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​


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