Tuesday, August 1, 2017

June & July 2017 - Only 6 Weeks Left!

June 5, 2017
We had a really good week this last week, we have been working really hard to find people to teach and we had all our appointments fall through last week. We know that as we keep working the Lord will
provide a way and help us find the one who is ready to receive us. We had a couple cool experiences as we were finding this week. We weretracting and this man told us to try talking with a family on that
street, so we stopped by and no one was home, but as we were finishing tracting on that street we saw someone go into the house so we went and knocked again. A lady answered the door and it was kind of awkward at the beginning but as we began talking to her we started to answer the questions she had about life and she opened up to us and was willing to learn more. Yesterday evening we were knocking on some new houses and at the very end of the day we talked to this lady and had a really good experience as we talked about the restoration. She was open to learning more and we are excited to meet with her again.

This week we went on exchanges with the Assistants and it was a lot of fun. I was able to go with Elder Gray, this was the fourth time I have been on exchanges and we have become really good friends. The day went really well we were doing some administrative things and weren't in our area but as we were walking to the truck we started talking with this lady about the Gospel and then met her husband and they were interested in learning more. It was pretty cool to see how the Lord puts people on our paths.

Friday we had MLC's. It was President's last one and it was sad but President Mendenhall left a powerful testimony and told us to "Go Forth and Serve!" So my GoTo Scripture this week is D&C 1:5 – “And they shall go forth and none shall stay them, for I the Lord have commanded them." This work is the greatest work on the earth and God will continue to hasten it and move it forward. I have been studying the book of Acts quite a bit and it is amazing to see how the Apostles did not let anything stop them from sharing the truth that they knew that Jesus Christ Lives! I am striving to follow their example because this is truly his work.

June 12, 2017

I had a really cool experience on Monday. I was emailing a family about the convert fireside that was on Friday and inviting them to come because I baptized their 11 year old son when they were starting to get back into church. I hadn't really kept in touch with them and when they replied a couple minutes later they told me they were getting sealed the next day. I was really excited and I talked to President Mendenhall and I was able to see their family be sealed in the Fort Collins Temple. It was such a cool experience. It was great to see their progression in the church because I was a little worried about what would happen after I had baptized their son, but it was so powerful to see that he had received the Aaronic priesthood and was able to be sealed with his whole family.

I was able to go on exchanges this week with Elder Wright in the Rolling Hills Ward; their ward is in a rougher area and has a lot of apartment complexes. It was a fun exchange. There were so many people to talk to we didn't really have to tract much because we could just talk to people out and about. We met a lot of people who were interested in hearing our message. One was a really cool experience - we met a man who had some important things stolen from him and he was really stressed and sad and he was turning away from his faith in God as well. We started talking to him and tried to help uplift him at the moment. I couldn't see the impact we made but he let us come back and when the Elders did they said he was excited to meet with them and accepted a Baptismal Date. I think it really just shows how much charity can impact others.

I had and final interview with President Mendenhall. It was kind of like a departing interview since President Mendenhall won't be here when I go home. He shared with me 4 things that he has seen keep him on the right course. 1st - Prayer Morning and Night, 2nd - Read the Book of Mormon at least 5 minutes every day, 3rd - Always hold a current temple recommend, 4th - Live what you have learned. He also talked about how missionary work relates to finding a wife and that kind of caught me off guard. I really love President Mendenhall. He has had a huge impact on my mission and I know he was definitely a reason why I was called to serve in the Colorado Denver North Mission.

Friday was a great day as well. We stopped by our investigator and she let us in to teach her. The lesson started off a little crazy and unfocused but as we taught we began to answer her questions and she opened up and was a lot more involved in the lesson. It was a really cool lesson and at the end she prayed and the spirit was really strong. That evening we had the Convert fireside, H was there and spoke during the Fireside it was really great. At the end we took a mission picture and then President and Sister Mendenhall spoke to us and it was probably the last time he will be able to speak to the whole mission it was really special.

