Week 66 – Happy Easter & Jesus Loves You!

Happy late Easter everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter full of love! I think that one of the main concepts of Easter is love. It is the love that the Savior has for each and every one of us that led Him to do the things that He did. He didn’t have to do any of it, but He did it out of love. Always remember that!

We met with one of our investigators this week and it went really well. We showed her the #PRINCEofPEACE video and it went really well. She was in tears at the end of it. We talked about things that we can do to help strengthen our relationship with Him. We talked to her about getting baptized and she is nervous that if she were to join our church that Jesus would be mad at her. We told her if she does what is right then he won’t be mad at her. She is still praying and trying to figure out if it is true or not, so this week we will see what she says. We also have been visiting a lot of less active members here. It is nothing like in Utah. Two-thirds of the members in our ward are less active. It is super sad. They don’t realize how important attending church really is. Partaking of the sacrament is so important. Yeah there are weeks that we can’t partake of the sacrament because we are out of town but every chance we get to take it each Sunday we need to take it!

This week we had a pretty cool experience. While we were biking to district meeting a lady honked at us. We waived and kept biking. She honked again so we looked closer and she was waving us to come over. We slowed down and pulled over to her car. She started talking to us and really expressed her feelings. Her husband died a few years ago and her son is in the mental institution in Stockton because he has been doing a lot of drugs. She said she is in a really depressing stage of her life right now. She goes to a church in Oakdale but is looking for a change. It was super awesome because we were able to testify of the peace that our message can bring and the joy it brings to others. She gave us her information and unfortunately it is outside of our area but that is okay! We sent the referral to the other missionaries in Oakdale. We are not sure what will come of it but she was such an awesome lady and it was an amazing experience. It isn’t the first time that someone has pulled us over in their car. It is just such an awesome feeling. I now know why President Palmer wants us to ride our bikes as much as possible.

I had the opportunity to go on exchanges this week with an elder in my district. His name is Elder Whitlock and it was a super awesome exchange. He is a really awesome missionary and knows so much. I was able to learn so much from him. He has been on his mission for 19 months now. He is from a small town in Wyoming called Ten Sleep. I love going on exchanges and getting to know new missionaries. That is one thing that I have really loved about my mission. I love teaching the gospel to people but I really love meeting new people. I have met so many awesome people out here!

Church was amazing yesterday! I always love Easter Sunday! I loved listening to the children sing. It was so awesome. Primary programs are just the best. I don’t know what it is but music just gets to me. I love music so much. I never realized how much I really love music until I came on my mission. After church we went over to Brother Cortez’s house and his whole extended family was over. It was a fiesta kinda thing. I think that’s what they call it. The kids had an Easter egg hunt and we had lots of candy and had some fun! We then went over to a different family’s house and had dinner. It was a super fun day!

The scripture for this week is Alma 7:11-13. This is one of my all time favorite scriptures about the Savior. I feel like it is appropriate for this time of the year. The past few weeks I have been reading Jesus the Christ and let me tell you – I absolutely love that book! It was super awesome because at the beginning of the week I was reading about Jesus Christ suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and yesterday I finished reading about His resurrection, the main few parts of the Atonement. Something that really stood out to me, that doesn’t get covered a lot, is the scourging. For some reason that just stood out to me as I was reading about it in Jesus the Christ. I know that He felt every single persons pains and afflictions in the Garden but I don’t think we will ever know everything He went through. I just think of the whip/cat-o-nine tails that they whipped Him with. I can imagine what that felt like and then getting the crown of thorns placed on His head. I can put my mind around those and no thank you. He is the King of all Kings and the Lord of all Lords. He was sent here to do something and because He knew it was the Father’s will, He did it. I know that if we will align our will with God’s will then we will be happier and live happier lives. I have become so much happier as I have aligned my will with His! I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week this week!

