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.
Elder Blackham

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