Week 57 – Transfers and New Companion

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful week this week! My week was pretty good, except when we got our transfer calls…

Well, I am going to have to break the news to you. Elder Beus and I are getting split up. It was really bitter sweet. He was such an awesome companion and it is so hard to have to split up now. I will be staying here in the Manteca Northland Ward and will still be the District Leader. My new companion is Elder Silva. I have met him a few times and he is super chill. It is sad to see such an awesome companion go but my new one is pretty awesome too from what I know about him. It will be a good journey together.

This week was Elder Beus’ birthday so let’s just say we had some fun! All four of the missionaries from our ward stayed at our apartment that night and we just had lots of fun! We went out to lunch with all four missionaries to the best place in town! It is a breakfast and lunch place called “The Mangy Moose.” We each got the “Dirty Moose.” It has three biscuits at the bottom, hash browns, a bunch of eggs cooked to your choice, bacon and sausage, with a bunch of gravy poured over it! It is the best thing in the world. Also, Happy Birthday to one of my awesome brother-in-laws, Colton! He is a straight up baller and always fun to be around! His birthday is this Thursday so wish him a Happy Birthday!

This week we visited with a bunch of different families and investigators. We visited with the Manuleleuas, Tuluas, Defazios, and Scheeringas! We had a super good visit with the Manuleleuas. We talked about the Sabbath Day for a little bit but they just really love to talk. They are super awesome and I am excited to keep working with them! We visited the Tulua family yesterday and the visit went well. Brother Tulua is a super awesome Samoan. I may have written about him before because he is super awesome. We are still breaking the ice but it seems to be going very well. We also visited the Defazios, Marianne and her husband. We helped them clean their home. She is one of the sweetest people I know. She has a rare disease and the doctors don’t know what to do. It is super sad to see her slowly dying. She weighs about 60 pounds. Last but not least, we visited the Scheeringas and were able to teach them! They got us these super awesome egg cookers. You put eggs in them then put them in the microwave and it cooks your eggs however you want them. I tried it out and it was pretty good! Now it only takes like two minutes to make scrambled eggs and I can get ready in the process! Sounds good to me!

On Tuesday we did some service at Second Harvest and we also did service at the Methodist Church on Friday! I love doing service. It is so wonderful to be able to help out all the wonderful people that we do! We do about six hours of service each week and it is really fun. We always look for opportunities to serve. On Saturday when we were leaving our apartment complex we saw a few U-Hauls coming in. We stopped and talked with one of the ladies. She and her fiance were moving in and it was only the two of them there. It was so awesome to be able to help them move. The guy grew up around a bunch of “Mormons” and said he really loves our church but it is too strict! We laughed and made a good friendship with them. He said it was so nice to have our help because he has helped so many people move and, of course when it was time for him to move, no one could come. He said it was a blessing in disguise that we showed up and helped him, so that was pretty cool!

The scripture for this week is Joshua 1:9. I know that we are never alone. The Savior is always with us and knows what we are going through. A lot of things happened this week and I keep remembering the video “The Will of God.” Lots of things happen that we don’t fully understand. I think this scripture and video support one another. Everything is the will of God. We are so blessed to have a loving God. If anyone is struggling with anything, please watch “The Will of God.” Heavenly Father knows us best and he sometimes has to cut us down to build us back up a better version of ourselves.

Love,
Elder Pope

This is after we did service at the Second Harvest food bank!
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Elder Beus’ Birthday. We had tons of fun!
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Here is the district! Everyone is super cool in my district!
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Week 56 – Super Bowl LI

I can’t believe that another week has gone by. I also can’t believe that the Super Bowl was yesterday. Man I wish that I could have watched it! All I heard was that it was the best Super Bowl ever! Not going to lie, one of the hardest parts of being a missionary is not being able to watch cool stuff like that. It is okay because by the next Super Bowl I will be home. I am not the biggest fan of Tom Brady but there’s no denying he’s a stud. Congrats to him on getting his fifth ring! Also, #GoBroncos

So not a whole lot happened this week. We visited with a few families but it seemed like everyone was either busy or out of town. I guess everyone around here goes big for the Super Bowl. We were able to meet a few new families though. We met with the Chandler family for the first time this week. They are from Mississippi and are awesome. No one in their family is a member but they have talked with missionaries in the past and love the gospel. The atmosphere at our church just isn’t what they are used to on Sundays. They love how our church is really focused on families but aren’t sure about the whole being quiet during church on Sundays. They are used to the Rock and Roll kinda stuff.