Love,
Elder Pope

My Lone Peak boiis!
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We did service for an investigator of the other missionaries. It was pretty awesome!
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These are things that go on here in California. We see this guy all the time! He is super funny when we stop and talk to him!
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Brother Cortez took us on a team up and then he hooked us up with some fresh fruit cups. The fruit was super interesting and had a bunch of spices on it. It was the spiciest fruit I have ever had.
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This was dinner last night. Let’s just say it got pretty intense!
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We found the Manteca Mansion. This is the biggest house in the central valley. It is pretty cool!
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We also found this super cool park last night. We had to test it out before we went home for the night. It was pretty awesome!
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Week 65 – Love Lard

This week was a pretty fun week! We got a few nice rain showers this week that got us super soaked, but it is supposed to be good weather this next week – we hope! I heard Utah got some snow! Not sure if that is a good thing or not but I miss the snow.

So this week we were visiting one of our investigators and, after visiting with them at the door step, these three guys called us over. They didn’t look too intimidating so we walked over and they asked us if we believe in space. We said, “yes” and it led into this wonderful conversation. We started talking and testifying of God and Jesus Christ. It just goes to show that anything can relate to the gospel. We have an appointment with one of the guys this week and are super excited to see him! Oh, I forgot to mention that they were all super high and super drunk so it was pretty funny. Hopefully they remember our appointment!

We did the service project Love Manteca this week. It was super awesome and super wet! The weather here in Manteca is super bipolar. We had the opportunity to spread mulch all around a park with a bunch of other people. When we started it was super sunny outside and the next thing you know it was pouring outside. It was lots of fun, but a bunch of people decided to leave because they were getting too wet. We pushed through it though and finished. It is so awesome to finish things! If you start something it is always such a wonderful feeling when you finish. We got back to our apartment and saw a moving truck outside so we helped the people move in. They are now interested in having us come over and share what we believe, which is awesome!

We met with a few of our investigators this week. We met with Marianne twice and it went really well! She was supposed to come to church on Sunday but wasn’t able to make it. I guess it is hard for people to come to church at nine when they are used to going to mass at like four in the afternoon. So that was kind of a bummer but we have another meeting with her this week! We also picked up a new investigator this week. He was a referral from the YSA sisters and he is super awesome. He is a single man who loves to talk about Jesus and we have an appointment with him tomorrow morning! This week we are pretty busy with appointments and meetings, so it should be fun like usual!

Yesterday we had the opportunity to teach the young women. It was kind of weird when we got a call Saturday night to teach the young women. It was super fun though. We shared the #PRINCEofPEACE video with them and talked about it! The young women in our ward are super awesome. It was the first time I have ever taught the young women and I don’t think it was as weird as we were anticipating it would be.

We have been watching the #PRINCEofPEACE video every day, multiple times a day. It really makes me think of the peace that He truly brings into my life. I cannot imagine myself and where I would be right now if it weren’t for Jesus Christ in my life! I know I talked about it a little bit in my email last week but this video is just so amazing. One thing that I really love is the music in the video. It just really gets me excited. Excited to share the message with all those people that are around who haven’t experienced peace in their life because they don’t have Jesus in their life. I love just going over the words that are in the video. Here are the words so you can look over them and reflect on a few of the many things that the Savior has done!

He was the world’s greatest conqueror, yet He ruled no nations, led no armies, never raised a sword, took no spoils.
His only crown was made of thorns.
He won victories no one else could.
He defeated death, He conquered sin and offers peace to all who follow Him.
He can calm troubled seas and troubled souls.
He can heal broken lives and broken bonds.
He can turn water into wine and heartache into hope.
He lived, died, and lived again so we will all live again.
His resurrection brings us peace now and forever.
He is Jesus Christ, King of Kings, Lord of Lords.

The scripture for today is D&C 46. I love this section talking about our spiritual gifts. We need to always be thinking, “What have I done to develop my spiritual gifts today?” I know that we are all blessed with different gifts that we need to use and develop. It makes me think of “The Parable of the Pounds” in Luke 19:11-27. Don’t just bury your spiritual gifts. Use them to the best of your ability. The more we use our gifts the more gifts we will be blessed with. I love this gospel and I love the Savior. He loves us and wants the best for us, and he will help us if we will truly turn to him!

