Monday, June 19, 2017

April - May 2017


April 3, 2017

This week was great! It just felt like a spiritual recharge. To answer some of your questions - I have played the piano on my mission, mainly just for district meetings if no one else can play the piano. It definitely makes me wish I would have practiced more because I am not that great. As far as my teeth I'd say they are pretty good. Well we had transfers this week and it went really smooth which was nice. We have been using the new “Prince of Peace” video which has been great. It is a really powerful message that we have been able to share. This weekend was really busy and we didn't have a whole lot of time to proselyte. On Friday we had Mission Leadership Council. It was really great. President Mendenhall, showed all of the past Easter initiative video's and had us share one word that described when we felt the spirit was very strong and that meeting had a big impact on me. One thing I am trying to do when I talk to people is to imagine what the Savior would do and then follow him. It’s helped me talk to everyone because I know the Savior would talk to everyone. General Conference was also really special it was my last one on my mission and it was a very special conference. I love President Monson’s talk on the Book of Mormon. Some people may not like how short his talks are but I think it makes it even more important to heed his council. He could have spoken on anything and he chose to speak on the Book of Mormon and the anchor it is for our souls. His invitation was simple - read it every day - how long or in what detail he didn't say. Just read it. I also loved Elder Rasband’s talk to not only recognize the spirit but to respond. It is something I am trying to do better to act on promptings I receive. Sunday night was so cool. I just felt such a desire to talk to everyone. We talked to people up on their balconies on the phone it didn't matter I wanted to sound a trumpet that this gospel is restored. Also Saturday night we were leaving the Priesthood Session and I felt we need to stop by B's. My companion felt the same and we did. We committed him to watch General Conference and when we followed up the next day he did. He listened to the Prophet and for the first hour of the Sunday morning session. It was really powerful because I don't think B would have if we didn't heed the Prompting to act. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to share the Gospel. It is so great and a special privilege. My GOTO scripture this week is John 12:26 "If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me him will my father honour." I am trying my best to follow Christ I know as I do he will be with me.

 

April 10, 2017

This week was really awesome. We had a car fast on Tuesday and of course Tuesday was the coldest day this week and we did a lot of finding, it was pretty funny - we were tracting and we met a man who was a member but wasn't on the directory. He wanted us to keep in contact with him but what was funny was that he lived right behind the church. Also we were able to find a couple new people to teach. We taught two Sister's in our ward that are coming back to church and I felt we really needed to emphasize on preparing for the temple and when we invited her to do that she told us she had met with the Relief Society President earlier that day and had talked about a plan to prepare for the temple. It’s pretty cool that we were able to reconfirm that for her. Thursday night we felt prompted to stop by an Investigator but he wasn't home. What was really cool was that someone we had been trying to meet with for the last transfer pulled over next to us and we scheduled to meet with her the next day. Her name is K and when we stopped by the next day she told us she had been called into work earlier but she just ignored it because she wanted to meet with us. We taught her and her two sons the Restoration and invited her and her son who is 9 to be baptized and they accepted a date for May 13th. We are really excited for them, but we definitely have a lot more to teach them. Saturday night we had a really cool lesson we stopped by D’s, she is Christian but is really just searching for truth, and she told us she was on the phone and that after we could talk with her.  While we waited we talked to one of her room mates, M. He believes in Native American beliefs and was telling about the Sweat lodge, and then another room mate came down, C. He believes in all scripture basically Christianity, Hinduism, and probably something else, but at first I was wondering how we were going to teach three different people with three very different beliefs our message. The great things is the Gospel can be related to everything and since their beliefs probably all came from the fullness of the gospel we were able to teach the Plan of Salvation and answer all there question. The funny part was partway through the lesson D grabbed this quartz rock and only the person who held the rock could talk. It was a lesson to remember. Also this week I finished the Book of Mormon for the fourth time. It took me over a year because I had been thoroughly studying it and not to mention I read the Book of Mormon in between for the Book of Mormon challenge. It was kind of like Book of Mormon inception. I know that the Book of Mormon is true it has strengthened me so much and brought me closer to Christ.

 

April 17, 2017

This week has been really great! It’s so cool to hear about all these mission calls. Also I am glad Tyler had a great time at youth conference. I think those experiences had a big impact on my life and helped me a lot in my life. 

This week was great. First off on Saturday, I was able to attend the Baptism of H. I found her when I was in Aurora in the Sable Ward. It is so cool to see the progression in her conversion. I remember knocking on her door and how excited she was to first meet us and this weekend she made the covenant of baptism. I attached a picture.  She said she didn't really want it on social media though. It was a great Baptism. Elder Dale was able to baptize her and hopefully her husband C will follow soon. We had Zone Conference this week and it was a great meeting. I was able to learn a lot and I really desire to have my eye single to the glory of God or in other word to see others as our Heavenly Father see them. We had a great Easter and we were trying to get as many people to sacrament as possible. F and M went to Sacrament Meeting which was really great and also the R family were there (they are recent converts that haven't been to church in a while). We have spent a lot of time finding this week and we were able to share the “Prince of Peace” message with quite a few people as well. We met a man named V and it was really cool because we were in these apartments and I had felt prompted to knock on their door before but no one answered. Well we were walking by their door and I felt we should knock on it again and this time they opened. They are from India and are Hindu but he was really open to reading from the Book of Mormon so that was a neat experience. Also we had a lesson with D, M, and C. It was a crazy lesson. C is the most interested out of everyone I think, so we will see where that goes. Also we have been doing lessons with the members to find people who are ready. It’s just beginning, but over time I think it will really help. Have you been able to invite anyone lately? Just curious…Well my GOTO scripture this week is Alma 34:32 "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors." Have a great week!

