptized and everyone but there 10 year old daughter was. Her mom asked her if she wanted to get baptized and her face lit up and she said yes. We were so excited! Sunday after General Conference we dropped by an Investigator and we taught him the first lesson and after wards we invited him to be baptized and he said yes! This week was amazing! General Conference absolutely strengthened my testimony that our Church is led by a Prophet of God and that the talks given are truly inspired and meant for each of us. Brother Owens talk stood out to me. We are all placed in positions where we are to lead and the best way to lead is by following Jesus Christ. My GOTO scripture this week is Proverbs 3:4 Trust in the Lord.


April 11, 2016

So this week was pretty great. We taught more lessons than I have ever taught my whole mission. The great part about it was that the majority of the lessons we taught to our investigators we brought members with us. Monday we went to get haircuts. We were told that there was a barber off Colfax that gave free haircuts to missionaries because the Barbers wife is Mormon. So we set up an appointment, but the main barber wasn't going to be there. We got to the barber shop and it was pretty funny because it is like a barber shop for mostly black people.The guy who gave us a haircut was named St. Louis. He told me had been working there a couple years and that he didn't know how to cut hair with scissors - he only used clippers, it was an interesting experience, but hey it was free. We taught a former named J, and when we walked up to teach him he was talking with his neighbor, so we taught both of them and they were interest in hearing about the Restoration. Afterwards, we headed over to A's. She has been struggling with cancer and was completely inactive for a long time but with this trial her heart has softened and she has a really strong desire to come back to church. She told us she had watched all of General Conference and had re watched it as well. We shared with her Elder Hollands talk and it was a powerful lesson. Tuesday we taught a recent convert and her mom. The really cool thing was that we had given her mom a blessing before she went in for knee surgery and a week after that surgery she was off crutches and walking around normally. Earlier we were asked to give a blessing with a senior missionary in the Colorado Children’s Hospital (we give a lot of blessings there because it is in our ward boundaries). The child was two years old and had passed away the night before but they revived her and had her on a breathing machine. It was a very sad situation, but while I was in that room I felt the Spirit testify to me of the Plan of Salvation, that God had a plan for this child and that this childs death was not the end. As we gave the blessing it was very powerful. Wednesday we had a lot going on we had Zone Meeting and then we taught three of our investigators. While we were at dinner I was reaching for a pot and I knocked my water cup over and spilled it all over the member right next to me. Looking back it is kind of funny, but boy I was a little embarrassed when it happened. I'm going to skip to Saturday morning at 2:00 am when we heard a really loud noise upstairs. A couple minutes later we walked up stairs and find out some drunken guy was trying to break in. This guy was kicking at the door, so Papa Q got his pisto,l peeked out the window, saw the guy was unarmed, cracked open the door pointed the gun and said "What do you want?” The guy started to walk away so Papa Q called the Cops and the guy got arrested. Later that day we taught A. We brought our ward mission leader Brother V because he served a mission in Honduras where A is from. We taught him the Plan Of Salvation and he committed to baptism. Sunday we only had one Investigator come to church which was disappointing. We were trying really hard to get more of our investigators to come but Sacrament attendance will be something we will have to emphasize this week. We taught S at his rehab home and he invited one of his roommates K to listen and so now we have another investigator. During my studies I realized the mindset that the Sons of Mosiah had when they went to teach the Lamanites. They didn't see them as who they were but as who they could become. That is the way God sees us and that is something I am trying to work on. So my GOTO scripture is Alma 26:3  Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.


April 18, 2016

This week is transfers and I am staying and I have been given the assignment to be a district leader which is exciting but humbling at the same time. My new companion is Elder Glen. He is a couple transfers behind me but President told me he is a hard working Missionary. Also Elder Ah Nee is going to be my Zone Leader which is exciting because I enjoyed being with him in for a week in Brighton.