Love,
Elder Pope

So the Spanish Elders somehow got a key to our apartment and put our beds in the bathrooms. It was super funny to walk in because we were not expecting that!
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Here are a few pictures from Love Manteca. It is always a fun time with these two Elders. It was super funny too because we met at a big church by our apartment. The church had a Starbucks in it. It was pretty cool to go in and take a tour of this church!
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Week 64 – #PRINCEofPEACE & Conference

So this week we had the wonderful privilege to listen to our wonderful prophet and apostles! I love listening to conference and hearing what they have to say. I hope you all enjoyed the wonderful talks that were given. I hope you all are also enjoying this heat. Well, I am not sure how hot Utah really is but it is in the 80’s here and pretty hot!

It is super crazy because my district is totally different! Elder Whittlock and Elder Hayden replaced Elder Schultz and Elder Perry. They are both great missionaries and super dedicated to the work, which is awesome. I also got a new sister named Sister Price. She is super awesome but a little too quiet so I guess we will have to break her of that. Haha! Elder Whittlock is from Ten Sleep, Wyoming and Elder Hayden is from South Jordan, Utah. It is going to be an awesome transfer with them all!

We had the opportunity to have a specialized training this last Thursday instead of our usual district meeting. We got to watch the new #PRINCEofPEACE video and talk about ways that we can implement it into our missionary lives. I absolutely love this wonderful video. For those of you who haven’t seen the video, I challenge you to go and watch it. It truly made me think how much Jesus Christ had to go through and how he is such a wonderful example to me and you. He is the King of Kings. For our dinner messages we have been sharing this with the families and talking about it. The one question that usually comes up is, “How have you found peace in Jesus Christ?” One way that I have found peace in Jesus Christ is to know that I can live with my loved ones again and to know that we will be resurrected just like He was! I love my Savior and how much peace He has brought to my life. I want you to think of all the ways that Jesus has blessed your life. Another great idea is for family night tonight, or even next week, watch this video and come up with all the ways that Jesus Christ has truly brought peace to your life!

There were so many wonderful talks given at General Conference. One of the many things that I really loved was by President Monson. The Book of Mormon is such an amazing book. I know that if we are having struggles with anything or not, we should always read the Book of Mormon. It truly will keep our thoughts and actions on a higher note. I also loved what President Uchtdorf said in his talk – to not look anywhere but up. Sometimes we will have hard times but we always just need to look up. Look at the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes the tunnel may be longer then what you think it should be, but it is God’s will and not ours! Something else I learned from Conference was to follow the spirit the FIRST time it prompts you. Elder Ronald A. Rasband said, “If you listen to the first prompting, you will get it 9/10.” Always follow the spirit when it prompts you. Sometimes we get nervous that it is just our own thoughts. Yes, sometimes it is but most of the time it is the spirit telling you to do something!

Sometimes we may want something to be different then it really is. We want it to be our will and not God’s will. This week I had a really big testimony builder of that. We were invited by one of our members, Brother Jones, to give his mother a blessing. Just remember that she is 101 years old and in the hospital. Elder Silva anointed her and I had the opportunity to seal the anointing and give her a priesthood blessing. Brother Jones really wants his mom to get better and be healed. I mean, if that was our mother that is what we would all want too. It is hard to lose a loved one. As we all know, the spirit directs the blessings and speaks through you. I wanted to say that all would be okay but that wasn’t the case. The spirit directed me to just say that she will be at peace. The blessing was all about peace. After the blessing was over, Brother Jones noted it was about peace and that she would know how much her Heavenly Father truly loves her. We talked about it and knowing that it truly is God’s will. She is still with us today and doing a little better but he said it truly brought peace into his life. If that is God’s will then that is what is supposed to be.