 

April 24, 2017

This week has been a great week - some great things are happening in our area. Really quick one thing that they don't tell you to bring is a GPS. It’s pretty useful. I don't know if Josh would be able to use one but most missionaries use them. I have one that I bought from a missionary. Well we did two exchanges this week. The first was with Elder Cluff - he is a really great missionary. We had to drive to the Denver Temple to meet a senior missionary who had packages for us, so that was fun. We had a great time as went about sharing the gospel and had a lot of good conversations, but one of the coolest experiences was when stopped by a member who is getting married or got married to a non-member. We didn't get to meet the non-member but we were able to talk to her about teaching him. On Wednesday I was on exchanges with Elder Hartwig in the Auburn Hills and Newlin Meadows Ward. They are some nice areas with really nice homes. That area had been struggling with finding but we were able to find a new person to teach. His name is M and he is Jewish. He was really nice. We had a cool lesson with a part member family later that night but the nonmember wasn't home. It was still a really good experience because we were able to help the member open up and invite the whole family to read and pray together. The rest of the week we spent a lot of time finding. We were tracting one night and this older man opened the door and said “you tracted into me come on in.” We were a little confused but this man was actually a less active member that had moved in about a week ago. That was pretty cool. We have to move K’s baptismal date back because she wasn't able to make it to church. Anyways this should be a good week My GoTo Scripture is Matthew 26:39.

Love,

Elder Blackham

 

May 3, 2017

Sorry I forgot to tell you are P-day is on Wednesday this week because we had a temple trip today. Well this week was really great and I had a lot of fun. So last Monday we had Zone P-Day we played some pretty fun games, like glow in the dark capture the flag, indoor foosball, and this balloon came where you tied balloons to your ankles and tried to step on other people’s balloons. We went on exchanges with the AP's on Wednesday and had a really good exchange while we were there we tried a prank that Elder LaPerle did to me a week earlier, where he put one of those Easter Egg tablets into the shower head and for the first couple seconds the water looked like Kool-aid. Well it kind of back fired when we tried it on the AP's because it launched the shower head off. I guess it built up to much pressure but we eventually got it working again. We had a great lesson where we really listened to the investigator's comments and where able to teach to her needs. We actually taught some really good lessons that day. We had Interviews with President this week. That was really great - President and Sister Mendenhall are awesome! Friday evening and all day Saturday it snowed, yeah in April it was crazy but we saw some huge miracles from that. We first met M. He just moved from Alabama and his family is moving here soon. He let us teach him and we had a great lesson and he was really willing to search for himself. The second was on Saturday night we hadn't really found anyone to teach and it was almost 8pm. We first met C who let us schedule a time to come back. We were then on the third floor of an apartment building and my feet were wet and freezing and we knock on a door and this lady lets us come in and teach her family. She has two sons and we had a great lesson with them. Her kids were asking tons of questions and they have been looking for a church to go to. We are really excited to start teaching them and helping their family even more. We had a car fast yesterday and even though we had all our appointments fall through it was a really good day and we met a man that just moved from Florida and would like us to come back and teach his family. I have really seen huge blessings this week for being diligent and enduring to the end because that is where the Lord truly blesses us. My GoTo Scripture this week is 3 Nephi 27:13 "Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me." I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ it has brought me so much peace in my life and helped me do things I didn't think I could do.

 

May 8, 2017

So transfers are this week I am leaving Parker and I am going up to Denver North to the Quail Valley and Trail Winds Ward. I have never really been to that part of the mission so it should be a lot of fun. Also I am going to be with Elder Reynolds. He came out with me but I haven't really served around him so this should be great! I am really going to miss Parker though. This is such a great area and I have meet some incredible members. This area is great and hopefully it will continue. We have had some pretty awesome experiences. We had a lesson with our investigator C. We were able to teach her sons as well and we had a great lesson, they had a lot of questions that we answered and we are going to be able to continue teaching them. Also we had this crazy experience where we were in an apartment complex and some lady told us to not be surprised if people were rude. Well we knocked 5 doors in a row and they all opened said we aren’t interested and then closed the door. Well we kept knocking and we meet A and we are going to be able to start teaching her and her family. Also last Tuesday night as we were finishing up the night we talked really shortly with this young couple and they told us to stop by. Well when we stopped by they let us in and we were able to teach them. It was a really cool lesson and we are going to be able to continue teaching them. My GOTO scripture this week is Moroni 7:33 "And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me." I am grateful for the opportunity I have to serve, I need to use the time I have now to the fullest.

 

May 15, 2017
I really enjoyed talking with everyone last night. Everyone seemed to be doing great and I was excited to here that Josh has done a lot of preparations for his mission. Could you really encourage him to go out with the missionaries? I never did that and I wish I had, also another thing that would help him would be to give a copy of the Book of Mormon to a friend. I'll always remember one of the missionaries back home who said the one thing he regrets was not giving his friend a Book of Mormon. That really helped motivate me to give a Book of Mormon to Paul.

Anyways this week was a great week, it was bittersweet to leave Stonegate - I really loved that area. Tuesday before I left was really great. We first drove Elder Fry to the mission home - he just finished his mission. I was able to stop by a couple families before we left and that night we had a great lesson with the B Family. We were able to begin teaching them the Plan of Salvation and it was a really great. Also that night before we were heading home I got to talk to C and F and say good bye to them. Transfers went really well, I am excited to be serving with Elder Reynolds, I have learned a lot from him already. We are really excited for this transfer and to make the most of it. We had some really solid lessons this week one with M. She was really open to our message and wanting to learn,
and she was going to be at sacrament meeting this Sunday but she wasn't able to leave work. The other was with D. He has been reading from the Book of Mormon a lot and we were able to help him begin to recognize the spirit and help strengthen his testimony. We had a Leadership meeting on Friday and I was able to take away a lot. Two things I am trying to focus on are: Accounting to God in my Prayers and also finding ways to express my love for Christ. My GOTO scripture this week is Alma 5:26 "And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so
now?" I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be serving here on my mission