I don't have a whole lot of time, but these are our top investigators right now. All four of them were at sacrament meeting. L and A are the couple from Liberia. Somehow they got a marriage license so they should get married within a month and then L will be ready to be baptized. A says he will get baptized but he hasn't committed to a date so we are going to work on that with him. A(diff. A)is excited to get baptized but the thing I am worried about with her is that her parents gave her permission, but they have been going to a different church and I feel like that might make it a challenge for her, but I think she can also be a great example for her family. For our investigator J we brought a primary teacher with us so he could help keep J interested and focused. This was great. One thing I have learned this transfer is how much a difference members can make in helping investigators learn and progress. We have been teaching a lot and we have been pretty busy which is good. I am really excited for our investigators as they get closer to baptism it gets even more exciting


April 25, 2016

This week a lot of cool miracles have happened. It makes it clear to me that this is the Lords work. My new companion is Elder Glenn. He is from Yucaipa, California and has been out one transfer less than me. He is a really good missionary because he has a strong desire to serve the Lord. Here are some highlights for this week.


Monday- P-Day found out transfers and that night we visited the W’s. Elder Burt was really sad to leave Peoria so we visited some people.


Tuesday- We taught L and A and we found out they were getting married on Saturday which was super exciting! We taught A the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she is getting ready for her Baptism on the 14th.


Wednesday- Transfers - cool experience - it was about 8:15 and our plans fell through so Elder Glenn suggested we pray and then he asked if we were teaching a person named M. We were,  and so we dropped by and he wanted the address to the church building and we gave him the address and taught him.


Thursday- We taught G. She is from the Congo and she told us she believed that the restoration was true and we invited her to be baptized on the 21st of May


Friday- as we were walking out of a lesson a lady asked how we were doing and we began to talk to her and we set an appointment up with her for tonight.


Saturday- We were walking out of an apartment complex and I heard someone trying to talk to us but I couldn't see anyone. I walked towards the voice and it is coming out of someone’s window. The man wanted to talk to us and invited us in. We are going to teach him the restoration on Tuesday. We also had L and A wedding - it was pretty cool. Bishop Doxey married them.


Sunday- A was the only investigator who came to church, so we are going really focus on getting our investigator to come to church. We were going to visit a member but I couldn't find a parking spot so I parked across the street. We walk over and talked to the member and she tells us that the building across the street is a crack house and that every apartment except for two are doing crack and that expensive cars pull in and stuff like that. The police know about it but they haven't done anything yet. Well, that was the building I parked in front of. As we are walking back to the car this sketchy motor home had just pulled up and before we get in someone in the motor home says something. I was pretty nervous and didn't really know what to expect. A lady and her husband walk out and they tell us they are members from Wyoming and are trying to turn their life around immediately I felt a love for them and we talked to them about coming to church and about how the gospel will change their life. I could see hope fill up in their eyes and I knew the Lord put these people on our path.


This week has been full of tender mercies that the Lord has blessed us with by putting people on our path it is truly amazing to know who is on our side. My GOTO scripture this week is  D&C 50:26 He that is ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all. I am a servant to the people here in Aurora but my Master is great he is Jesus Christ.


May 2, 2016

This week has been really great we are seeing some amazing things happen in the Peoria ward. Elder Glenn and I are doing great together I am surprised at how in sync we are with each other. One thing that has been on my mind is that we are teaching a couple ten year olds and they are keeping the commitments, but one of them, her family is inactive. They support her decision; I just hope that A will be able to continue to progress despite the fact that her family is not centered around the restored gospel. Honestly I really love it in this ward because the people here are just great and I love the people we are teaching.


Monday- We met with A(diff. A). The change she has made in her life is amazing and now she is completely free of Cancer she is the definition of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. She even wants her boyfriend to start taking the lessons. She bore her testimony in sacrament meeting! We had an opportunity to give a blessing at the children’s hospital - now I cherish each time we have the opportunity.


Tuesday- We taught A and when we asked how her reading was doing she told us she read the first seven chapters in the Book of Mormon. I was so excited for her!


Wednesday- One of my weaknesses is street contacting because I am just used to tracting. We went street contacting in a park. Luckily, Elder Glenn is pretty good at street contacting, so he was helping me out. Elder Glenn told me to talk to a man walking his dog, and I was hesitant because he had already passed us. Elder Glenn told me to shout at the guy and so I did. We started talking to him and now he is a new investigator. We also taught A that night and it was a really cool experience. A is able to feel the spirit really strongly  when we are with him and when he reads and he feels really good about our Church we are just trying to get him to come to church.