Well My GOTO scripture this week is Alma 8:10 “Nevertheless Alma labored much in the spirit, wrestling with God in mighty prayer that he would pour out his Spirit upon the people who were in the city; that he would also grant that he might baptize them unto repentance.” I am grateful for Alma's example of laboring diligently and his desire to serve the Lord. I know that as I have done that especially when it is difficult the Lord prepares us to receive tremendous blessings.

June 19, 2017

This week has been a good week. Transfers are this week and Elder Reynolds is leaving and my new companion is Elder Chun. I am going to miss serving with Elder Reynolds. It has been a lot of fun serving with him even though we didn't see a whole lot of fruit. It has just been great to work hard with him and to have a lot of fun while doing it. I haven't served around Elder Chun before so it will be fun to see how it goes. 


The highlight of the week was teaching A and two of her kids. We shared the restoration and we also showed the new restoration video as well. It was a really powerful lesson and we could tell they felt the spirit because A gained a belief that Joseph Smith was a prophet. We invited them to be baptized and they accepted the invitation. It was a really exciting experience.


The bad news was two days later we were following up on her Book of Mormon reading and she told us she talked to her husband and didn't think it was something for her whole family and they dropped us, that was pretty hard but we will just keep moving forward.


We had some really good experiences though. We had a lesson with Am that went really well, and we found a couple new people to teach.


My GoTo scripture this week is Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."


June 26, 2017

This week was a really great week. Hey there is a kid from the ward I am in that is going to the same mission as Josh and he reports the same time as well, so tell Josh to look for Elder Marx. He gave his farewell talk yesterday and it was really good and it was pretty cool that even though I didn't get to hear Josh's I got to hear someone who is going to the same mission.


So we had transfers this week and my new companion is Elder Chun. He is from Hawaii and it has been a lot of fun serving around him so far. We had some pretty cool experiences as were working this week. First we stopped by a part member family that we had been trying to get in contact with and we were able to teach them. It was a really powerful lesson and we are excited to continue teaching them. We had a lesson with another family we started teaching but we were only able to teach the father and his daughter's boyfriend, but it was a really powerful lesson. He was really open and he began to apply these things into his life and he accepted a baptismal date. It was a really cool experience as well.


We are really excited for this transfer. There is already a lot of great things happening in our ward.


My GOTO scripture is Romans 8:31 "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can prevail against us?"


July 3, 2017

This week has been a great week. I had a lot of great experiences. Yeah it’s kind of weird that I'm going to be 20 but honestly don't worry about sending anything, I think I'm good for now and it won't be that long till I see y’all anyways. Also I sent Josh an email. Hopefully he gets it. The last couple ones he hasn't responded, but he doesn't have to respond to this one I know he is pretty busy. Our P-day is today. Tomorrow will be normal proselyting and we have to be in at 6pm. You should tell the kids that I said to get out of the house and have fun! Because honestly I don't remember any time spent on the games.


So President and Sister Mendenhall left the mission on Thursday and now we have President and Sister Savage. It was a hard change but it is exciting to see how things go. I haven't met President Savage yet but we will on Wednesday. The Mendenhall's had a farewell meeting on Wednesday with our zone and another zone. It was really special. We wanted to do something special so after the closing prayer we all sang the EFY medley - it was really cool. The Mendenhall's shed some tears and were grateful we sang. Something really cool that President said is that the Brethren see Denver as the SLC of the mid-west - Pretty cool.


I went on an exchange with Elder Holtry and it was a fun exchange. At the end of the day we knocked on a door and a lady answered and said they were too busy for us, but then her husband came to the door and said he wanted to hear what we had to say, so we were able to teach him. We aren't going to be able to come back till August because they are out of the country but it was a really cool experience. Also on Saturday I did a short exchange with Elder Naio while my companion and his companion went to a baptism from their last area. Elder Naio is from Australia and play rugby for the All- Blacks Junior team which is pretty cool. We had a great time talking to each other and teaching people we met. 