May 22, 2017
Hey Dad I heard you were called in the Stake Presidency. How did you feel when you received that call? I know you have been called by revelation and because that is so, I know you will be supported and Strengthened in your calling. I love this quote by Elder Maxwell "God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only about our availability, and if we then prove our dependability, he will increase our capability!" This week has been a really great week. It has been really great working here in the Thornton area. Elder Reynolds and I have really been working hard. We have been doing a lot of tracting and talking with everyone we see and we have seen blessings from that. We have a couple investigators that we are working with consistently. First we met with M this week and we were able to bring a member from our ward to that lesson. The spirit was really strong and we focused on how we can receive an answer that the Book of Mormon is true. We also met with D he has been reading the Book of Mormon and that has helped him a lot and he is praying to know if he should be baptized. We had some really cool experiences while we were finding this week. On Tuesday I was on splits with another Elder because Elder Reynolds and another Elder went to a leadership meeting. While they went to the meeting we were finding and the first person we met was a lady from Pueblo who was living with family here and she had been dealing with some trials. We were able share part of the plan of salvation with her and we are going to start teaching her. Also it was crazy at the end of the week it was snowing and we met a member that was living with her daughter's family who weren't members. We stopped by the next day and taught the grandson, it was a great opportunity and I am grateful we had the chance to teach him. The other really cool experience we had was with K. We had been tracting all day and we met him. He had met with missionaries in the past and had been to church before and we are excited to start teaching his family. My GOTO scripture this week is Mosiah 28:3 "Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble." I am grateful to be able to share the Gospel and for the time I have left to continue to do that


May 30, 2017
I appreciate your letters, it is really cool to here that Josh went through the temple and that he is going to be a temple worker. This week was a really good week. We had Zone Conference this week and so that took up a lot of time. We spent quite a bit of time getting ready for a training that Elder Reynolds and I had to give at Zone Conference. We trained on teaching with your companion in unity and something I took away is sometimes I think for things to be fair or equal within a companionship it has to be I do 50% and you do 50% and that equals a 100%, but that’s not the right way. It works best when I give 100% and you give 100%. We also had to drive all the way down to the south side of the mission to help with car inspections so that took up a lot of time. Zone Conference was really great. It was President and Sister Mendenhall's last Zone Conference so it was pretty special. The theme was Strive. Some things I took away were that my mission is a turning point in my life and that I never need to turn
back and if I do my best now that will prepare me for the future. Also I learned to use Teaching in the Savior's Way - it is a really cool manual and I had never really read it before, it is a great tool to help me evaluate myself as a teacher. So during the beginning of the week we didn't get to as much proselyting as we would have liked and it made it even harder when D and also M dropped us. But we pressed forward and continued finding and we had some really cool experiences. We felt we needed to rely more on the Lord and so we set some goals to pray more as a companionship. As we did that we found a lot of people that were willing to let us come back and share more of our message with them. One specifically was G. I saw his family outside while we were on the phone and I felt we should go talk to them, so we went and knocked on their door. We began to talk with G and teach him the restoration and he had never heard these things before. So as we taught him he was willing to search for himself and meet with us again. My GOTO scripture this week is Matthew 4:20 "And they straightway left their nets, and followed him" I am grateful for the opportunity I have to serve the Lord. Yes I am asked to give much up but as the Apostles left their nets I have left mine and will continue in service to Christ.
Love,
Elder Blackham

 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Feb-March 2017


Feb. 6, 2017

Hello,
So that was Paul (Alex sent a picture via text on his pday) -  he  is a member in the Auburn Hills Ward and we were at his house getting haircuts from Oz, who also lives at Paul's. Oz is working on getting re-baptized and he will be going to our ward. So yeah Oz gives really good haircuts. Oka,y Popcorn prayer is like popcorn reading where you start praying and in the middle of the prayer you say "Popcorn Elder Blackham" and then I would start praying. It was kind of awkward and I tried to end the prayer, but instead B said to popcorn it to Elder Barker so I did. For the schedule change our planning at night got moved to the morning so we can go to bed any time from 9:30 to 10:30pm and from 6:30 to 10:00am we exercise, get ready, prepare for the day, have personal study and plan. Companion study is done during the day, and lunch is cut from an hour to 30 minute. On P-Day, we get ready, plan and have 30 minutes of personal study from 6:30 to 8:00am and P-day is extended 2 hours from 8:00 to 6:00pm. The only Key indicators we track are Baptisms and Confirmations, Investigators at Sacrament, Investigators on Baptismal Date and New Investigators.

So it has been a great week we had some really cool things happen this week. Wednesday night we had to park the cars and it was about 8:30 and we were tracting in these town homes and someone called the Cops on us. So a cop pulled up and got out and walked up to us and asked us who we were with. We told him we were from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and he told us we were good. We decided to start walking back to our home when another cop pulled up next to us. He was actually a member and he offered us a ride home so we got to ride in the back of a cop car. It was pretty cool. We had a really great lesson with M. It was his birthday on Tuesday so we gave him a vocal point cd when we saw him on Thursday. We had our lesson with him in a member’s home and it was so cool how big of a difference it made. We also had a great experience on Saturday. We were walking around an apartment complex and we saw a lady looking at a desk that she was trying to move. We offered to help and after we had done that we told her our purpose as missionaries and she told us she hadn't been to church in a while and she knew her sons really needed it so we have an appointment with them today so we will see how it goes. I am pretty excited for it. Sunday was as exciting as last year with the super bowl so it was pretty normal. We decided to go to an area where there are a lot of Indian people, figuring we would have a better time with people not as integrated into American culture. I am staying in Stonegate this transfer and I am going to be with Elder LaPerle.  I served around him when I was in Sable so things should go well. I am pretty excited for this transfer.


