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.”

Elder Blackham

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