Our investigator M is doing really well. We had our second lesson with him this week, and we brought a convert with us who was baptized two years ago. They were a really good fit for each other because the member was able to share his conversion with M. We also learned he really desires to be clean from the guilt he has of his past mistakes and when we taught about the Atonement of Jesus Christ it helped him a lot. He was also at Sacrament meeting yesterday for the first two hours and he really enjoyed it and what was so cool was how the testimonies and lessons were geared toward him. Our other investigator Sh is doing really well. She expressed how she desires to be baptized, but she doesn't know when because she has some concerns with the word of wisdom. We are excited to keep working with her. The only problem is we aren't going to be able to meet with her for the next couple weeks because she is going to be out of town. We also started teaching a 9 year old, her grand-parents are in our ward and she comes to church every other week with her grand-parents and it should be a really promising opportunity.


Well my GoTo scripture this week is Alma 37:6  "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 seen how God uses small and simple things to do great things, and I am grateful as well to be an instrument in the hand of the Lord.


July 10, 2017

Thanks for sending the package I really appreciate it. It will get put to good use. Well I buzzed my hair a while back - why? I'm not really sure but kind of because some other missionaries did it and one of my good friends Elder Wood really wanted me to do it, so I figured the best time to buzz my hair would be as a missionary. So it got chopped and my plan now is not cut the top at all. That’s exciting to hear about Josh. He probably won't meet the kid from my ward because he went to the Provo MTC because he doesn't have a visa yet.


Well this week was probably one of the best weeks that Elder Chun and I have had which is really surprising for how busy we were. Monday was fun. We started off with our Zone P-day it was a lot of fun. We played Mini-Golf and then after wards we played this game called Spikeball. I had never played it before but it was a lot of fun. Tuesday was the Fourth of July. We first went to a ward Breakfast which was really great. After that we went to drop the Spikeball stuff off to the Sisters and as we were about to leave Sister Savage came to take those Sisters to breakfast and then she decided to take us along with her. So we had breakfast with President and Sister Savage and a couple other sets of missionaries. It was really cool to meet both of them, they are both really great. As we left back to our area President Savage told us to look for two miracles that day and in my mind I was a little skeptical because I thought no one would want to listen to us because it was the Fourth of July. Well I changed my attitude and as we went finding that day we decided to try street contacting people and there were a lot of people to talk to, but even better was that there were many people who were listening to us and wanted to hear our message. Most people were in their garage getting ready for the 4th and so we started talking about their plans for the 4th and tied freedom into the restoration and at the end of the day we found three families to start teaching.


Wednesday was really cool as well. We had a Zone Tour where President Savage visited our Zone and another Zone. It was a very powerful experience. An Elder had expressed to President he was Struggling and in the meeting President Savage addressed specifically towards him. It was almost like a blessing but he didn't lay his hands on him, he just acted by the Authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood. The Spirit was very strong.


We had MLC's on Friday they were really good and I learned a lot at them. Saturday I was on Exchanges with the Assistants. I went with Elder Heiner and it was a really great experience.

We had a really interesting lesson with a couple that used to be Jehovah Witness but now are kind of Baptist. We brought our ward mission leader and they kept on bringing up Anti questions. At the end of the lesson I was straight forward and said some of these questions you are asking are like us trying to teach you calculus without teaching algebra and so they agreed to let us come back and teach the very basic principles. So we will see how it goes. We weren't able to meet with M this week which was a little disappointing but we have kept in contact with him so we will see how this week goes.


My GOTO scripture this week is Mosiah 4:30 – “But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.”


Hope Yall have a great week


July 17, 2017

Well this week was a really great week. We have had some really great things happen this week. First let me start with a miracle this week: it started in a dinner message we shared with a family. We invited them to pray for an opportunity to share the Gospel and to expect a miracle this week with sharing the Gospel. Well the next day it was about 8:45 and we had a little bit of time left so we went to these town homes (same ones where the members live), and I didn't know who we needed to go see, so I said a Prayer to myself asking who we should stop by. Right after we got a text from the members who told us she talked to her neighbor today and the neighbor said missionaries had given her a book of Mormon but never came back. Since we were already there we stopped by and were able to start teaching her. I love this experience because it really just teaches us that the Lord will provide miracles if we trust him to and exercise faith in him.