February 13, 2017

This has been a really great week, and pretty crazy. On Monday we were finally able to meet with a less active member, D. She has been going through a rough time. So it was good we were able to finally talk to her - we had been trying this whole transfer. Tuesday was another car fast and that was fun. We had a lesson with B which was really good, she is from Ghana and she has three boys. We have been teaching the restoration with them and we were able to teach them on Saturday as well, but the coolest thing was that they came to church on Sunday! They made it to about halfway through church but it was really great to have them there. We also had a great experience with M. We had a lesson on Tuesday that went really well. He is making so much progress and after that lesson we had a cool experience. Brother Poelman's brother in-law is in a different ward in the stake and invited M to speak to the youth about his experience with meeting with the missionaries. It was really cool because he had a great opportunity to share the blessings he has seen in his life. Transfers were pretty crazy. We had 3 sweeps in the zone. We had to move some beds to a member’s home where the sisters were going to be
staying and we had a set of Elders in our apartment because the Sisters got locked out of their home while the members they lived with were out of town, so they stayed in the Elders apartment. Not to mention our apartment has been a wreck this whole week. Elder LaPerle is really great. He is from Seattle, Washington and has been out almost a year. We were able to meet with D and two of her daughters and that went pretty good. It’s kind of funny - we have been working with 3 families with single mother and 3 kids each. Friday we had a meeting up in Broomfield and we had to take a box spring and 5 mattresses up to the mission office. The first way we put them in the truck didn't quite work so we had to pull off the I-25 and readjust them. Dad, don't laugh at the way I first put them in. I didn't realize how much the wind would catch them. This week my GoTo scripture is Moroni 9:25 “My
son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever.”  We have got a lot to work with this week and it is pretty exciting. Also there is an Elder in our Zone from the Philippines, Bhutan City.


Feb. 20, 2017

Hello! This week was really good. I got your package y’all sent. Valentine’s Day was good - we had dinner at Bishop's and we had these heart shape pizzas from Papa Murphey's. Also we finished our 63 day challenge to
read the Book of Mormon. I made a comeback and I finished even though I was in Ether on Tuesday. It was a really good experience reading from the Book of Mormon and then we had our Zone Conference on
Wednesday. It was themed “Look to the Book Look to the Lord.” There was a lot of good training given and it really helped me realize how the Book of Mormon relates so well to all of us. Also we won the clean car award! I never thought we would win it but we did. It’s not that big of a deal. When we judged the North side of the mission and their cars, there was no real format to winning; we just kind of picked someone to win. Thursday we judged cars but we had to drive all the way from Parker to Brighton which is an hour long drive. Later that day was really good. We were able talk to a lot of people and we met this Methodist Pastor who was interested in talking with us. He was really nice. After a guy who I think was a Born Again Christian came up to us and started talking and we talked and talked and it wasn't really going anywhere, but it was frustrating and so after a while we ended it. I still need to work on not getting caught up in those kinds of conversations and really searching for those who are ready and not as much those who want to argue. We are still working with M. He has a calling as a an assistant in the varsity scouts the 14-15, which is exciting, but we are going to have a lesson with him tonight so we will see where it goes. Saturday we had a great day - we found some really neat people. One family we met was from India and they are Hindu. What was really cool was how excited they were to learn about Christianity and to let us come by again. Right now we just have to get more consistency going because we are able to meet with people but not on a regular basis which makes it pretty hard for them to progress. But good things are happening. Yesterday we went to the Broncos training center since it is in our ward. The trophy room was closed which was a bummer but we were able to see a part of the facility.

 

Feb. 27, 2017

Hello, so this week went really well. Um I kind of know who Sister Smithson is but I didn't ever serve around her. Anyways… things have been great down here in Parker. Tuesday was great - we had a really good lesson with M. We had it in Brother Poelman's home and it went really wel. We really emphasized the Doctrine of Christ and helped M see that he needs to prepare for baptism. He is overcoming some of the concerns he has and I really think he will be on date pretty soon. Thursday I was on exchanges with Elder Palmer in the Newlin Meadows and Auburn Hills Wards. They are pretty small wards with a lot of newer homes but we had a great day. It was snowing most of the day but we were out and about talking to people. That night we were out knocking on some homes and we saw a car go around the corner and then a couple seconds later we heard a huge BOOM! So we went around the corner and there was a car wreck. A couple of neighbors came to help but one of the drivers was
drunk. We waited till the ambulance and everyone came and they told us we could leave. Thankfully no one was severely hurt but that was really crazy. On Friday we met a lady from Nigeria and her grandson. We had actually been trying to get in contact with her daughter but she wasn't home. The Grandmother asked what church we were from and I told her and showed her a Book of Mormon and then she told us she wanted to study with us. It was pretty cool. Saturday was great - we had a lesson with A, rewind to last Sunday, we were with Brother Poelman and we stopped by the R family who are recent converts but haven't been to church for a while, and A answered the door and Brother Poelman asked her if she wanted to still take the lessons and she said yes. A is the oldest daughter but she wasn't baptized with the rest of the family but we had a great lesson with her and hopefully this will get their family back to church. We also had Stake Conference this weekend and there were some really good talks. I think I realized I need to be more grateful for what God has blessed me with because I sometimes forget. Yesterday we had some great lessons. One was with B. We finished teaching the Plan of Salvation and the other lesson was with a family from India. We actually meet a lot of people from India and in this one apartment complex there are a lot of Indian families. This was the family that last week they just let us right in. Yesterday we taught the restoration and it was really powerful. They are Hindu but they have so many similar beliefs and as we were teaching the spirit was really strong. At the end the Father offered a kneeling prayer and it was really powerful to see him take that act of faith. Well I am pretty excited for this week the only thing is we are losing our whole Saturday because we will be on exchanges in Westminster with the AP's, but it will be good. We got Oz cuts this morning you probably got the pictures from Paul. They are pretty fresh! Well my GOTO scripture this week is D&C 6:36 "Look unto me in every thought doubt not, fear not." Some of my goals this week are to update the area book every day, to have more spiritual dinner conversations with members, and have no wasted time because with the new schedule there is no excuse to have wasted time so if you want tosee how I am doing with that next week that would be great!


