Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Aug. 1, 2016

This week has been a great week even though it was hard. We have had many appointments cancel, and times when no one would answer their doors, but there have been a lot of cool things happen as well. First, we set V and B on a baptismal date for September 10th. It was really cool because we were a little nervous about extending the invitation and after we extended it we realized it was all fears that we had built up. We also found some very solid new investigators, one is an older lady but she lives next to a family in the ward. We tracted into her and she wanted to learn more. We also met a man named R. He is from Jamaica and is super cool so we taught him and he is going to continue to meet with us.  Also, I was able to go on exchanges this week with Elder Fry in Cherry Creek and Piney Creek. We put in a lot of work. We had quite a few lessons set for the day and all of them except one fell through, but we used that time and we were able to find four new investigators so it ended up being a great day. My Go To scripture this week is 1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” I feel it is important to remember the Priesthood we are entrusted and the power by which we are set apart.


August 8, 2016

Hello. This week was a great week - we were really busy. First off our car has had some problems. We drove up to downtown Denver to do exchanges and when we started up the car. It wouldn't start so we got it jumped by the senior missionaries that live pretty close. That morning the car wouldn't start again and so we got it jumped and took it into the shop and they told us the battery was fine and that the starter needed to be replaced. We took it to the Chevy dealership and they ended up just fixing the key and it works great now. Our car also has 6,000 dollars’ worth of hail damage so they had to get another estimate because they might end up just selling the car. So I went on exchanges with a new missionary, Elder Gonzales - it went really well. One of the things I realized is that the adversary will create fear before you try to talk to someone who is receptive. We were knocking on a door and then a lady walked into her apartment. Part of me said to go talk to her and the other was telling me to mind my own business. Any ways we went and talked to her and she was interested with meeting with us and wanted to learn more about the Fort Collins Temple open house. We got to go to the temple this week and it was a very special experience. Even though it is hard to wake up for a 6:00 am session it was definitely worth it. Thursday was Mormon night at the Rockies. We didn't get to go, but we set up a booth on the 16th street mall which is really close to the stadium. We had missionaries rotating in and out throughout the whole day. Friday we had MLC's.  It was my first time going which was really cool. There were some really powerful teachings and it will be exciting to relay the teachings to the rest of the zone.  A barrier we are seeing in our area is that the investigators we have found are not keeping their return appointments. It’s been a struggle lately and so we are trying to find ways to help them keep their return appointments. One Investigator that seems really solid is B. He has had a rough past and used to be an alcoholic, but he seems to have a lot of potential, which is great. My Go To Scripture this week is John 16:33 – “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”


August 15, 2016

Dear Family,

This week was a good week and it ended really well. I was able to buy some Oakley sunglasses on Monday. I didn't know what kind I was going to buy but I really like the pair I got. They were pricey but they are cool and the lenses are polarized. We also found two new investigators the first one is Ch. He is an interesting guy. When we first met him he wanted to take a picture with us and post it on facebook but he was willing to listen and so we taught him. I will tell you about the other investigator later because it is a really cool story. We moved the M family to the Arapahoe Stake. We are teaching their daughters who aren't baptized. The really exciting thing is we get to go to the Fort Collins Temple open house with their family today. I am really excited because I don't remember ever going to an open house. We had Zone Meeting on Thursday. It was a Great Zone Meeting. A video that I really like that I had never seen before is "Staying Spiritually Fit". We made a program for it. I'll send it to you if you want to see it. We have been teaching a former member and it has been very powerful teaching him. Each time we are there the spirit is very strong. Saturday was really cool. My District Leader Elder Fry had committed the District to study Charity each day this week. On Saturday as I was studying and I was looking over some notes I had made on Compassion specifically the Parable of the Good Samaritan. As I went over that things just seemed to Click and I realized how well it relates to talking to everyone and how we can't pass by people. I like this quote from Jesus the Christ "When the Samaritan came along and saw the wretched state of the wounded man, he had no excuse for he wanted none." I really felt the importance of talking to every one about the gospel. Later that day we taught our investigator BJ. We had tracted into her but her neighbors were members as well so we brought them. It was a very spiritual lesson as we taught the restoration. We even sang Joseph Smith’s First Prayer to her and it was really cool how it brought a special spirit into the room. We also arrived to one of our investigators places at the perfect time. We were just dropping by to see if he was there. As we got there he walked out with his dog and so we were able to teach him and he accepted a baptismal invitation. We were really excited. I had a really great experience Sunday night as we were ready to head home and as we walked to our car a man walked out of one of the buildings. We walked by him but we should have gone to talk to him. Elder Bake had gone in the car and was about to start backing when I thought that we needed to talk to this man. So we turned off the car and walked over to him and taught him and now he is a new investigator.  I am so grateful for the things I am learning in proclaiming this gospel. I am not perfect by any means but I can see the improvements I am making. My Go To scripture is Luke 10:33 “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him."