Thursday- We had District Meeting and afterwards we taught two of our investigators M and C, - she is blind. That lesson M kept on trying to get off track so we really had to work to get the lesson back on track.


Friday- We taught V - she is a new investigator. She had met with missionaries a long time ago. She is interesting because she is Roman Catholic, but she believes the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. But she isn't ready to commit to anything.


Saturday was a really good day. We had been teaching a guy named C but every time we met with him he would try to argue over the scripture. I felt that he wasn't ready yet and so I told him that we were here to help him gain an understanding about the Gospel and if he wasn't willing to do that we couldn't teach him. I felt like it was one of the best drops I've done because he told us he wanted to learn but that now wasn't the right time. I think timing is really important for people to progress in the gospel.


Sunday- was amazing we had 5 investigators at church, which is the most I have ever had attend. It was really cool! We also taught a new investigator T and hopefully she will take the message of the restoration to heart.


This week has been truly amazing these are just the highlights a lot of the work has been the small and simple things that we are doing to help our investigators progress in the Gospel and help them gain a testimony for themselves. I am grateful to see the work increase not only in our area but in our whole district. My Go To scripture this week is D&C 68:6 Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come. This work is a joyful work because the Lord is with us as all of us bear testimony of him. Hope you have a great week.


May 9, 2016

This week has been a really great week. Although it felt like we had quite a few appointments cancelling on us, we were able to be just as productive this week. Here are some of the highlights


We had zone p-day, so we played whiffle ball and basketball and we had lunch together. Afterwards we taught KM and her sister BM started to listen as well, so we are now teaching her. We taught A afterwards and it was a very spiritual lesson. He can feel the Spirit really strongly when we are there and he is gaining a testimony for himself but he needs to start acting on it. We have been teaching A this week and we are trying to help her get ready for baptism. We were planning on that this week but we felt that we need to push it back a couple weeks so that she will be ready. We have been teaching a Seventh Day Adventist whose husband is trying to get active in our church. It has been difficult teaching her because while she agrees with a lot of things we are teaching there are somethings she having trouble understanding. We also had a really good District Meeting and I learned a lot about resolving concerns. We were able to apply it when we taught V. She wasn't reading from the Book of Mormon but we helped her understand the importance of it. Friday we had a barbecue with the M family. They are less actives that we just started meeting with and we had dinner with them. The food was really good. We also found a really solid investigator his name is K and he is from Vietnam. He was interested in learning about the things we were teaching him. I enjoyed the time I was able to skype my family it gave me a good boost.


My GOTO scripture this week is D&C 84:83 For your Father, who is in heaven knoweth that you have need of these things. I think it is really comforting to know how much Heavenly Father Loves us and he know exactly what we need.


May 16, 2016

Hi! First off I will wish a Happy Birthday to Mom and Tyler! This week was a little different. It seemed like we had two days this week where we were really busy and taught a lot of people. We were able to meet with A this week and we had a really good lesson and we were able to get her parents more involved. We also got the Restoration Video and the Children’s Book of Mormon to help A have a better understanding. We taught L and A and we are really excited for L's baptism this week. She has a really strong desire to be baptized. Something pretty cool is that A’s cousins are Ashton and John Youboty. They both played football for Klein High School and played college ball and I think they even played in the pros. We also have been getting J ready for his baptism this week as well, which is really exciting. We also found a really solid new investigator. Her name is V J. We taught her the first lesson and we extended a baptismal invitation and she accepted. Some other exciting things that happened this week were that we had zone meeting and one of the trainings was on a real cool idea called the Calendar for Conversion. What we do is when we set someone on date we give them a calendar and we plan on the calendar lessons and commitments and it helps people see how they are doing on keeping commitments. It helps us as missionaries plan and keeps us accountable to make sure we teach everything. We had a District Leader Meeting which was very helpful. It helped me see ways I can be a better leader in my District. Also we went on exchanges this week. I was with my old Companion Elder Ah Nee! It was a really fun exchange and part of it was because we already knew each other really well. One of the things I was able to realize is how important it is to have fun. Missionary work is hard - if you try to find joy in it - it is definitely there. One thing that really helped me this week was that I tried to view people as Children of God. That really helped me have a desire to share the Gospel with them and to just not get frustrated over things that happened. My Go To Scripture this week is 2 Nephi 33:15 For thus hath the Lord commanded me, and I must obey. Amen. I think Nephi's attitude that he must obey is the perfect attitude to have and it is the last words that he shares with us so it is probably something pretty important.