March 6, 2017

Hey! That is so exciting. (Josh got his mission call to the Dominican Republic) How excited was Josh? Was the whole fam around?  I am really excited for Josh. Well this was a great week for us. M is on Baptismal Date for March 25th. I am really excited for him. We had a great lesson with him. It was in Brother Almeida's home and we went through parts of the Plan of Salvation and really outlined progression and then we extended the invitation to M. We are going to try to be there for M to help him reach this date. One thing I have learned this week is the importance of being bold and direct. We have had some lessons where we had to be bold. Sometimes I think I sugar coat things too much when really being direct is the key. It’s important to do it with love, and the Spirit though. We have been
really working on talking to everyone this week and we have done a really good job.  One thing I learned from the Assistants is to eat the AwkoTaco, which really just means don't let awkward situations become an excuse to not talk to someone. One way I did that was when I was on exchanges with Elder Gray there was a lady sitting in her car and so I said hi and walked up to her window and began teaching her. it was pretty cool. I normally would use that as an excuse but now it’s not. So yeah, I was on exchanges with Elder Gray - he is one of the AP's now. It was really fun. He has been such a great example for me and we had a great time sharing the gospel. Things have been great for us. I have been studying diligence this week. I am trying to find ways for me to be more consistent, and not let my diligence be effected by others, and to keep my focus on the work. I have been finding a lot of answers
in the scriptures. My GOTO scripture this week is Alma 36:25 "Yea, and now behold, O my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors." I feel that I need to seek more joy in my labors, and as I do that I will be more diligent.


March 13, 2017

This week has been really great, a lot of exciting things have been happening. Monday we had a really fun Zone P-Day. We bowled using water bottles as pins and mini basketballs, and we played this fun game called gaga ball. What you do is you set up 6 tables on their sides so they make a hexagon and that is the arena. Then you hit the ball with your hands. The goal is to not have the ball hit you from your waist down. It’s really fun. On Tuesday I was on exchanges with Elder Labastida. He is from the Philippines- from Bhutan City. He is still working on his English and he can teach well but he doesn’t' talk a lot. It was a lot of fun helping him and talking to him. We had some cool experiences meeting with people. We talked to one lady and at first she didn't seem very interested but she told us how she didn't think God was always there because she had lost family members. Well as we taught parts of the plan of salvation she really wanted to hear how we could answer the questions she has. We were out talking to a lot of people that day. Later that evening we had a lesson with M. It was a roller coaster lesson, he wasn't in the best mood and a high council member and a member of the elder's quorum presidency stopped by Brother Poelman's to join in the lesson. M felt a little uncomfortable but he is still on date and he felt bad after the lesson about how it went. One night we were out tracting and it was around 8, 8:30 and this guy tried to scare us and started cussing at us. Doesn't happen too often but honestly I am kind of used to it. On Saturday, we were in this apartment complex and this lady was looking in a tree. We started talking to her and she was watching this hawk in the tree. Well the hawk flew out of the tree and this dead bird fell from the tree - it was nature at its finest. We continued talking to this lady and she was interested in learning more - pretty cool. We met with B this week and had a really good lesson. We helped him recognize he needs to read from the Book of Mormon more to receive an
answer. Also we had a zone leader meeting at the Grant Building last night - it was great. My GOTO scripture this week is Alma 36:6 "Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." I have been trying to have smaller goals so I can achieve more. Have fun in Disney World


March 20, 2017
All that was in the tube was the picture, I got it back in Peoria. It was made by a member in the ward and I thought it was pretty cool, I have been carrying it around for a while and so I decided I should just ship it home because they are limiting how much we can transfer with. I am glad to hear y’all had a good time at Disney World, I don't
know how you can stand in those lines. I don't think I could just stand around for that long. Anyways this was a good week for me. A couple crazy things have happened. So M isn't on Date any more. He is struggling with the Word of Wisdom and really needs to take care of that before he gets baptized. He is still coming to church and is
progressing in a lot of ways but we might give him some time before we pick him back up. We also had Interviews with President Mendenhall this week. President Mendenhall is the best. This week we were doing a lot of finding. The weather has been great and with daylight savings we have been able to do a lot more street contacting. We have had a lot of good conversations with people and we have found a couple new people to be working with. One cool experience I had was we were meeting a woman from India and she was Hindu. I was teaching about Prophets and dispensations and she didn't really understand.  I asked her if there was something similar in her religion and she explained it to us and it allowed for us to reteach it to her understanding. It shows how the Spirit teaches to the understanding of the individual and to their knowledge. My GOTO scripture is Matthew 6:34 "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the Day is the evil there of." I need to focus more on the tasks that are at hand and what I can do today. Also B and V M were investigators. I taught with Elder Bake in Greenwood Village and we took them to the Fort Collins Temple
open house. Well they got baptized this weekend, I wasn't there but it was a really great service and it is great to see them make that step in their lives.

 

March 27, 2017

This week has been a really great week. We had some pretty incredible experiences this week. Transfers are this week and Elder LaPerle and I are staying in Stonegate, I am really looking forward to this transfer. We have some great things going. We came up with a cool nickname for our companionship we are "the BlackPerle" pretty cool right? So, we met with the B's this week - they are a part member family. The mom is a convert and her 10 year old son hasn't been baptized. We had a great lesson with them and we really emphasized how the gospel can bless their family. One really cool experience we had was on Thursday we were in the Grandview Estates tracting. These homes are on a lot of land probably similar to our home. We were close to the end of the street and we get to this home that has an open gate at the drive way with a no trespassing sign. We were debating whether to go knock on the door but we decided to knock it. Well, as we head up the driveway their dogs started barking at us and before we got to the door a man comes out. He was so nice, he kind of looked like Blake Shelton and we began talking to him. One of his dogs face was a mess because it had been digging with its face, but anyways… we began talking with him and he was really open for us to come by and it will be really exciting to start teaching his family. Also we met with C this week it was a really great lesson. We taught the plan of salvation and we were able to answer a lot of questions for her. At first I wasn't sure how it was going to go, because she was like are y’all Jehovah's and we explained that we were Mormon's and she just sat back in her chair and was like do y’all live there and we were like what? She thought we were Amish. It was pretty funny. At the end she offered a prayer and it had been a while since she has last prayed. Also Sunday morning I was asked to fill in and give a ten minute talk in sacrament meeting, so I gave a talk on personal revelation. Luckily I had my personal study to prepare. Well My GOTO scripture is Alma 34:27 "Yeah and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare and also for the welfare of those who are around you." I am trying to work on having a prayer in my heart more often.

