Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Birthdays, Missionary Lessons and Ward Fasts

We are starting to get a flood of referrals from members, and we already have quite a few potentials from them! So it looks like the ward fast did work. We are still working with Joanne and Steve; it was a hard week for the both of them. Their landlord is threatening to kick them out if they don't deny the Mormon Church. Joanne's Mom is also pressuring her to stop going. But she is still going strong and is continuing to meet with us. We are hoping that she will get baptized sometime in March, we asked her last week.

This week was stake conference for the Boulder stake and we had to help set up chairs and to test audio equipment for the Spanish speakers. We were able to sit by Joanne and another investigator during the Evening session and the Sunday morning session. We had members from the Denver Temple presidency speak to us they both gave very good talks. I also got to leave my zone this week to help a member move so I got to go to Thornton and for the first time I saw downtown Denver, we are only about 30 minutes from downtown, are mission doesn't cover any of actual Denver though! We only have a few Northern suburbs in the mission.

Today is also the beginning of my second transfer which is pretty awesome! It's crazy how fast the first six weeks went. My zone isn't changing too much only two missionaries are being transferred. But they are bringing in another two missionaries to work on campus, so there will be four missionaries working up at CU. They are taking our Malibu away though and they are giving us a truck which will be sweet. We are getting a 2011 Chevy Colorado, the mission bought 8 new 2012 Colorado’s last week to give to all Zone Leaders so we are getting one of the old ones (well I guess 2011 isn't too old). I've been told that our mission has the most vehicles of any mission. There really aren't that many on bike which is pretty nice.
Last Tuesday which was my birthday we were eating dinner with some members, and after they surprised me by asking if it was my birthday and then pulling out a cake! I guess some members had found out that it was my birthday this week and they sent Emails around so I almost had birthday cake every day. It has been pretty windy here lately, and the wind is ice cold. So it hasn't been too fun. But it’s supposed to be somewhat nice here later this week.

We have been teaching Jordan the new member lessons and they are going pretty great. They asked him to speak in church next week and he said yes! His Dad took us to Chili's the other day for lunch which was nice! The honey Crispers are so good. His Dad grew up in Sunnyvale so he was telling me all about it. But congrats Ben on breaking more records and for being famous! It’s pretty cool. And I hope everything is going well with the family! I got a letter from Grandma Covington saying that you send these weekly letters to her so that’s cool! But have a good week! See ya!

Dscn0970 - Singing happy Birthday to me
Dscn0985 - The Broomfield District
Img_0961 - an Intense game of Checkers
Img_0952 - don't even ask

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Holy Ghost, Pickleball and Sick Companions

Yo. So this week has been pretty good, Yesterday, was our P-day and it was a good one. All the Libraries were closed for Presidents day so we couldn't Email, so part of our zone met at the mission office to play some basketball. We even got our mission President to play with us, and he is a balla. We played for a couple of hours. Then we went to a local rec center in Broomfield and we played pickleball, which is like tennis and ping pong but with a wiffle ball, it was so fun. We ate dinner that night with the Bird Family, and that meal changed my life. He served his mission in Korea and I had told him that I like Kim-chi so he had some for us, and made a lot of other Korean dishes it was so good. Elder Gnehm and I ate so much.

We are still teaching Steve and Joanne and it has been amazing to watch her change. When she first started coming to church she was a little reluctant and didn't really like it. But now she participates in discussions and has gained a testimony of Joseph Smith. Last week in Gospel Principles we talked about the Holy Ghost and the light of Christ, and I made a comment on how the light of Christ can lead someone to the true church and she agreed. I also realized that one of my favorite parts of being a missionary is telling about the first vision and using Joseph Smith's own words; ''I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of the spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other - This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!'' Every time I hear that, whether it be in Sacrament or whether I am telling it to an investigator I always feel the Holy Ghost testifying that it is true and that Joseph Smith truly did see God the Father and Jesus Christ that day. When we taught Joanne last week, it was the first time she has heard that account and it was really something to watch her reaction as she was receiving a spiritual witness that is was true.

