Monday, April 3, 2017

Feb-March 2017

Feb. 6, 2017

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


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