Love, Elder Blackham

 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Jan 2017


Jan. 9, 2017
I am doing really well and I really like it here in Parker. It is definitely different but it is a good different. It has been pretty cold and snowy last week but now it is finally warming up. Our apartment is pretty nice. It’s probably the nicest one I have been in on my mission.

This week went really well. We have spent a lot of time finding and searching for those who are ready to hear our message and we have had a great time doing it. A couple cool experiences we had while finding - On Tuesday we had our mission car fast. We re-established contact with someone that had met with the missionaries a month ago, but in the afternoon we were not having any luck as we were talking to people until about 5:00pm. Then we met P. He was really nice and had just moved from Missouri and was willing to let us continue teaching him. It was really cool how after a couple hours we were placed on someone's path. On Friday night it was pretty cold outside and we were walking by some people in an apartment complex. We saw a lady outside and she was getting some fresh air. As we started talking with her she told us it had been a rough couple months with some friends and family passing away and so we began to teach the Plan of Salvation. As we shared what she needed to hear she opened up and was really willing to let us come by again.

On Saturday I was able to travel back to Aurora and perform the baptism for E. It was a very special experience. She first met with missionaries back around 2002ish and was supposed to get baptized but never did. She was found about 6 months ago and actually I had been to her home once when I was on exchanges in Sable but we taught someone else that was living there at the time. Well anyways she has really shown a desire to come to church and to follow the commandments and it was very special.

I am really excited for this week - it should be great. We will be doing a lot of finding and following up with people we have met. I want to share my testimony of the Atonement. It can change our lives and it was truly performed out of love. Christ stood in our place perfectly and all he asks of us is to follow him. Christ has already paid the price and now I must use this gift he has given me to the fullest.


Jan. 16, 2017

This week has gone really well. We had a couple days where at the end of the day I was in Heaven because it was just a great day.  I just love those nights when I am able to finish strong in sharing the Gospel. We are finding, but it has been hard to get some consistency going. We have had a lot of canceled appointments but we found some really solid people this week. M is getting there - he was at church this week and we asked him to pray about a date. I learned a lot from the Zone Meetings I went to this week. I am trying to make sure my motive is following Christ and gaining Charity. One way I have done this came from a Zone Meeting I went to while I was on exchanges with the Assistants. One missionary shared Missionary Work and the Atonement and in it Elder Eyring talks about his rallying cry "Remember Him!" Whenever I sense my motive is fading I say that to myself and it has really helped me.  I really enjoy the Stonegate Ward. It has helped me realize the importance of members. I feel that I haven't utilized seeking member referrals as much in my mission even though many of the people that I have taught and that have progressed towards baptism were referrals themselves. I am trying to find a way to go about working with members so that I can implement that into the work. Sorry it is a short letter I will try to include more details next week. I love ya'll.

 

Jan 23, 2017
This week so far has been great. Things are really picking up here in the Stonegate Ward. Tuesday we started off emailing and we got groceries because Elder Salmon was sick on Monday so we didn't get out. Also we spent a little bit of time finding in the neighborhood.  It’s a little hard in the neighborhood because people are pretty content but we have to share the Gospel with everyone. We had a lesson with M and he is trying to make changes in his life so he can be baptized. It may take some time but it is great to see his efforts and when he was at church yesterday he really seemed engaged and he is doing a lot better. We also met a man named R. He was nice and we talked to him for some time but he is going to be moving soon. Wednesday we had Zone Conference. It was really cool. A couple things I took away from it: I need to trust the thoughts and feelings I have when I feel the spirit, I need to be more optimistic by finding Joy in things, and I need to apply the things I learn. Also there is going to be a missionary broadcast this week and I am really excited for it! We met with D. He is really cool. He is searching for truth in his life and he is really open to seeking it through the Book of Mormon. Thursday I was on exchanges in the Grandview Ward with Elder Barker. They live with a member and they have a bench press! It didn't have a whole lot of weight maybe 60lbs but still it was cool to bench. Anyways we had some cool experiences - we stopped by someone and I heard someone in the door behind us so I knocked on the door and a Pastor opened it. I think he was Presbyterian but he was really interested - he didn't try to argue at all. We met some other pretty cool people. We were knocking on these townhomes and a lady told us to go knock on a certain home but we weren't sure if it was the right house but a lady answers the door and told us they were having dinner. We asked to come back and her husband said to come by Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. Then he came to talk to us and he told us he used to be a member of the Church but fell away because of drugs and now is finding Christ. It was a cool experience. Also we meet with a guy named B. It was pretty cool - we taught him the restoration but before we started the lesson he wanted for us to do a popcorn prayer. It was kind of awkward but we just went with it. Friday night we stopped by J and N we had a great lesson. They are Jacobite’s but they have been going to a catholic church because it is the closest church to them. N told us she didn’t feel any satisfaction from the churches she was going to but they are really open to learning and coming to church. Saturday we met with the Ch family it was a quick lesson but I feel there is a lot of potential with their family. We also met H. He let us into his apartment and we were able to teach him the Restoration. Sunday was great we had 3 people we are working with at Church and it was a really great sacrament meeting. I am looking forward to this week. Stonegate is such a great ward. Our ward mission leader is awesome. Hope yall have a great week.