This week we also got a referral from some members. We went and visited him. He is a big Samoan that is super awesome. They are the Tuluas. He has a 7 and a 9 year old who both want to be baptized. Their birthdays are in the next two months so they will both be able to be baptized. His wife isn’t a member and she is a little bit interested. He also told us he wants to have us over for dinner. We were totally down for that. Samoans and Polynesians make the best food! You can never go wrong. We are now teaching two Samoans and it is the best. Teaching them is awesome but them feeding us is the cherry on top!

Because there are four missionaries in our ward we have been talking with President Palmer a lot. We decided that it would be best to split the area. So, for about two days this week we got to sit inside and work with the other missionaries on splitting the area. Let’s just say that sitting inside is so boring. We were doing stuff but just being inside and not having anything else to do but split the area and change things out of our area books was so boring! When we are out teaching people the time goes by so fast, but when we are in our apartment or just not doing anything it goes by so slow!

We went out with the other missionaries for a day to let some of our investigators know that we split the area. It was kinda sad to give up Paul. He is the one investigator that we would go to if we needed a laugh or if we were ever in the area. He loves learning more about the Gospel and is a super funny guy. We went to his house and he was drinking a lot again. I think I wrote about him a few times ago. He is super funny. We usually just share a message outside his house. He asked us again if we wanted shots. Haha. We told him NO, of course, and why we don’t drink. We visited with him for just a little while but it was sad to give him up. He is that one person who can just make your day!

That is about all that happened this week. Nothing too exciting. We are still working as hard as ever. The scripture for this week is Moroni 10:32. This is one of the most powerful scriptures in the Book of Mormon. I know that they are all powerful scriptures but this one just really stands out to me. There is not a whole lot I can add to this scripture. We need to be perfected in Christ. It’s just really straight forward for us. I love my Savior so much and know that if we will be perfected in him and deny ourselves of all ungodliness then our lives will be so much better. We will be blessed in so many ways! I love you all and am grateful for all of the prayers. I feel each and every one of them!

Love,
Elder Pope

After splitting the area all day we decided to stop by the DQ and grab some ice cream. You can never go wrong with a blizzard from DQ!
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This is after the Super Bowl. We saw the other missionaries and decided to stop by a member’s house. He updated us on the super bowl!
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This week we also received this picture from Belinda. Belinda and Wayne took Elder Pope and Elder Beus to Mongolian BBQ. We are so grateful for their kindness and generosity!
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Week 55 – New Schedule!

Hey everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful week wherever you are! This week was a pretty great week! The weather was super nice and super sunny. I guess it is supposed to rain this next Wednesday so we aren’t looking forward to that. Elder Beus and I are doing awesome and having a great time being companions.

We had dinner with three part member families this week. In the first family, the husband is not a member and has been taught by missionaries for the past few years; he isn’t ready to be baptized yet. The second family we had dinner with is the Manuleleuas. Lets just say that they make killer food! Anyone with that kind of last name usually does! They are super awesome. We are teaching their 16 year old son and their 18 year old daughter (who the YSA Sisters are supposed to teach but she likes us better – I wonder why. Haha!). It is going great though. They are super awesome and we even got both of them to come to church yesterday, which was awesome. They said that they really enjoyed it and will be back next week. The third family we had dinner with was the Dyrda family. They took us to get sushi on Friday night. We basically crashed their date but they invited us so hey! It was lots of fun and sushi is amazing if you get the right stuff! We are great friends with them now, so now we just need to help him understand this wonderful Gospel and how important it is in our lives.

This last Wednesday we had a big meeting. All of the missionaries from our mission gathered together in one building. It was for a worldwide devotional. I bet most of you have already heard, but yes our schedule got changed and yes it is awesome! We now have two more hours on preparation day (P-day) to do things. We now have an hour and a half to get ready in the morning and an hour and a half at night to “prepare for bed.” So now in the mornings I get to take a 45 minute nap, which is awesome. Any extra sleep that a missionary gets is much needed sleep. It will take time to get used to it but it will be awesome when we do!