May 23, 2016

Hi Family! This week was a really exciting week. We were preparing for the baptisms we had this week. I felt really tired this week for some reason. Part of it is probably because we had to put a pause to playing basketball in the morning. But I just kind of had to push through. We had some cool experiences. We have been working with a Less-Active. She has been trying to get her life in order. It is pretty cool to see her make that change in her life. She even made it to sacrament meeting this week. We also had been teaching a guy named M and we retaught the restoration to him and set him on date and it seemed really solid. Well… two hours later he called us and told us he wasn't being himself and dropped us - hey its mission life. We are working on getting A baptized this week. It may happen it just depends on if she remembers everything we taught her. We found a new investigator this week.His name is Q. He is a pretty cool guy and is willing to find out if our message is true. We are still working with V as well. She says she believes what we are teaching her but she wants to talk to a Catholic Priest before she commits. It is a little bit frustrating but we should be able to work out her concerns. We had the Baptism for L and then J and his brother Z. It was really exciting! We had a lot of support from the ward which was great. Bishop Doxey baptized L and I Baptized J and Z was Baptized by Elder Burt. The Baptism went well. The water was a little hot but the Spirit was definitely there. We had the confirmations on Sunday and I was able to confirm L. That was my first confirmation which was exciting. I was a little nervous but it was a really great moment. Some other cool things that happened this week were that we had dinner with a convert and his mother. The things was he never told his mother he was Mormon and he felt that having us over for dinner would be a great way to let his mom know. Well it ended up going really well and at the end we left them a commitment to read from the Book of Mormon together and they did it and had a really good experience. Also we were contacting a referral and we were in an apartment complex and Elder Glenn went through a door into a courtyard. I wanted to make sure we would be able to get back through the door but when it shut it wouldn't open and so Elder Glenn had to climb a wall to get back over where I was. it was pretty funny. This week I am really just focusing on being more diligent and achieving the goals that we set for the day. My Go To Scripture this week is D&C 58:27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;" Hope y’all have a great week


May 31, 2016

So I found out about Transfers yesterday and I am staying in Peoria, although there are going to be some changes. First, Elder Glenn is getting transferred to downtown and my new companion will be Elder Parsons. We are losing our car so I am going to be back on a bike. The reason why we are going back on bike is because our mission is adding two new stakes to our mission: the Boulder Stake and the Parker South Stake. I am still very excited because it will provide us a great opportunity to be even more effective in our area. Anyway,s some really cool things have happened this week. First was Monday night - we had 3 appointments cancel and so we prayed and I felt prompted to look for a less active named O and so we found their address and when we got there we realized the address didn't exist, so we tracted around the area and we found two new investigators. Later that night we taught J. We found him last week during a picnic we had with some members. We were walking back to the car to get our Jackets and I saw a kid’s football team and one of the Dads (J) watching them. I talked about football with him and then scheduled a time to teach him. We met him Monday and taught him the first part of the restoration. It was a really cool lesson because the spirit was really strong and you could see his desire and interest in what we were teaching him. We also reset A's Baptismal date for the 11th of June. We found that she is able to learn well when we use drawings so I've been using my creative juices to draw out the lessons for her. On Wednesday things were just not working well for us so before we started tracting an apartment we prayed and asked for God to put someone on our path. Well we tracted into a Less-Active that was not even on the records #notrandom! We also started teaching V again and it is so much fun teaching her because she gets really excited when she understands things. We also are working with a boy named J. He is 14 and has been in some trouble and so his Grandma who is a convert wanted us to start teaching him. We taught him twice the first time. He really didn't want to open up so we gave him some time and we taught him again the second time. I felt that we just needed to teach him and as we went through the lesson he would open up. Well that’s what happened - he started to talk to us a little more. Monday we had a mission 5k run so we met up in Westminster and ran as a mission. It was a whole lot of fun to be all together as a mission. Well this upcoming week will be an exciting week and I hope we will be able to carry the momentum forward.



Elder Blackham

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