Feb 1, 2017

So I have made the decision to stay out till September 13. I feel like that will be the best for me which means I’ve got to start figuring out what I am going to do with my time. This has been a good week. I love the quote in Preach My Gospel about Diligence and how Work is the Key to missionary work, and it’s that simple. This week some cool things have been going on. We taught a less active family whose son is turning eight and wants to be baptized. The cool thing was the mother grew up in Spring and went to Klein High School which is pretty cool. We are still working with M. He is a really great guy and he wants to serve in the Church. He just needs to change some things in his life so he can be baptized. We had the Broadcast this week, President Mendenhall actually prepared us for the schedule change so it wasn't a huge shock for us but it has been pretty exciting to make the change.  I just love that I am able to journal every night because it was a lot harder before because I would get pretty busy at night. Also the morning schedule is nice - there is a little bit more flexibility in it. The change I didn't know was coming was in the Key Indicators and honestly that has made a big difference because I am not as focused on teaching lessons but more focused on helping people change and  repent. The weather has been a little crazy. It is really weird because it can get really windy during the day which makes it freezing outside and then at night the wind stops and it seems warmer at night than at times in the day. We had a cool experience - we had a lesson that a member was supposed to come to us with. Well the lesson fell through and the member decided to come with us as we dropped by some people. We were really blessed we met a guy named J who is living with a person we have been trying to get in contact with. We had a really great conversation with him he is Christian but he has some really great beliefs that line up with ours. He was talking about repentance and how it is more than asking for forgiveness, but changing ourselves, and about how sin is separation between us and God. He is a really cool guy. The next night we had a similar situation where our appointment fell through and the member that came out with us stopped by a couple people. We stopped by A and it was cool - A is Hindu and as we were teaching the Restoration. Our Brother Samson talked about how he was a convert and how he used to be Buddhist and it was really cool how he was able to connect in a way we couldn't. We also have been working with the C family and it was cool because we weren't sure if the Mom had been letting us come by just because her mom was in town (her mom is a member), but we really felt she wants to meet with us for her family. Her husband was pretty sick and so we offered to give him a blessing and he let us. The spirit was really strong and I think we are making some great progress with them. We met with B this week as well. He is progressing slowly so we just have to be patient with him. He really wants to strengthen his relationship with Christ. We talked to D again - we had met him a couple weeks ago and as we were teaching he started asking why his church didn't have a prophet? Then he asked one of my favorite questions - what happens to some group of people living South America in some tribe that has never heard of Christ before? He is really cool and really desires to find answers to his questions. On Monday I finally met the R Family - they are recent converts and were baptized when Elder Krulish was serving in Stonegate. We had a really good lesson and I think they realized they need to get back to Church. It’s been hard because their family has been going through some hard times. We had a cool experience last night it was about 8:45ish and we were about to head home but I decided we should knock one more door. It was pretty cool we met J. He was really nice and willing to learn more, but the crazy thing is we probably wouldn't have met him if we hadn't knocked his door that night because he is about to be traveling a lot soon. Well this morning we had our temple trip. It was really great. I love the spirit that is felt in the temple. Afterward we had French toast at Kneader's - it was good. Well hope y’all have a great week.
Love,
Elder Blackham

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dec. 2016


Dec. 5, 2016

It has been pretty cold here in Denver. It was really weird because it was nice until the first day it snowed and ever since it has been really cold. Someone in my zone was serving in Broomfield and he said he met Nathan but I don't know what ward he is in. The mission office is in a church building. The office has people at the building to receive the mail.

It has been a really great week here in Aurora. Some really great things happened. First, S got baptized! I was able to go back to Greenwood Village to give a talk at his baptism. It was really exciting. He was super solid when we first met him and it was great to see him. I was able to go on exchanges back to the Peoria Ward. It was good to be back and it was really great to see some familiar faces. Going back helped me realize how much I have grown since I have been here. We had a really successful day seeing a lot of people and being able to help the Elders in that ward find people to teach. Elder Dale and I have tried to use the “Light the World” video in all of the contacts we make with people. It has really helped us in our finding efforts and people are more open with us and willing to hear our message. I think what helps is that people are seeing that we simply are here to help people come closer to Christ. We were able to meet with H and her husband C and it was really great to teach them. They have a real desire to know the truth of what we teach. They seem really excited to learn the gospel. We are also helping E and the F family prepare for baptism soon. Crazy experience! We were out tracting and a guy opens the door with a gun in his hand and then proceeds to try to convince us that his Egyptian gods are true. He let us in and the whole time I was trying to hold back from arguing with him and just trying to testify. I think earlier in my mission I would have argued with him but that won't help him to learn the gospel. Anyways, the work is going great here in the Sable ward! My GoTo this week is Alma 56:47 "Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them." As I have been studying about the Army of Helaman I am amazed at the courage they showed.

 

Dec. 12, 2016

Hey Dad thanks for the letter last week I really appreciate it I hope being a Bishop is going well. Our Bishop in the Sable ward is really great he really cares about the missionary work in the ward and it is great.

My week went really well. We had a car fast on Tuesday which gave us some really great opportunities to be out of our car and talk to people as we were walking. Honestly the cold weather has made it harder to talk to people outside. There are fewer people outside and it’s cold, but it was still really good. We taught D. We have been starting to work with her a little more. The lesson went really well and she was open to the message we shared. On Wednesday it snowed and we found a way to beat the cold. We started tracting at indoor apartment complexes. It is so much better. I can’t tell you how many times this week we would be standing at someone’s door and they
would tell us it is too cold.  I wanted to be like "I know, I am in it." The whole day it was like below 15 degrees and that night it got even colder. We are still working with E. She is doing great and is showing a lot of commitment and I think she will be ready for her baptism pretty soon. On Thursday we had zone meeting and it was really good. I was able to learn a lot and I have been working on applying what I am learning. Friday was a really great day. We had back to back lessons all afternoon. A couple of really cool experiences happened when we were teaching R. We first met him last week and he is from Haiti. It was really exciting teaching him because he understood everything really well. Also he accepted a baptismal invitation and he is preparing to get baptized in January. We also have been working with the F family. E and P will be baptized this week which is really exciting. They are doing really well. We also met with C and H they were really great to meet with. They really have a desire to learn and the spirit was really strong when we taught them.