August 22, 2016

This week has gone really well. Monday we were able to go to the Fort Collins Temple open house. We brought the M Family with us. It was a really cool experience to be able to tour through the temple, but what was really special was taking a family with us so that they could hopefully feel the spirit. We also had a hand off lesson with them where we went with their new Elders and introduced them to the Elders in their new ward. After that our week flattened out a little bit but some cool things happened. We were walking around in an apartment complex talking to people outside and then this lady from the HOA kicked us out. Well as we were walking around in the complex next to it we met a lady that had been having a rough day and was actually a member that probably hadn't gone to church in a while. It was a great experience to be able to lift her spirits up. We had interviews with President Mendenhall as well. It was really cool. He asked me how I was relating the Book of Mormon to myself? I shared how I had been studying the book of Mormon and he asked me what my relationship with my Savior was? I shared with him what I felt and then he explained that I had just testified personally of the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ without saying "I know" or "I testify." It was really cool to see how I can make my testimony more personal. Saturday was really great. That whole week we had struggled with finding new investigators. We were tracting and I was getting a little discouraged because we hadn't found any one yet when someone let us into their house. They are a family from Nepal and we are going to see them again tonight. After them we were about ready to head to dinner but we decided to knock two more doors. The last door was a new investigator and we were able to teach them the next day which was really cool. They are from India and are Hindu. When we taught them we were able to make connections with God and parts of the Gospel so they could better understand. We also taught our Investigator B. We brought Brother Nelson with us and it was really cool because he made a huge difference in that lesson. B is really close to accepting a baptismal date as well so we are really excited for him. Also this week is transfers and I am staying with Elder Bake in Greenwood Village! I am really excited for this transfer. My Go To scripture this week is 2 Nephi 2:27  - “Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” When we look at choices we make this way it makes it a lot easier to choose the right.


August 29, 2016

I had a really good week and it started off really well. With transfers on Wednesday we had to spend most of that day moving missionaries around. It will be an exciting transfer. We have quite a few new missionaries in our zone. We have been able to find quite a few new people to teach and we were able to meet with a couple of the people we have been teaching lately. Some of the highlights this week were when we were able to teach L. As we taught her about Jesus Christ she really had a desire to learn and even a couple times she had us stop to re-explain some of the things we were teaching. We had more success meeting with some of our investigators but we haven't been able to meet with people enough to really help them progress in the gospel. It’s made it a little bit harder to find because it seems like every one we find has been really flakey. I was talking about this with my District Leader and he told me that I should pray to find someone who is prepared to hear the Gospel. So I did that Saturday night and on Sunday we found three new investigators. One of them I felt is really ready to hear the Gospel. It’s amazing how we were led to him. Earlier that day we had reached the goals we set for new investigators and total lessons but we were still dedicated to use our time effectively. It was about 8:00 pm on a Sunday night and we were walking around an apartment complex. Not too many people were out and we saw a guy in his garage working on a car. We went and started to talk to him and as we listened to him I could feel how much the gospel applied to him. It’s something I am still trying to get better and better at talking to everyone no matter what. I feel that I am definitely improving. I am really excited for this week and my Go To scripture this week is D&C 123:17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed. “


Elder Blackham


Monday, August 1, 2016

June 20, 2016

Sorry I haven't emailed you the past two weeks. The first week I wrote Josh's Philmont Letter and then last week I had to write a rather long email to President talking about my companion and I. Hopefully I can manage to sum up the past three weeks. My Companion is Elder Parsons. He has been out for 19 months and is from Chicago, Illinois. He served in Aurora Highlands a couple transfers before I did. Our companionship is interesting because he is very open when he is just with me or when he is with members, but when we are talking to people on the streets he struggles and a lot of times he won't say too much. I have been dominating the companionship too much and I need to give him more opportunities to talk, even if it means that very awkward and painful moment of silence. That is something I need to work on. We have been on bikes for the past two weeks which posed a challenge because our area is very large and we have appointments lined up. Saturdays are the hardest because it seem like we just bike all over the place. There are some really great opportunities that come from it by talking to people that we see on the street. This week I went on exchanges with Elder Gray in the Sable Ward. It was a really good experience. Elder Gray is very good at talking to people. We were tracting and we ran into these guys and the first thing they said was “hey do you want to smoke a joint?” We said, “No,” but then Elder Gray started talking about Marijuana with them and talking about different strands and the thc and cbd ratio and stuff like that. He learned all of that from an investigator we were teaching. It was pretty cool because the guys really opened up and really liked us. They gave us there business cards - it was pretty funny. When you can relate to people they get off their guard. We taught A M this week. Her baptism is going to be July 2nd. We have been working on reading the scriptures and she read all the way to 2 Nephi Ch.4. She was marking verses - that’s pretty good for a ten year old. We also met with A. She is from Rwanda and we taught her and her family. She was a referral that we got over three months ago and we finally got to teach them. We had a really cool experience on Saturday. We had been tracting and people weren't opening their doors. As we were heading back to the car someone pulled up in their car. It was a member who was from the Marshall Islands. She hadn't been to church in a long time and her cousin was with her and she wasn't a member so we scheduled a time to meet with them. After we were about ready to head home because it was 8:50 and I felt prompted to ask God if our work was finished. After we prayed we were walking and I saw a potential I had met a week ago and we started talking to him. We came to find out that his mother was in town and she was a Holocaust survivor. We are planning to meet him and his mother later this week. Also we got a car on Friday which has been a big help. Sunday was great - we had A, V and A at church. I have been studying about Abinadi lately and I am amazed at his commitment to his mission that the Lord gave him. Even though he knew he would die he was determined to deliver his message to King Noah. My GoTo Scripture is Mosiah 13:9  “But I finish my message; and then it matters not whither I go, if it so be that I am saved.” The message that we have is so great! I desire to be as determined as Abinadi to share this message with the people here in Aurora.