This week in Manteca they were having a carnival at the southern part of Manteca and a street fair in the middle of Manteca with the whole road shut down. So what did we do as missionaries? We went and contacted people. Yes, it was super awesome and lots of fun! We were able to talk with lots of people and give out lots of pass along cards! I love going to activities like that. It is also super funny because everyone looks at you super weird. As a missionary, people are always watching so it is important that we always act the best! We ran into the people who we helped do “Stuff the Bus” and they invited us to their next service project that they will be doing! It is so awesome that people are placed in your path the way they are. Some times people are super rude to you and the next day they are super nice to you. The Lord prepared people and places them in our paths. I love how it works!

The scripture for this week is Alma 30:44. Recently we have been running into a lot of Atheists and people who don’t believe in God. It really makes us sad that these wonderful sons and daughters of God are dwindling in unbelief. I love what it says, look around us. There is so much here that wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for God. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for God. I want to testify that I know God is real. I know that we can pray to him and ask him if he is real. I think I may have said it in my email last week but again, if any of you are struggling with your faith watch “The Hope of God’s Light.” It is a really powerful Mormon Message. I feel each and every one of your prayers each and every day! Thank you for all the support that you give to me!

Love,
Elder Pope

Here is a picture of Elder Silva and I with our snazzy blazers that might be a little too small…haha! A lot of missionaries left a lot of their clothes when they left so we decided to try on some of the blazers. They look good, huh?
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Tracting at the street fair went really awesome until we found the cars. Hehe! Here are two of my dream cars. Corvette Z06 and a Challenger HELLCAT!
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Us and the Spanish Elders tracting at the carnival. It was pretty intense! I love carnivals!
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Week 63 – Cafe Rio is the Bomb!

What up everyone? I hope you all had a wonderful week! This week was a great week! Elder Silva and I just found out that we will both be staying here in the Northland Ward in Manteca! It will be an awesome transfer together again! I love it here and know that this is where the Lord wants me to be at this time in my life! It is sad though because Elder Schultz and Elder Perry are leaving and going to Lodi. We are getting two new missionaries in the ward, so that will be interesting!

Something that was super cool is that we got to go to Stockton on Thursday! My companion had a doctors appointment so before his appointment we got to go to the one and only Cafe Rio! That location is the only one in our mission. We had a member take us and it was wonderful! I have missed Cafe Rio so much! Below is a picture of me with the receipt. I was scared to take a picture of the food while we were in there. It was also awesome because there were people there who are from a different ward and we had the opportunity to talk to them. I love being a missionary and being able to talk to so many different people!

We went on exchanges this week. I went with Elder Perry and it was awesome! Elder Perry and I came out together and we have now been serving around one another for almost a year but he is going to a new area this transfer. We had a blast being together though! We had a team up with James Weeden that went pretty well! We were able to visit a lot of our potential investigators! James is a super funny member and an awesome team up!

This week we did some awesome service! We helped out at Second Harvest on Tuesday and it was a blast! There are a few pictures below that show how much fun we really have at service! We also helped out at the Methodist Church on Friday. That was super awesome!

On the bright side – General Conference is next week! I am looking forward to watching it again! I can’t believe this will be the third General Conference that happens on my mission. I also can’t believe that this transfer is Easter already! Time seems to be going by super fast! It was exactly a year ago when Ester Avina, one of the recent converts in our ward in Turlock, passed away. How grateful I am for the Plan of Salvation and to know how wonderful this gospel truly is! I love my Savior Jesus Christ and know that we can be resurrected and receive a perfect, immortal body!

Our investigator, Marianne, has really been struggling with her health. She is the lady who weighs 80 pounds. He situation is super sad! We have been helping her clean her house when her husband is home and just be there to comfort her. It is super sad because the doctors don’t know what is wrong with her. She is a wonderful lady! We have also been teaching James. He is awesome and we are getting slow progression. But just remember, slowly but surely!

