Week 32 – A Marvelous Work and A Wonder

What is up everybody? Well, another week has gone by on the mission. It is so crazy. Weeks out here seem like a day. They just fly past. I guess when you just lose yourself in the work it flies by. We have our good times and we have our bad times! It all works out the way it is supposed to!

This week I went on exchanges with our district leader, Elder Simms. It was a ton of fun! We were able to commit two of their investigators to be baptized, which was awesome. It was an all around super fun exchange! Elder Simms is a really awesome district leader.

This week we were able to teach our investigator, Pat. We were also able to have dinner at her house this week and it was really good! We taught her the Plan of Salvation and committed her to come to church yesterday. She wasn’t able to make it, which was pretty sad, but we are meeting with her tonight. We are going to teach her and get her on date for baptism. We are excited about her!

Yesterday we went and helped one of our recent converts. He has had some really serious problems in his family. We talked with him and helped calm him down. It made me really happy to know that I have a wonderful family. It went really well too because yesterday in Elders Quorum we talked about eternal marriages. Family is so important and I am grateful for my family. One thing that really stood out to me from the lesson is that each parent gives 100% and when one struggles the other one picks them up. You will always be 100% in your relationship if you do that. It taught me a lot for when I get married (which I am not planning on anytime soon, but for the future).

I love serving here and getting to meet all of the wonderful people. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. He atoned for each and every one of our sins. He loosed the bands of death so we are able to be resurrected when he comes again! I know that Joseph Smith saw a vision of God and Jesus Christ. I know that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon from ancient plates called the Golden Plates. I know that this is Jesus Christ’s church. He set it up and it was lost, then through Joseph Smith was restored!

The scripture for this week is James 2:26. It says, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” We need to have good works on this earth. No one is perfect but thank goodness for Jesus Christ. Because of Him we are able to repent and be forgiven of our sins. Always do all that you can to do what is right. It will pay off in the long run! I love you all so much. I feel all of your prayers. My back is getting better which is a huge blessing! Keep up the good work and keep spreading the gospel. There are people out there who are waiting for YOU!

Love,
Elder Pope

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Week 31 – “Which is, which was, and which is to come”

Well, this week was a wonderful week!

This week we were able to pick up a few new investigators. The schools all started this week so it was a pretty busy week for everyone around here! One of our new investigator’s name is Amisty. She is super cool and is a chef. She wants to have us over for dinner and she said she will come to church in two weeks. She wants to learn more, which is awesome!

We are still teaching our investigator Pat Nydahl. We were able to get her some fellowships this week and she wants to come to church. We are hoping to get her a baptismal date. She is a wonderful lady and we have dinner with her this week!

This week I ate SPAM for the first time! I am not going to lie, fried spam is actually not too bad. I have always wanted to eat it but never got around to it. It just worries me that it’s meat that comes in a can and isn’t refrigerated. Kinda creepy. We also ate cow heart again last night! Every time I eat it I love it even more! We are going to have to cook some when I get home because it is pretty bomb!

This week we were able to do a few service projects. The first service project that we did was helping Sister Akers move and walking through Brother Hilton’s yard to check out some of his old stuff. It was a ton of fun to check out the things in his yard. The second service project that we did was helping one of our members sand down his doors and his base boards. It was really awesome to help and they are in the process of painting them all now.

The scripture for this week is 1 John 4:20-21. It says, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” I really love these versus because it talks about how if we truly love God then we will love everyone. We are all brothers and sisters here on this earth. I love you all so much! I hope you all enjoy your week!

Love,
Elder Pope

On our way to do service in 105 degree weather. Super hot but super fun!
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One of his old motor homes that is in his yard!
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Sanding Brother Jones’ house!
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Week 30 – Sirviendo Al Senor Mi Amigos

This week was packed! We were able to teach quite a few lessons. Hope all is going well with everyone back at home!

We are currently teaching a few investigators. Sister Pat Nydahl is one of our investigators who is progressing. She is reading the Book of Mormon and we are hoping to get her to church. She was not able to make it this Sunday but hopefully this next Sunday she will be there!