Our Sunday was really crazy yesterday and was packed with excitement. It started with 8am: Quail Valley Ward Coordination, 9am: Sacrament Meeting - we both spoke as well on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, 10am Quail Valley PEC, 11am helped teach a primary class, 12pm we had a lesson with J. It was shorter because we had to make it back to church but it was really cool to start teaching her and her son, 1pm-4pm Quail Valley Ward, 4pm we taught A - she is 9 years old and her Dad is less active but she goes to Church every other week with her Grandparents and she wants to be baptized, 5pm dinner, and 8:30 coordination with Trail Winds Ward mission leader. So yeah it was pretty busy yesterday but probably not as busy as Dad is on Sunday.


Anyways it is really cool right now we have a lot of trust in both wards because they see us working and we have been finding a lot of people to teach as well. It was crazy this week. We found a lot of people to teach in the Quail Valley Ward which is usually the more difficult ward to find in but this week it wasn't quite the case. There are a couple really promising people we have to work with which is really exciting. We are still working with M. He isn't ready to be baptized at the end of the month and we had to resolve some concerns of his but we set an expectation of Daily Contact and that seems to really be working.


We met some cool people while we were tracting this week. There were two people we met that already believed in the Book of Mormon. One was from the Community of Christ and the other was Bahai (which basically believes in everything so...) Also some guy asked where the Gold Plates were and I asked him where the Ark of the Covenant is and he said they discovered it. I know I am out of the loop of things but I would think I would have heard about that.


We also had Zone Conference this week. It was really great. It is crazy to see a lot of the missionaries that came out with me giving their departing testimonies, but it’s also crazy that my next zone conference will be my last.


My GOTO scripture this week is 2 Nephi 2:8 – “Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.”


July 24, 2017

Well this week was really great. We had some really great things happen. But first last week in the Quail Valley ward we found a lot of new people to teach and this week all of those appointments fell through, but I am kind of used to it now, so we are just going to have to get in touch with everyone and set up a new time. We still had some really great experiences the first was with S. We met with her for the first time in three weeks and we had a great lesson. She wants to set a baptismal date, and is really excited to start reading the Book of Mormon. She really understands what we teach her and she was at Sacrament meeting this week as well, We are really excited for her and it is really cool to see her progressing. Also we had a good lesson with M and we were able to reset his baptismal date although it seems like now we might have to resolve some concerns he has.


We saw some really cool experiences finding because it just seemed a lot more difficult finding people this week, but every time it got tough it seemed that there was someone we were supposed to meet. One was last night - we were tracting and towards the end I saw a man sitting outside, we actually had talked to his wife a couple of weeks ago. As we were talking to him they seemed to be really receptive and wanted to meet with us. It was really cool to see how the second time things had changed in their family and they were a lot more willing to meet.


We also had interviews with President Savage this week and it was really great. He is a really great mission president.

My GOTO scripture is 2 Corinthians 12:9 – “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”


I know Christ can make our weaknesses our strengths I have seen that time and time again while on my mission.


July 31, 2017

This week was really great. We found out transfers and it is always the same feeling - exciting and sad. I am going to be training a brand new missionary so I am really excited since I haven't had that opportunity yet. I am also going to be a District Leader and I felt a lot more prepared than I was when I was a district leader over a year ago. I am also getting transferred to Boulder and will be sweeping into my area. I am excited to go there and now I will finally be close to the mountains, but I am sad because we are getting swept out of our area. I am going to miss serving in Thornton, also I am going to miss teaching S - she is now on Date for the 25th of August and has been at church the last 2 weeks. We had a great lesson with her and it was great to see her husband at church this week. Also we are continuing to teach M and it is going really well. He invited us to his sons birthday party and we went for 20 minutes and it was awkward at first because everyone was staring at us, but then we told everyone M invited us and it was good. We have seen some really cool miracles this week as we have been teaching this week and it is really cool, it is just really sad to leave this great area. Also I got my tooth fixed, so that is good. It was probably the most painless visit I ever had at the dentist and it only took like 20 minutes total. Well that’s about all I have. A scripture that has been on my mind a lot is "Look unto me in every thought doubt not fear not" I know if we have faith in Christ all will be well.


Elder Blackham