June 27, 2016

This week seemed to start a little slow. Lately we have been finding a lot of people to teach but when we show up for the return appointment many of them just haven't been home. We still had some really exciting things happen this week. We met Sh last week and we dropped by and taught her.  As we were teaching she talked about how she wanted to make changes in her life and start to turn her life around. We were able to set up a church tour with them for next week which is exciting. We also taught our investigator Ar he is currently trying to find a place to move to in our ward and we taught him in the church. It was pretty cool as we were showing him the church we showed him the baptismal font and he said that he would probably be the next person to get baptized. We taught him the restoration in a class room and then we stepped out in front of a painting of the first vision and the spirit was very strong. We found a lot of new investigators this week. I think the one with the most potential is W. It was really cool how we were led to him. We were knocking on doors and some kids asked us if we were going to knock upstairs and we were like yeah. We followed the kids upstairs and they got their uncle and he started talking to us. At first he didn't seem too interested and then he asked if we had some basketball league?  I told him that they played every Thursday night at our church. He got excited about that and then we started talking more and he really saw how our message could help him in his life it was really cool. Also A M will be getting baptized this week and I am really excited for her. She has done a lot to prepare and she is really excited to get baptized. The really cool thing is that every  companionship in our District is having a baptism this week. I am very grateful for the opportunity I have to serve the lord. My GoTo Scripture is Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” It is so great to be here in the mountains of Denver to share this gospel

July 7, 2016

Happy 4th of July! Wow this week was so exciting. First we were helping A prepare for her Baptism this Saturday. She was very excited. It was a little stressful getting the program ready because we procrastinated but in the end it all worked out and it was a great baptism. I had the opportunity to baptize her which was very special. It is a really great experience to be able to baptize someone and for me it is really hard to describe. Elder Parsons confirmed her on Sunday which was also really cool. Not to mention we had one of the best fast and testimony meetings that Sunday as well. What was also great was that the other two companionships each had a baptism this
week so our district had 3 baptisms this week. I interviewed the Sisters investigator Av, last Sunday and I got a call later that night that Av wanted me to baptize her. So, I was able to Baptize Av on Friday. With so many baptisms this week I was reminded of a quote in Preach My Gospel by Elder Henry B. Eyring “The Lord sets His standards so that He can bless us. Think about those blessings: He promises those who meet the standards the help of the Holy Ghost. He promises personal peace. He promises the chance to receive holy ordinances in His house. And He promises those who endure in living His standards that they will have eternal life. … Because we love the people we serve, all of us want to do better in lifting our Heavenly Father’s children to the faithfulness and purity they need to have all the blessings of the Lord. … You begin by holding up the Lord’s standards clearly and without apology. And the more the world drifts from them and mocks them, the bolder we must be in doing that” We have high standards so that the Lord can bless us.

We also taught our investigator V this week. She is doing great and she gets really excited about every new thing that we teach her. We had to move her date back to July 23rd but she is really excited to get baptized. We also taught our investigator Ar he is really excited and willing to learn. A member that hadn't been to church in a very long time called us and he wanted us to give his neighbor a blessing. We began to talk to the member and he told us how he should have been giving a blessing but that he wasn't able to. It was a reminder for me about how great of a blessing it is to bear the priesthood and to be able to use it to help others. He wants us to start teaching his daughters so that they can be baptized. Another really cool thing happened on Sunday night. We lost contact with our investigator Al for about six weeks. It was pretty hard because he had a lot of potential and he fell off the face of the earth. He called us Sunday and we hurried over to meet with him and we met his girlfriend as well and she is also really interested in the church. The Fourth of July was a lot of fun. Our whole zone got together at a members home in Bennett. In Church we sang the Star Spangled Banner and I like in the third verse the line that says "And this be our motto: "In God is our trust!"" It is important to remember that this land was prepared by God for the restoration of his Gospel so that we can all worship him freely.