Last Thursday Elder Gnehm went on exchanges with one of the Zone leaders and the other zone leader (Elder Stanger) came with me. He makes me look like a fool when he plays the guitar he is amazing. We tracted apartments for a couple of hours that day and let’s just say that people weren't too nice to us that day. We exchanged back Friday night. Then at 2am Saturday morning I awoke to Elder Gnehm being sick, it was not that cool. So Saturday we stayed home because he was so sick, he slept all day and when he wasn't sleeping he was in the bathroom. And I have to admit a mission can be really boring when you don't do anything all day. I think I studied for about 7 hours and played guitar the rest of the day. There is an elderly lady that lives across the street who we go and shovel her driveway every time it snows, we also help her with taking out the trash and getting her mail, but she took us out to red lobster last week, it was pretty good.

So I decided that the best part of checking my Email each week is to see how much more Famous Ben has become. I'm pretty sure he will be a household name by the time I get off my mission. But I hope you all have a good week and smile a lot! There is no point in frowning. See ya!

Elder Pedro

Img_0271 - Kimchi! and some of the other Korean dishes Brother Bird Prepared.
Img_0264 - one of the kids who we live with, drew this for us!
Img_0272 -Elder Gnehm
Dscn0928 - what you do when your companion is sick all day
Dscn0953 - doing some weekly planning

Monday, February 13, 2012

Elder Pedro's First Investigator gets Baptized!

So this last Saturday we had Jordan's Baptism it was so awesome. He was confirmed a member in Church Yesterday and Elder Gnehm and I got to stand in the circle when it was done. You could tell that his dad was really happy that he was baptized. We had to prepare the whole baptism; it took 3 hours to fill the font. Elder Stanger (one of the Zone Leaders from Mesa) and I also performed a song for his baptism. We both played guitar and sang My Heavenly Father Loves me, we also had the opportunity to perform that same song for zone conference in front of 4 zones! We got it down pretty well. So we taught Jordan two times this last week in preparation for his baptism they were amazing lessons, we had other members of the deacon’s quorum and also some of the leaders came to join in as well.

Zone conference was also this last week like I said we got to perform that song! Our Mission President talked to us for a while and also one of the other members of the Mission Presidency, his name is President Stacey. A week ago he became the CEO of the largest private company in Colorado with over 15000 employees. So he is always busy, but he gave one of the best talks I have ever heard, that spirit was so strong in the room! It was like being in very dense fog but spirit style! He talked about the pre-earth life and how we were valiant and noble and how we were to come in the latter days to rescue God's Children. He talked also about the White Hand Book we have and how we are blessed with more commandments so we can be blessed more. I had to lead the music during zone conference too.

So Steve and Joann came again to church this Sunday! That makes it 3 in a row for her, and she is really starting to warm up to the church. Our ward is doing an amazing job at fellowshipping her and she came up to us after church and said she is ready to meet with us. SO we have an appointment set up for this week. We also got another Investigator this week named Toni, and I think I’ve told you about him a little. We brought Brother Hathaway (from the cool family) with us to the lesson He is a great member missionary and we taught the restoration and Toni really was receptive to it and wants us to meet again.

Yesterday I had a very spiritual moment when I felt the power of the Holy Ghost leading me. We were trying to visit some less actives and no one was answering their doors, so we decided we would try one more before we went to dinner so I opened our Area book to try to find their address. I opened to a random page that had 3 names of potential investigators that missionaries from a year ago had tracted into and one of the names stuck out to me, as if it was the only one written. I told my companion we needed to go visit him so we looked up the address and it happened to be on the same street we were on and less than a block away. So we went and knocked on his door and my Companion made me do all the talking. So I asked him if he had met with missionaries like us before, and he said he hadn't but that he had really been interested with Mormonism lately and was really curious about it. He mentioned how he was raised catholic and wants to raise his kids in a religion. We had a nice talk and we got his number! So we will be setting up an appointment this next week. It was such a great experience.

Our members we live with us gave us a guitar we can play so now I’m teaching him how to play its pretty cool! I hope you like the scripture I chose mother! I think it’s a good one and really talks about what I am doing as a missionary (plus I’ve never seen another missionary choose it for their scripture) It’s crazy but next Tuesday I turn 20! I feel like If I wasn't on a mission I would really make a big deal about it. But it’s going to be just another normal day! But love you all!

Elder Pedro
Img_0253 - Jordan and his DAd!
Img_0243 - Performing at Zone conference
Img_0238 - the Boulder Zone!
Img_0246 _ haha so this one is at the mission office, and this little dog was running around. It took animal control 3 hours to catch it and they sent 3 vehicles and this picture is right before they caught it. They stopped traffic for 20 mins.