On Friday we had President’s interviews. It is always so much fun. A bunch of missionaries get nervous but President Palmer is an awesome person. He always cracks me up whenever I talk with him. We had a great conversation and I love him to death. He helps make missionary work fun. It is really just as important that you be yourself around people. It seems like people really love you more when you are yourself. People really notice when we act like robots. We are here to teach people about Jesus Christ but we are also here to have fun. There is no need to be anything but ourselves. It just makes the work even “more fun” (because I guess “funner” isn’t a word).

We have been really trying to tract and find new people. We have a few meetings with people this week. It seems like each week we have more meetings with people. Some of them fall through but we just need to keep our heads up and try again next week. We are on the Lord’s errand and everything happens for a reason. Just because something doesn’t go our way doesn’t mean it is the end of the world. We need to stay positive and keep pushing forward. The homeless people like to throw rocks at us when we bike. It is pretty funny because we will try to teach them but they won’t let us talk, then when we bike off they try throwing rocks at us. Notice the key word here is “TRY!” It is a good thing that they have had bad aim so far.

The scripture I want to share with you all this week is 1 John 4:8. Our district meeting this week was all about love. Everything comes down to love when you think of it. Love is also a commandment that we need to follow! Even though it is hard to love some people, we need to be like the Savior and love everyone like He did. I love all of you and all that you do for me. I feel all of your prayers and know if it weren’t for you guys I wouldn’t be where I am now. Thank you all for all you do!

Love,
Elder Pope

Lunch after district meeting. It is always fun when you are with a bunch of missionaries!
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Elder Beus and I preparing for President’s interviews!
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So…they convinced me that these don’t bite and when they do it doesn’t hurt. My face is the way it is because it had just turned its head and was looking at my ear like it was something good to eat. Kinda scary. Just so you know, these things do bite. They told me after the fact so man am I lucky!
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I held it! You betcha. These things are pretty scary. I don’t think I could sleep if one of these lived in a cage inside of my house. No, thank you!
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This morning for preparation day we hit up the BMX bike park. I guess you could say we had a little fun! We had the four missionaries from our ward come and have some fun. I never knew how tiring it is to bike around a full track!
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Who is diggin the new suit? I saw it and I couldn’t pass it up! In the second picture I am trying to act like the model on the page. Let’s just say it should be me instead of that guy. Haha!
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Week 54 – Trump is President

So this week was a pretty cool week! The most exciting thing that happened this week is that we got a new President! I am anxious to see what will happen with our new President. This week was a pretty wet week though. We have been getting dumped on with rain! A few of the missionaries in my district crashed on their bikes this week, which kinda stunk but everyone is doing good now!

This week we were able to talk with a bunch of people but we were only able to teach a few lessons. We have a decent amount of appointments set up for this week so we are really excited about that. You would think that people would be more willing to let you in with the rain but it seems like they just open the door and talk with you. The appointments we have this week are with families, which is really awesome. Most of the families are part member families where at least one of the family members is a member of the church. We also have an appointment with a family where none of them are members. I will write about them next week and share how the lesson went!

I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with the zone leaders this week. I went with Elder Nielsen. He is a great missionary and an all around great person. I have become good friends with him. He is from Canada and loves to play basketball. We get along pretty good. There are a few pictures below from our exchange. We went over to the Robbins’ house and visited them while it was pouring outside. They have these bearded dragons that are super scary. They normally don’t get both of them out at the same time but they did to show us. They both wanted to fight but the Robbins’ wouldn’t let them. It was pretty scary!

We were able to do some service this week. The main service project that we did was helping the Methodist Church give out food to the homeless. It was super fun to talk with a bunch of different people. There were six missionaries there and it was lots of fun. The people of the Methodist Church are really awesome. They love having us missionaries come and help out. We have also made a decent amount of contacts there.

The scripture for this week is D&C 38:1-4. This is one of my favorite sections in the Doctrine and Covenants. I love these scriptures because it really shows just how amazing Christ is. He is Alpha and Omega. He is the creator of this earth under the direction of God. I love him so much. He loves each and every one of us so much! Jesus Christ didn’t have to do any of the things that he did, but he did it out of his love for us. I am so grateful for him!