My GoTo Scripture this week is D&C 59:23 "But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come" These are great blessings of the gospel, blessings that everyone deserves the opportunity to receive.

July 11, 2016

Hi, So I got a call from President this week and he asked me to be a Zone Leader. I responded and asked if that meant that I was leaving Peoria and he said “yes.” I am sad to be leaving Peoria. It is such a great area to serve in. I am going to be a Zone Leader in my birth Zone in Denver. I will be in the Green Wood Village Ward serving with Elder Bake. I haven't served around him much but from what I hear he is a really great missionary.

This week was a great week. We found quite a lot of new investigators. One of those is a family from the Marshall Islands. There are a bunch of family members that live in this same apartment and two of them are members of the church. The rest we are teaching even though at times it can be pretty hard because their English isn't the best. We weren't able to teach V this week but she attended a baptism in another ward with us. It was really funny because the convert was bearing his testimony and he mentioned how missionaries are really persistent and V said out loud "I know right!" It was pretty funny. She also came to church and in Gospel Principles the Ward Mission Leader mentioned that it was my Birthday and V was like “we should sing him happy birthday” and so she led the whole class in singing happy birthday and even added a second verse that I had never heard. Something really exciting is that the Fort Collins Temple Open House will be in August and September. We are trying to invite members to attend the open house. I have been dropping by and saying good bye to the people we have been teaching. It is really sad to say good bye especially with so many good things happening but I know it is the Lords will. Brother Valentine bought me a cookie cake and I got all the presents that you sent and I really appreciate it.

Hope you have a great week!

July 18, 2016

So My New Companion is Elder Bake he is from Missouri He has been out 6 weeks longer than I have. Greenwood Village is a lot different from Peoria - for example we live with members in a really nice home and they buy all of our groceries which is really nice of them. The best part is we have air conditioning! So there are some really wealthy parts in our ward and there are also still a lot of apartments. Our area borders the south border of Bible Park but I was on the north side the whole time I was there. I got the birthday video last week but it was upside down. The photo was right side up though. I appreciate the extra scripture case. Since we were in a car I got tired of carrying around my bag while we were proselyting so I started to just take a scripture bag. The new one will be for my nice scriptures. The ward is really big and reminds me of our ward back home. They fill up the whole over flow at church. I am adjusting really well and I am really excited for this transfer. We also had a huge hail storm for like 15 minutes. It was throwing golf ball sized hail and so our car is all dented up and we are going to have to take it into the shop. And we may not have a car for a bit. This week has been fantastic! It was hard to leave the Peoria Ward and I will always remember that ward and the people there. Things have been great with Elder Bake and I feel like our minds are on the same page and we both have a strong desire to serve. Elder Bake has really helped me improve in talking to everyone and already I feel so much better because we aren't giving up any opportunities to talk with people. This week we have been focused on finding and searching for people to teach. The teaching pool is slim here but we are excited to build it back up. We found two investigators while I have been here. One whose name is H. She was very open and we shared with her the first vision, and are going to meet with her this week. The other investigator we found is named K. She has some friends that are members and she was really open as well and we are going to be teaching her next week also. We had a really cool experience at dinner on Saturday. We were talking about temples and the Fort Collins open house, and as we testified to them that people were prepared for this event she felt prompted to have us teach in relief society for five minutes after she finished teaching. It was a great opportunity for us to share with the ward the importance of inviting our friends to the open house. My GoTo scripture this week is Mosiah 23: 24 “And it came to pass that he did deliver them, and he did show forth his mighty power unto them, and great were their rejoicings.” I am really excited to be serving here in Greenwood Village!

July 25, 2016

Hello, this week has been a really great week! We have been pretty busy this week we had a lot of meetings. We had a mini Zone Meeting for the new temple open house, District Meeting, and a Zone Leader Meeting. The Zone Leader Meeting was really cool because it was themed off of the school of the prophets and so we got to learn a little bit before the meeting and it is really cool to see how it prepared the early leaders before they went to spread the gospel. We also did quite a bit of service this week. We went downtown as a Zone to Denver Rescue Mission, where we prepared a lunch and served it to the homeless. We have been really focused on finding and we were able to find 6 new investigators this week! We plan to find even more this upcoming week. We are currently working with two girls V and B and they want to get baptized. The only thing is that they are moving in a couple weeks and have some family situations that may cause some complications. It has been really fun serving with Elder Bake and the work is really enjoyable right now. My GoTo scripture this week is D&C 6:36 “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.” Focusing my thoughts on the work is so important and there is so much strength that comes from it.



Elder Blackham​