Img_0251 - a crazy tree house we found while tracting.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Even Missionaries Have Snow Days!

So this last week has been a crazy week! Last Thursday I extended my first Baptism invitation and he said yes! So we're trying to set up a date for him hopefully in a week or two! But Thursday night is when a huge storm rolled in, and it was a blizzard when we were driving home. Then we woke up to about 15 inches of snow! So our mission President called and wouldn't let us drive anywhere and it was snowing pretty heavy Friday too. We live in the middle of nowhere so it doesn't help when we don't have transportation. So we spent an hour shoveling an elderly lady's driveway she lives across the street from us. Then we played a few board games with the Family we live with. We had to cancel most of our appointments that night because the weather was so bad. When it finally calmed down we got a ride from a member up to one of our appointments and on the way we slid off the side of the road it was pretty crazy but fun! There wasn't much we could do that night so we went to the Hathaways (a cool family in the ward) and we played a game called ''ticket to ride which was pretty fun. It started snowing pretty heavily that night but we made it home safely. That next morning we woke up to another 5 or 6 inches. Our mission president wouldn't let any missionaries in the Boulder area drive again. So we had to look for rides, so we went to a part of Erie and brought snow shovels with us and we went looking for driveways to shovel and we ran into one of our investigators named Chip who was building a snowman outside his house, and he told us to join in. He changed his plans from building a snowman to building a mountain range (the flatirons) and we joined in. We had given him a Restoration pamphlet the other day and he started asking questions about it, which is good because it meant he read it ha-ha! But he really had a problem with Joseph Smith Being a prophet so we both bore testimony of how we knew he was truly called of God to be a prophet, and he seemed pretty intrigued so we gave him another pamphlet to read about the plan of salvation and told us to come back next week.

This last Sunday was a good day too! Steve (who was the RM that had gone inactive) showed up with his family again and is serious about coming back to church. And so we're going to meet with his wife who is a non-member. Then another girl brought her friend to church, and her friend loved it and wants to become a regular! So we gave her a Book of Mormon and we are meeting with her this week! The ward did a fast for missionary work too! And all the classes were on how we can be member missionaries. It’s cool being in a ward with so much enthusiasm for missionary work.

We also met with a man who was a headquarter referral, he works for a company that does printing for the church when they can't meet their own needs. So he is in Utah quite a bit and he wants to meet up with us, he told us that he has a ton of questions so we have an appointment for this Thursday. It's crazy to look back at where we were a few weeks ago to where we are now with quite a few investigators. And the members have started giving us a lot of referrals too so we will be visiting them this next week as well.

Last Wednesday was pretty interesting too. I went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders. They serve in the singles ward in Boulder. They live in a mansion and have the whole basement to themselves its pretty sweet. They both play guitar and are into music which is cool. We are singing in Zone conference in a couple of days so we worked on our song that we are going to sing. We spent the day at CU, it is such a big campus and it definitely has a college vibe to it. We went to a courtyard and split off and would just go around talking to people. I talked to a Jewish guy with Benjamin Pedro type long hair and we talked for quite a bit and he wants to meet up with us again. We also went tracting right next to the campus and every door we knocked on the students talked to us for quite a while, We got a couple of referrals out of it was cool talking to kids my own age and having a conversation about their beliefs. And let’s just say that CU is notorious for is partying, and we smelled quite a lot of unique smells as we went tracting. We continued tracting all night and ran into to quite a few people who know people who are serving missions. I’m going with the Zone leaders again tonight! So maybe I’ll have some more crazy stories for next week.

Thanks again for the Uke! It’s pretty legit I think my companion is sick of me singing all the time. I hear that there are a few more snow storms coming in this week so hopefully it doesn't get too bad. And if you are wondering my companion and I were studying in our basement when the super bowl was on! I didn't even faze me that I was missing it. But love you all! Hope everything continues you to go well.

Elder Pedro

Img_0221 - Thats Jay, he is one of the kids we live with.
Img_0222 - Walking to an appointment.
Img_0226 - the Mountain range we helped Chip build.
Img_0220 - This was after the first day! our burried car.
Img_0228 - this is Shane he is preparing to go on a mission and he thought it would be a good idea to wax part of his beard off its was funny