Something cool happened this week. We were biking, out in the country, trying to find a house that was a referral for us. While we were biking, we found out we were in the one thousands and we needed to go to the six thousands. It would have been five miles more down the road, so we decided to turn around. While biking back, I went through a patch of goat’s head and it popped both of my tires. We were out in the middle of no where but a random guy was driving past and stopped to see if we needed help. We said we would love help. He ended up giving us a ride back to our apartment. We were able to teach him a lesson and give him a picture of Jesus Christ. I know that everything happens for a reason. Even though I had to buy two new tubes, it was totally worth it! I also found out that God has a pretty good sense of humor. We were joking that one of us was going to pop our tires, and sure enough I did.

There is a quote from Elder Holland that I really love. It says, “Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever.” If we will keep doing what is right and follow the guidance of the prophet, we will not be led astray. I know that our prophet, Thomas S. Monson, is the true prophet who leads and guides us in these latter days. He is God’s mouth piece and will keep us on the strait and narrow path!

The scripture for this week is D&C 123:12-17. I really love these verses. There are people who are searching for the truth but know not where to find it. We need to bring the light into their lives and share it with them. I love the last verse. It says, “Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.” We need to be doing everything in our power to share this wonderful message with one another. There are people out there that are waiting for you to influence their lives for good. I am so grateful to be able to serve a mission. I know this is where I am supposed to be and there are people that need me here. There are people who need you!

I love you all so much! I appreciate all of the prayers that you say on my behalf and for all of the other missionaries. I feel each and every one of your prayers.

Love,
Elder Pope

Listening to my cousin Tanner Clegg’s welcome home. He killed it!
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Week 29 – Service Crew

What is up everybody? Hope y’all had a great week and will have a great one this week!

This week we were able to do tons of service. The first service project that we did was helping a member move 27,000 chickens into one of his barns. He has ten barns with 27,000 chickens in each barn. Talk about a lot of chickens. It was super fun to see how it all worked and to fill up one barn. They change out every six weeks and it was so fun to do it! The second service project that we did was helping an investigator tear out old carpet so she can put in hard wood floor. It was pretty gross but glad to be done with it! We did two service projects on Saturday, which was really great! The first was helping an investigator trim his front yard. We had eight missionaries and it took us three hours to trim his front yard. He then took us out to lunch, which was great! The second was helping a less active woman clean out her barn that was full of who knows what.

This week we had the opportunity to eat some amazing tacos! We ate lamb chop tacos, cow heart tacos, and carne asada tacos. They were super good! The food here is so good! A lot of the time we get fed steak!

This week we were able to teach just a few lessons. One of the lessons we taught was to Prince. He is a foster kid that is living here with a member family. They are planning on adopting him, so we really want him to be baptized. He is a great kid and is learning so much about the gospel. He said he wants to wait a little longer to be baptized because he isn’t quite sure about it yet. We are making sure that he is the one who wants to make the decision and not be pressured into it.

The scripture for this week is Doctrine & Covenants 46. I love this section because it talks about spiritual gifts. We all have spiritual gifts that we can develop and share with one another. I know that my companion and I are supposed to be together and share our different spiritual gifts with one another and with people we come in contact with.

Have a wonderful week and remember to share the gospel with every person you come in contact with. You never know who is prepared for the gospel! I love you all so much!

Love,
Elder Pope

Eating cow heart and other good stuff!
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Ripping carpet out for our investigator!
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Doing service for the other Elders in our district’s investigator!
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A less active member is teaching us to lasso. You could call me a professional now! I am now officially a cowboy!
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All of the chickens in the barn we filled. All 27,000 of them.
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More at the chickens with the ten barns. It was only like 105 degrees outside. No big deal.
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This is a picture of Jesus that one of our investigators drew for me. It is all hand drawn and is super cool!
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Week 28 – Jesus Christ Loves YOU!