The scripture for this week is Matthew 25:1-13. I think this is the scripture. I was reading about it in Jesus the Christ this morning during my studies. I just love parables! This is a parable that I have always known but never really thought too much about it. We need to be prepared. We need to always remember and be prepared. Just like the five who were prepared, we need to always do what is right and remember who we are and what we stand for. We are given commandments and need to follow them! I love serving here and all the people I get to meet each and every day!

Love,
Elder Pope

Cafe Rio receipt. The best place ever!
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The district. Next week it will be totally different Elders and Sisters except for three!
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Here are the pictures for service from Tuesday. Yeah, let’s just say we like to have some fun when we work!
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Week 62 – Reppin’ in the Golden State

What’s up family and friends? How was your week this week? Well, here in California the weather is getting pretty warm. It has been between the high 70’s and the low 80’s. All of the blossoms have fallen off of the trees and now my allergies are going crazy, which isn’t fun!

I want to give a big shout out to my favorite blonde sister in the entire world! I can’t believe she is already 24! She has been such a great example in my life and it is always fun watching her coach softball. She is a great coach and a great leader. Happy Birthday, Nat! I love you!

This week Elder Silva and I have been focused on finding people. We have to find people before we can teach people. That is one of the hardest parts of missionary work. At least here! Well, we got a referral from a member this week and visited him last night. His name is Ramal and he has 14 kids! He is only 44 and yes, they are all his. None of them are adopted. He told us that and we all laughed. We talked to him about the Book of Mormon and it went really well. We gave him the book and he started reading it right away while we were talking with his friend. Ten minutes later and he said he already loved the book! He said he is looking forward to reading it. It was great to get to know him better. He said if he ever sees someone giving us a hard time or trying to beat us up he will help us. He said, “Just call up ‘your boy’ and I will be there.” Oh, and did I forget to say that he is a BIG black guy? He told us to call him our black friend. He is super awesome and that is a little bit about him.

This week we helped the Wynn’s move to their new house. It is so sad to see them go. There are a few pictures below of us moving them and having some fun. You find the coolest things when you help people move. It is also pretty cool when they give it to you! We got some pretty cool hats out of it that we wore proselyting!

I had the opportunity to interview a lady to be baptized this week. It was such a special opportunity to talk with her and get to know her. Her name is Shangrung Chen. She is from China and is an amazing lady. She and her husband were legally married on Thursday night, then I interviewed her to be baptized on Friday morning, and she was baptized on Saturday. Yeah, let’s just say it was a close one! She was so excited for her baptism and she has such a strong testimony of the gospel. We were able to attend her baptism on Saturday morning and it was amazing. The spirit was so strong and everything went so well! During her baptism they showed the Mormon Message “The Hope of God’s Light.” It is such an amazing video that really touched my heart and I know it will touch all of your hearts as well!

The scripture for this week is 2nd Peter 1: 5-8. In short it says, “diligence to virtue, virtue to knowledge, knowledge to temperance, temperance to patience, patience to godliness, godliness to brotherly kindness, and brotherly kindness to charity.” This is the formula to progression. If we will do these things, we will grow closer to our Savior Jesus Christ and continue our progression on the earth. I love learning so much on my mission. I have seen what the gospel can truly do to you if you are open and ready to make a change. If we are open and willing to make the changes necessary, God will help us become better.

Love,
Elder Pope

Elder Silva and I ran to the Wynn’s house because my bike was in the bike shop. Let’s just say biking is totally different than running. It was also like 100 degrees outside!
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A few things that we found when we were helping the Wynn’s move. This mask is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. I was surprised it fit my massive head because it is like the real deal!
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We had a party!
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Here is a picture of the hats we found at the Wynn’s. They didn’t want them anymore so we scored some free hats!
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Elder Silva and I decided to make some food last night! He made biscuits and gravy and I made snicker doodles. They were pretty good!
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Week 61 – The Prodigal Son

Hey everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful week and are excited for this upcoming week! Where do I start off for this week? Well, the high this last week was 85 degrees. So yeah, it is going to be a hot and miserable summer here but that is okay! It will be fun like always. It is super crazy because a week or two ago it was pretty cold and two days ago it was 85? I don’t think that is normal but whatever!

