Tuesday, December 6, 2016

November 2016

Nov. 7, 2016

Aloha, I hope everything is going well. It is pretty great out here on my mission. It seems like it is speeding up and honestly my mission is going by too quickly. We have been really busy this week. We went to the Temple on Wednesday, had interviews with President and Sister Mendenhall on Thursday, had exchanges on Tuesday, had a meeting all day Friday, and Sunday we had a Multi Stake Conference. I also found out some new changes to the mission - we are going to be having interviews and Zone Conferences every Transfer starting next year. They are also going to extend a transfer next year by a week. This will be the second time this will happen, which means I will be out two weeks longer. I'm not sure how that will work for school. A couple missionaries that came out with me are going home a transfer early but I don't really want to.

Monday was Halloween. We were going to have a Halloween themed Zone P-Day but the Church was closed, so we had to cancel it We went to 16th street mall instead and went through some of the shopping centers, which reminds me I think I am going to need some new pants pretty soon.

Tuesday, I went on exchanges with Elder Watkins. He is from Iowa. What is really cool is that right now he covers U-hills and Bible Park, so I got to serve in my 1st area, although it was in a part that I didn't cover. On exchanges, I realized how much I have grown. I feel I am a lot better at sharing the gospel and talking to people. I was glad to be able to use the skills I have acquired to help Elder Watkins in his area. While we were there I had dinner at the Mortensen’s and he is actually President Mortensen's Nephew, so that was pretty cool – Small World. While we were in U-hills we were praying with a surveyor who let us teach her and right after these kids asked us if we could pray for their brother. We started talking to them and I learned that their brother was only a teenager and he was in prison. It was sad to hear but I had hope because I know the Gospel can help their family through a tough time.

Wednesday we woke up for a 6:00 am session at the temple. It is always great to go to the temple and feel the Divine Spirit inside. That night we had a lesson with M. We are currently handing him off to the YSA missionaries and it was a really powerful lesson. We were teaching him and at the end of the lesson we invited him to pray. M is from China and when we first met him he had a small concept of faith. It was amazing to see he has grown in faith enough to pray and it was a very powerful prayer.

Thursday Interviews were great. I am so grateful for President Mendenhall - he is an amazing man. We had a lesson with the Brother D. He has met with missionaries for a while and his wife is a member of the church. We tried to help resolve some of his concerns and help him. I see that he is really close to being baptized.

Friday we had MLC's. it was a great meeting. Training was on the Book of Mormon. It is so important to remember that the Book of Mormon is the way for us to gain a testimony of the Gospel. Also we saw the new Christmas initiative. It is going to be really cool. We also met with B that night - we tried to resolve some of the concerns he has. The lesson went well and I think B is definitely growing as we meet with him.

Saturday we met with a lot of people. One was R.  He is from India and is Hindu. The lesson we taught was focused on prayer it was really spiritual especially as we knelt in prayer with him he told us he could feel the spirit. We also met with T - she seemed really interested and prepared by the Lord to receive our message. We promised she could strengthen her faith in Christ through the Book of Mormon.

Sunday was a Multi Stake Broad Cast and it was all of the Stakes in our Area. They broadcasted it from Salt Lake City and Elder Rasband was there along with Elder Soares. We had some of the F kids and J G at the meeting which was really exciting.  At the end of our night we met someone who was going through a really hard time. She was frustrated at God because she couldn't see how he would let her lose everything she had, but it was still very powerful to see how God placed us on her path to testify of the Atonement to her.

This week is the last week of the transfer which is crazy. Hope yall have a great week!

Nov. 14, 2016

Aloha! It’s crazy that transfers are this Wednesday. It feels like the transfers keep flying by faster and faster. I found out that I will be returning to Aurora to the Sable ward. It is right next to the Peoria Ward that I served in for 4.5 months. I actually have already served in that ward for three days on exchanges. I am pretty sad to be leaving Greenwood Village. We have been having so much success in this ward and there will be some really exciting things happening soon, but I guess I will have to carry the momentum over into the Sable Ward. This week has been amazing and I have learned a lot since I have been here. A couple exciting things that are happening this week - J will be baptized this Saturday. She has really embraced the Gospel and is willing to follow Jesus Christ. Also, S is going to be baptized. He is getting baptized in the Maplewood YSA Ward but he has asked me to baptize him! Some really cool things happened this week.  First B came to church with us. It has taken him a while to come to church but thanks to the fellowship of the ward he felt a lot more comfortable coming to church. He really enjoyed it and he has made a lot of progress. Also, A was at Church as well and so was J. We had Stake Conference this week so it was really special being able to hear the great talks that were given. We had some great lessons this week one was with M. He is from China and he has been recognizing the spirit as we teach him and as he reads from the Book of Mormon. He has been going through a hard time right now but I have seen the Gospel help him through it. Each time we teach him it is very special because we have to teach so simply. We also met with S. He amazes me with how much study he puts into the Book of Mormon and his desire to know if these things are true. S is really excited to prepare for baptism. I have learned the importance of talking to everyone no matter what. We met a man who asked a lot of questions and as I listened to the questions he asked and the things he said, he told us he was struggling. He wanted to better understand his purpose here on earth and we were able to help him. It was a very special moment. I am grateful for this opportunity I have to serve others. Sharing the Gospel brings me so much joy and I have learned to love those around me. I am currently studying about Captain Moroni. I love the Scripture in Alma 48:17 “Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men."