Love,
Elder Pope

These are the two bearded dragons that the Robbins family has. It was pretty scary. They look like the lizards that are in the moving Holes. Pretty sketchy.
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When it rains it pours. The wind was blowing like 50 miles an hour and it was pouring the hardest I have ever seen. It was kinda cold too!
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My future Jeep. It is pretty cool, I guess! I think they spray painted it themselves and I want to do that when I get home!
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This is our friend Jeff. He is preparing to serve a mission so we take him out on team ups all the time. He is super awesome! He is going to kill it on his mission wherever he goes!
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Elder Beus and I partying in the rain.
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This is the funniest Hermana I have ever met. She is super funny and loves talking with us!
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Four of the missionaries while serving food to the homeless!
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Service with the Methodists. I took a picture by the sign for proof!
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Which one do I wear better? I now have the away and the home jerseys! #GOWARRIORS
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This week we also received a picture from Sister Palmer. This is Elder Pope with Elder Miller. These two handsome boys played baseball together at Lone Peak High School and now they are serving together in the California Modesto Mission.
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Week 53 – Happy MLK Day!

I hope everyone is having a great day today! So now that marijuana is legal in California it basically smells like weed all the time. It seems like everyone here smokes it now because it is the “cool” thing to do now that it is legal. It is pretty great when you get those people who want to talk with you but aren’t fully there, if you know what I mean.

Today is President Palmer’s birthday! President Palmer is the best Mission President! He is one of the most loving and genuine people I have ever met. It has been such a blessing to have such a great Mission President who loves each and every one of his missionaries. He is a great example of Jesus Christ.

Not a whole lot happened this week. We visited a few families and were able to teach a few lessons. We have an investigator named Juan Jr. that we taught a few times this week. He is keeping his commitments and we have a time set up to meet with him this week. We weren’t able to teach Brother Dyrda this week but they came to church! He promised us that he would come to church and they did. We have another appointment with them this next weekend so hopefully that goes over well! He is great and super awesome with us!

Sorry for the short email but it seems like not a whole lot of exciting things happened this week. It is always exciting but not too exciting! This week should be more exciting! The scripture for today is Moroni 7:12. I am not sure if I have used this one or not. We need to always thank God for all that we have. Everything that is good comes from God. He loves us and wants the best for each and every one of us!

Love,
Elder Pope

Our investigator, Paris, gave us a big bag of kettle corn because she knows how much Elder Beus and I love kettle corn! This is the only way that we could carry it back home. Thank goodness it wasn’t too far of a bike ride! And yes, we were biking when this picture was taken.
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Here is another picture of our precious. It made it back safely and we destroyed it that night!
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We had a pretty intense Nerf War with our zone leaders. You could say that Elder Beus and I won!
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This is James. He is a super funny member! Just a little background on James: He loves the missionaries. He loves taking us to lunch and is always willing to do anything for us. He was hit on the freeway a year ago, going 65 miles an hour, and is on disability. He is one of the funniest people I know. There is never a dull moment when you are around him!
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This is our study room. We spend a few hours each morning in this room studying the scriptures and learning more about Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
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This is a movie theater in our apartment lobby. We watched The District down on the projector and got some hot chocolate. We have a hot chocolate machine in our lobby that is super awesome too!
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Week 52 – Happy Hump Day!

This week was a great week! We were supposed to receive a ton of rain these past few days and it was going to be the storm of the century…Well, guess what? It hasn’t rained but a few drops so far. I guess over these next few days we will see! We helped a lot of people put up sand bags this week. The city was giving away free sand bags so we got some good service hours in this week. I am sorry that I didn’t take any pictures of us putting them up!

This week Elder Beus and I were in a part of our area that I had never been to before. For some reason, we decided that it would be a good idea to visit a few people up there. It is a small area with hardly any opportunities for missionary work. As we were biking around, we stopped to decide on where to go next. There was a guy across the street watching us for a few minutes. After awhile he walked over and started talking with us. He eventually told us that he is a member and hasn’t been to church in about four years. He said that for their new year’s goal, he and his wife wanted to start coming back to church! It was not a coincidence that we happened to run into him. We have an appointment tomorrow with them and we are super exited to visit them!

We had dinner with the Dyrdas again this week. They are a super awesome part-member family. They took us to a super awesome Mexican restaurant! We have been visiting a bunch of prospective elders and part-member families. The ward is very awesome and has really been trying to help us as much as possible. We have been meeting with members each night and teaching them a lesson. We are trying really hard and encouraging them to go and do missionary work.