Well I am looking forward to this week. We will be busy which is great. My Go To scripture this week is 3 Nephi 1:13 "Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken." I love bearing the message of Christ; that he came here to save us. It brings me so much peace.

 

Dec. 19, 2016

This week has been a great week. It’s been really cold. It got below freezing this week. Did you say it was -32 or 32? Honestly how we deal with the cold is we go into apartment complexes that are indoors it makes a big difference. I got your package and both of your letters. Thanks I appreciated it. Also, I am not totally sure what my plans for
skype are but as of right now it will be at 3:00, but I will confirm that when I email you on Saturday.

The Work has been going really well here in the Sable Ward. We had the F's Baptism on Saturday. It snowed a lot but that didn't stop us from having a baptism. It was great! E was baptized by Elder Dale
and then P was baptized by her father. On Sunday we had the Confirmation and Elder Dale Confirmed E and I confirmed P. It was a very spiritual experience and the Spirit was very strong. What was so amazing to me was the patience that Brother F has shown. He moved here  a couple years ago and was baptized, but his family
was still in Liberia. Now they have taken the steps so they can go to the temple in a year. I am so grateful to have been a part of their conversion and to have been able to serve their family.

Also E is doing really well - she is still on track to be baptized on January 7th and we are excited for her. We also taught H and C before they left on vacation. They are still seeking an answer and that is what we need to focus on - helping them know what they need to do to receive an answer. Also we have been working with a lady
named M. She use to be Jehovah's Witness but since has turned away from God. When we first started teaching her we didn't know where to go because she didn't have a belief in God, but as we taught the Restoration I realized that would help her so much and that she could gain a testimony of her Heavenly Father and all that he has done for her through the Book of Mormon.

We were busy with a lot of administrative stuff this week. We had to drive up to judge cars for the North side of the mission and we also had to take an Elder that was finishing his mission to the mission home. I had never been to the mission home before. Also we switched our Chevy Malibu for a Dodge Grand Caravan (mini-van) we needed more room for transporting luggage and stuff so we made a trade. We had our December Zone Conference on Wednesday. It was really cool. Our mission kicked off reading the Book of Mormon in 63 Days. It has
been really exciting. I don't think I have read through the Book of Mormon this fast. As I read I am trying to focus on the Atonement. Also we had a guest speaker, Curtis Jacobs - he talked about some really great things - about how if there had been no Atonement there would be no Christmas. It has really changed my view of Christmas because as important as his birth is, it is what he came to this earth to do that is so important.


Dec. 31, 2016

My new area is the Stone Gate Ward in Parker. It borders the South Border of the Greenwood Village Ward. Parker is a really nice area. There are a lot of new homes and some are pretty big. There is a main neighborhood where the majority of the members live but it spreads out to a bunch of apartment complexes. I am pretty excited to be here. There are a lot of finding opportunities and there are really strong members to help fellowship. Elder Krulish served here for six months before he came to Greenwood Village with me and he loved this ward. My new Companion Elder Salmon was in the same MTC zone as me and I served in Greenwood Village while he was in Downtown Denver so we know each other pretty well. He is from Las Vegas.

This week has been pretty good but I guess I need to start with last week. Last week was a lot of fun. We went on exchanges and I went with Elder Charpentier. He is from Austin, Texas. He has only been out for 3 months but he is a great missionary. It was pretty cool - we were out tracting and this man walks up to us. We start talking to him but he didn't speak much English because he was from the Congo and spoke French, but in his hand he had his Aaronic Priesthood ordination certificate and his baptism certificate. So we gave him all the info for church. On Wednesday we had a really crazy experience. We were supposed to go to a lesson but it ended up falling through and so instead we went tracting with the member who came with us. We knocked on one door and a lady answered and she told us that she was from St. George and then told us her husband had a question. At this point I
was excited her husband had a question for us. Her husband came and he was furious. I don't think I have ever met someone so angry before and it was crazy- you could just feel the Spirit leave. He was going off about all these terrible things our Church does and he said some terrible things about the Church. Anyways he didn't like our church. The member that was with us tried to calm the man down but he was too angry. Anyways I didn't really say anything to him but afterwards we went over to the member’s house and we gave him and his wife a blessing.
Afterwards Elder Dale and I went back to work, we were trying to cope with what had just happened with that man and we're joking about what happened. As we were tracting no one really wanted to talk to us and I told Elder Dale we should stop joking about that experience. Right after I said that Elder Dale started praying out loud for forgiveness and for help that we would find someone. As soon as we finished a man came up the stairs and we started talking to him. He seemed interested and we are going to come by and teach him more. We were going to close with a prayer but right before that I asked if there was anyone we could pray for and he told us some family members had passed away. We started teaching about the Spirit World and it brought a lot of peace to him. It was an amazing experience. God does answer prayers and our message can touch people’s lives and bring hope. I realized that experience we had with the angry man was similar to Christ. Because we are representatives of Christ we must strive to follow him. Often times we focus on the miracles and the people that followed him but we sometimes forget about the rejection. Christ was rejected and spit upon and that was what we had experienced. It didn't stop Christ from loving them or from Atoning for our sins, just as rejection should not stop us from loving others or from preaching the Gospel. I am very grateful for that experience.

Also I realized that the true spirit of Christmas is serving others and following Christ. Even though I am not able to take part in all of our Christmas traditions I truly felt the spirit of Christmas this year as I tried to serve and to spread the Gospel.

Transfers were on Wednesday and I thought a lot about why I was only in that area for 1 transfer and I am now very grateful that I had the privilege to help the F family.  I found out Brother F came here in 2008 and his family moved here in 2016.  It is an amazing example of patience and I am so glad to be a part of helping the F family.

Stone Gate Ward has been great. We are spending a lot of time finding and we have met a couple people that are pretty interested so it is really exciting. I really love this Scripture 1 Nephi 19: 9 ‘And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.”

Love,
Elder Blackham