Nov. 21, 2016

Hello, This week was really great! I love it back here in Aurora. So many good memories and there are so many great things happening here in the Sable Ward. I swept into Sable with Elder Dale because the missionaries in the area before, Elder Ah Nee and Elder LaRue, finished their missions. We walked into a great ward. They had four baptisms before we came in and there are three people really close to being baptized. The first is the F family. I actually knew Brother F from the Peoria ward. He is from Liberia and was baptized here, but he had to wait for the rest of the family to join him so they could learn about the gospel. Well, since I last saw him, his family moved into the States and his wife and his daughter are preparing for baptism. The other person is E. She has been working with the missionaries for a long time and is ready to be baptized. I actually met her quite a few times at one of our service projects in Greenwood Village. I was able to say good bye to B before I left. He was a little sad because he was having us over for dinner on Friday. Elder Krulish told me it was really good. B actually used to work as a Chef. Wednesday was a little crazy with transfers. We are driving a brand new Chevy Malibu, but it made it hard to move everyone's luggage. We had to throw our stuff in the sister's van and take another set of elder’s luggage, who were also sweeping in. We were planning to get our luggage that night but the Sister’s lost the keys to their car so we didn't end up getting it until the next day. It all worked out. It was a little crazy walking into a sweep because that Friday we had to coordinate a service project for our zone. It was pretty fun. We helped set up for a huge fencing tournament. We have been having a lot of success finding lately, so we can keep the work going in the Sable ward. Sunday was an amazing experience. I had the opportunity to Baptize S R. Elder Bake and I found him in Greenwood Village and after a lot of miracles he was baptized in the Maplewood YSA ward. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to serve as a representative of Jesus Christ - it is an amazing opportunity. My Go To Scripture this week is Helaman 10:4 "Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments."

Nov. 28, 2016

Howdy y’all! This week has been a great week we have been pretty busy with exchanges and other stuff. Elder Dale and I have been having a blast together here in the Sable Ward it is just crazy how much work there is to do. So pretty cool thing I found out, Elder Bake he is down in Parker and he got a refferal from John Washington to teach his Brother Matt and Elder Bake was able to make that connection which is really cool. So on Tuesday I was on exchanges with Elder Hinckley we stayed in the Sable Ward and had a great day. We met with E. She is getting ready to be baptized pretty soon. We haven't taught her much but she has already been through the lessons twice so we are just making sure she understands everything. We also had a lot of time to find and we were able to teach a lot of new people. We met a lady named H and I don't think I have ever met someone so excited to meet with the missionaries. After I started talking to her she told us she had been waiting for missionaries to knock on her door. She wanted to know what brought us so much joy and we are going to start teaching her. Wednesday I went on Exchanges with one of the Assistants, Elder Olsen - he is from Dallas and is good friends with Sterling Boyd. We were able to teach two Brothers in the Savory Ponds Ward and they accepted an invitation to be baptized. It was really a sweet experience. I learned a lot that day. I realized that I need to focus on the people in front of me and teach more to their needs. On Thanksgiving day we had a meeting for the Zone where we introduced the Light The World Video. We had a little bit of difficulties showing the video but it ended up working great and this new initiative has really helped our finding efforts. We had a great Thanksgiving dinner at the Ploman’s. There was really good food and they cooked a turducken. Most of the day we went out to talk to people walking around we went over to a recent convert’s house for an hour. Friday we got flu shots - the mission had everyone get them at one of the church buildings. Also we contacted a referral at a hotel and the lady at the desk was actually a member of the church. She just hadn't gone to church in a long time and so we invited her to church and she came! Saturday we were able to meet with the F's and we taught them about the commandments. They are excited to be baptized. We are just trying to help them keep their commitments. Also, I was able to attend the Baptism for J. She got baptized by Elder Krulish and I was able to speak at that baptism. It is really cool to see the fruits of my efforts. Sunday E was able to make it to church and a couple other investigators. We were able to find some new people to teach. Well things are going really well and I am excited to keep them going. Hope y’all have a great week.
Love, Elder Blackham

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