Another crazy thing that happened this week was our phone breaking, so we went a whole day without a phone. I don’t know how the people in the olden days lived without a cell phone. Yeah, it was pretty hard giving up a smart phone to come out here, but at least we still have a phone to communicate with people. The day that we went without a phone we felt like lost dogs. We had no way of calling anyone and no way of getting calls. We eventually got a new phone from the Zone Leaders and a whole bunch of texts just started coming up along with a bunch of missed calls. That wasn’t fun but we got everything situated and now it is going great! Don’t ask how our phone broke because I am not telling!

This week I had the chance to go on exchanges with Elder Schultz! It was a fun exchange and a great teaching opportunity! We were able to learn so much from one another. It is so great to have such a wonderful district. We were able to visit with a less active family and some prospective elders. We have really been focusing on the prospective elders. It is crazy because a bunch of the time the person has moved out of the ward and their records haven’t been moved. We just met with a part member family last night. We talked with them outside for a little bit and it went well. They told us we could come back but to not try and convert her husband because he has already taken the lessons and said, “No.” We will see about that!

We had the opportunity to do some service. We helped at Second Harvest Food Bank on Tuesday and that was pretty fun! This week they had us throwing out all of the old stuff. It got pretty gross but it was a lot of fun! We have been able to meet so many new people while offering service and it is just such a blast. This week we also helped the Wynns move out. The Wynns are such an awesome family! They are moving to the ward next to ours so hopefully my next area is that ward! While we were waiting we may or may not have had a nerf war. It was pretty fun!

Our Zone had a Zone Training this week. It was on all of the parables. We got to chose a parable and study it then come to the meeting and share it. I chose the parable of the “Prodigal Son.” This has become one of my favorite parables while I have been on my mission. There is so much in this parable. The biggest thing that stands out to me is that repentance is real. The second thing that I love about this is that when the prodigal son has decided to come back home, the dad runs out to him and hugs him to bring him back. As members of the church, there are many people who have strayed from the gospel and we need to run out and meet them. We need to help bring them back to the fold. And, even those who have not yet accepted the gospel, we need to bring it unto them. We can’t bring it into them but we can bring it unto them. The third main part is to not be selfish or prideful. The brother is mad that he has not been able to have a big party and he has always been with their dad. We need to be selfless and look for opportunities to serve others!

This week in my studies I decided to read the Children’s Book of Mormon. I know that I have looked at it before but never read it all the way through. It was so awesome to be able to read and look at the pictures. I am a visual person so for all of you who are visual people I recommend you read the Children’s Book of Mormon and then the Book of Mormon. It really just made so much sense to look at the pictures then imagine it in my mind! The scripture for this week is 1 Nephi 8 where it talks about Lehi’s dream of the Tree of Life. It talks about the three different groups of people. The first group falls away pretty quickly and doesn’t even make it close to the tree. The second group is almost to the tree but they are in the mist of darkness and fall away. The third group, on the other hand, pressed forward clinging to the iron rod and eventually made it to the tree and were able to partake of the fruit of the tree. Let us go about clinging to the iron rod and stay steadfast in our work here on the earth. It is an important job that we have, so let’s make it count! I love you all and am so grateful for the wonderful examples that you are to me!

Love,
Elder Pope

Here is our zone picture! I can’t believe they talked me into putting my leg like that in the front. It looks super weird, not going to lie! Haha!
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Yeah, we fit in with everyone else that is here but our guns aren’t real! #YOLO
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Doing service for the Wynns and having a little nerf war.
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We had dinner at Red Robin and got the endless fries. Lets just say that four missionaries eating endless fries is not good. Our waiter just kept bringing us fries and it was so funny! We about ate them all out of fries.
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After dinner we stopped by the pond. I found a crawdad, so of course I had to pick it up and take a picture with it. You don’t see these everyday!
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It is pretty nice when members love you so much that they call and ask if you want shakes from In-n-Out. Heck yeah! We aren’t going to turn down shakes!
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Week 60 – Happy Birthday Mom!