This week we had Stake Conference! We had Elder Weatherford T. Clayton from the seventy come and speak to us. It was really awesome to hear from him and learn from all of the wonderful stories he told. When he was speaking at the adult session on Saturday night, he had all of the full time missionaries in the Stake come up. We sang “Called to Serve” and we recited the first vision. It was super neat. He also asked a few of the missionaries where we were from and I was one of them. I told him, “Alpine, Utah” and he said Alpine is a great place. After the meeting a guy walked up to me and told me that he too is from Alpine. His name is Toby Goeckeritz. He is the triplets uncle! It was way cool. My mom also taught him in school. What a small world, I guess! Back to the point, Elder Clayton talked a lot about being a good neighbor to everyone around us. He quoted Alma 37:6-7 quite a bit. We need to be doing the small and simple things for the people all around us. It is a great way of doing missionary work and it is easy! He was super straight to the point about things too! He is a super awesome guy!

Not a whole lot else happened this week! Hopefully we don’t die in this crazy flooding that hasn’t happened yet but is supposed to! I love you all so much and am grateful for all of your prayers. I feel each and every one of your prayers each and every day. If it weren’t for my Savior I wouldn’t be here! I love Him and am grateful for Him. He loves each and every one of us. Always remember that and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Elder Beus and I didn’t take any pictures throughout the week this week, so last night we had some fun taking pictures. So here are a few awesome pictures that we took last night so we would have pictures to send home today!

Love,
Elder Pope

Get it?
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Guess who has the coolest apartment in the mission…WE DO!!!
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When you are still feeling the Christmas spirit!
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Shhhhhhhhhh!
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Week 51 – Happy 2017!

I hope all of you are enjoying this new year. It seems like 2016 just flew right by! I am excited for what this year has to bring! It is so crazy that I only have one year left on my mission.

This week was a pretty awesome week! We picked up a new investigator that we are pretty excited about! It is a part-member family – the Dyrda’s. We had dinner with them this week and were able to teach them! She served a mission ten years ago. They have been married for just under a year and he is interested in the gospel. They are really awesome and told us that whenever we don’t have a dinner to call them and they will take us out to dinner! We are going to start meeting with them once a week, hopefully!

This week I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder Schultz. He is a really funny guy and a great missionary. We were able to contact a lot of people and do some service. We helped Brother Cortez (one of our cool members) with some service. We helped him take down a wire gazebo with trees all over it. It was a lot of fun! We then took him out to dinner at Chili’s because we had 75 dollars in gift cards to there! He was really happy that we helped him. He gives us rides all over the place so we figured we would take him to dinner. It was lots of fun!

Elder Beus and I are staying in Northland again! It is super fun to be companions with him! We always have a good time. The members here have really been helping us. They are opening up a lot and giving us people to go and visit. We have to split up our dinner calendar now so only two of the missionaries can go to a dinner. All four of us can’t go to a dinner together anymore. They want us to get into more houses, which is a great idea! We are excited to do it!

For New Year’s we went to a family’s house and played cards with them and ate lots of food! It was pretty fun to be with the other two missionaries and with the members. We played Five Kings. Not sure if any of you have played it but it is a pretty fun game. We also taught them Scum. That game never gets old especially when you beat everyone!

As missionaries, we have been challenged by our Mission President to read Jesus the Christ. As I have been reading it I have gained a lot more knowledge about Jesus Christ. I have learned a lot about the Atonement. It is only through our Savior, Jesus Christ that we can be saved. Because of Him we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again. Today is the one year mark of my Grandma Pope’s passing. She is missed so much! She was a wonderful lady. We all have challenges in our lives that we need to learn from them and grow. Her passing was a trial in my life. It made me want to serve a mission even more. I am grateful that families can be together forever. How lucky we are to know the Plan of Salvation! I hope you all have a wonderful year this year! Live life to the fullest!

Love,
Elder Pope

This is the picture from the service project we did for Brother Cortez.
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#WhiteGirlStatus We got Brother Cortez to take us to Starbucks after dinner. It was pretty bomb!
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Go Courgars! I love all of the BYU stuff I got for Christmas!
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Elder Beus and I made a ping pong table in our apartment. Let’s just say that we have a good time! We also keep putting up lights all around our apartment, so it is super awesome!
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Elder Beus and I were street contacting and we came across a park. We had to make sure that there wasn’t anybody on the top of the park that we could teach about Jesus Christ. It is a five story park. We are about 30 feet up in this picture. It was pretty awesome!
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Elder Beus and I also had to test out the park to see if it is safe for kids! It is safe. I think that I would make a great bull rider because I totally nailed it when I was riding the horse.
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