Hola mi familia y mi amigos. Como estan ustedes?

I want to first start off by saying Happy Birthday to my Mother! Today is her birthday and you all should wish her a Happy Birthday because she is super awesome! I am so grateful for my mom and all that she does for me. I hope that my future wife will be just like her!

So the weather here is finally starting to warm up! Well, at least we thought so. It seemed to be summer a few days ago and then yesterday it was like 40 degrees the whole day. It was freezing! It is going to be a really hard adjustment when I come home to a bunch of snow but I miss the snow like crazy so I won’t complain! The blossoms are still on the trees and I forgot to take a picture of them again, but maybe this next week.

Yesterday at church was super awesome. When church was over we were walking down the hall and I saw Connie Goeckeritz! It was so awesome to see he and see Toby Goeckeritz. For all of you who don’t know who Connie is, they are long family friends and one of her sons lives in Ripon. It is the ward right next to ours. It was super weird to see someone from back home but it was also super awesome to talk with them. I love the gospel and I think it is so awesome that wherever you go to church anywhere around the world they are teaching the same thing. That is one major thing that I love about this church and this wonderful gospel. It is the same wherever you go!

This week we had a great lesson with James! It was super awesome because we got the Stake President to come with us on a team up this week. His name is President Maxfield and he is a wonderful person! We taught about the Restoration and it went really well. It was so awesome to have such an awesome team up. President Maxfield was able to bare his testimony and teach about a third of the time, which was great. James said he isn’t ready just yet but we know it will just take some time until he gets baptized. It really seems like with a lot of people it will just take some time until they are ready for that next step. The spirit was so strong in the lesson. We were also able to teach our investigator Marianne this week. We read 2 Nephi 31 with her and talked a little bit about baptism. We had to hurry out because we had a dinner appointment but she said she is going to pray about whether or not she should be baptized, which is great! She is really awesome and a super sweet lady.

This week we had a zone conference with the North half of our mission. It was mainly focused on the Atonement and Repentance. I love the Atonement so much. One thing that really stood out to me during the meeting were the R’s of Repentance. There is Recognize, Remorse, Restitution, and Repent. These are a few of the R’s that I know we have to do to Repent. One of the R’s that I never thought about in this context is the Redeemer. You cannot Repent without your Redeemer. This is all able to happen because of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Without the Atonement we have no purpose on this earth. It is only through Him that we can return to live with our eternal family again!

So this week we had a few service opportunities with the food bank and with helping out few members. We helped Brother Cortez saw some of his wood and split some of his logs. Don’t worry everybody. They only let me use the ax a few times and no, I didn’t cut my foot open again. It was pretty funny because I had to redeem myself and show them that I wasn’t going to cut off my foot. Brother Cortez laughed when he heard about me cutting my foot. We also helped at the Methodist Food Bank. It is so awesome and we have come to be such great friends with them. They are such wonderful people!

I finished the Book of Mormon this week for the second time on my mission where I was just reading it through cover to cover and studying it. One scripture that I really like is Moroni 10:32. I am not sure if I have shared it before but I just read it again yesterday. I love this scripture and how we truly need to come unto Christ. We need to do all we can to come unto our Savior. I know that it is after all that we can do, His grace will make up for the rest. Some people ask, “What is all that you can do?” It is an answer you need to find out for yourself from God. I love this gospel and am so grateful I get to serve here at this time in my life!

Love,
Elder Pope

We had dinner with Brother Cortez. After dinner he gave us these wonderful treats. He makes them for every new missionary in the area or for special occasions. You might remember the picture of me when it was my first time having dinner there.
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This is a picture of us helping Brother Cortez split the wood and help with his backyard.
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They got this super cute husky! It has so much energy and is so fun to play with!
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Brother Cortez called us up and fed us some Menudo. It is the second time I have had it. It is pretty good, I guess!
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