Well, another week has passed by out here on the mission. The weeks just seem to be getting faster and faster each week! This week has been a great week and a pretty memorable one!

First, I got my new companion, Elder Powell! He is from Cromwell, Indiana and is a farm boy. He is 20 and said he loves it so far so hopefully I am doing a good job at training him! We were able to see a lot of less active and part member families this week. Our goal is to visit all of them this transfer because there are a lot of part member families and there has to be at least one family who is ready for the rest of the family to be baptized.

Second, we got in a car crash today. That was pretty fun…not! It took half of our preparation day to get that all resolved and we had to wait for a ride to take us back to our apartment. We were all fine but the car wasn’t. Good thing we were all wearing our seat belts! Everything happens for a reason and for some reason it was just supposed to be. I know that God was watching over us because the car that hit us was probably going 40 miles per hour.

We have been teaching a lady named Pat Nydal. She is a great lady who loves to read the Book of Mormon. She used to live in St. George and moved here so she and her husband could take care of his dad. She loves to talk with us but says that the people here just aren’t the same as they are in St. George. She is hoping to move back to St. George soon and she really wants to start going back to church.

Fay Elliott is moving to Alabama on August 10th and doesn’t feel like she will be ready to be baptized before then, so hopefully the elders in Alabama will find her! Bob is staying here until he retires in a few years, so we are going to continue to work with him and hopefully when she gets baptized he will too!

We were able to do a lot of service this week. We started off by helping one of our less active members move his fiance into his house. It was really great to help them out and they are supposed to be getting married soon. She said she wants to start coming to church and hopefully we can get her baptized! The second service project that we did this week was helping one of our members clean out their barn. It was chuck full with a bunch of who knows what. Our job was to get it from the upstairs and bring it to the driveway down at the bottom. The third service project we did this week was helping a family in the 3rd Ward cut down one of their “amond” (like the farmers here would call it) trees. They call them “almonds” on the trees but “amonds” off the trees because when the tree gets shook it knocks the “L” out of it. Haha! Everyone jokes about it here. It was fun because we got to use the chain saw! Using chain saws is super fun! We have a few service projects lined up for this week so it should be a good week.

I am grateful to be serving a mission! I know that we all have trials in our lives but they are just to make us better people. We will all have trials, and some trials are easier then others, but we will be able to make it through all of them if we push strong and apply the Atonement to our lives. We are on this earth to prepare to meet God and do the best we can to strive to live again with him some day. We will be tested on this earth and we will fall. No one is perfect except for one, and his name is Jesus Christ. Because of the Atonement we are able to be forgiven of our sins and be better people!

My scripture for this week is Mosiah 3:7. I love this scripture because it is about the Atonement and it tells us that Jesus has gone through everything that we will ever have to go through. When times get tough just think of the Savior and all he went through. I love you all so much and am grateful for all of your wonderful examples to me!

Also, big shout out to my cousin, Tanner Clegg, for killing it on his mission! He is such a great example to me and I am grateful for him! Crazy to think that he is already home and next thing you know it will be me coming home (in a year and a half)!

Love,
Elder Pope

Taking the trees that we cut down to the burn pile.
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Elder Powell, my new companion, and I taking pictures in the car.
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I really miss Big Trees. It is so awesome! Who ever is down for it when I get back, we are going to go hammock camping in Big Trees!
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Week 27 – 6 Months

Well…This week is transfers. I have been called to be a trainer and I will not find out who my new companion is until tomorrow! I am so excited to be a trainer and train a new missionary.

Today we went to Calaveras Big Trees State Park! It was really fun to do something recreational. They are the biggest trees I have ever seen and it was super crazy!

We did about 15 hours of service this week and have a lot of service planned for next week. The first service project that we did was helping our investigator, Fay, build a wardrobe from Ikea to put in her third room for a closet. Building things is super fun! The second main service project was helping our next door neighbor move in. We have now moved people every Saturday for the past five months and are hoping to get someone else this next Saturday!

We are teaching a few people but not seeing a lot of progression. We are trying to really focus on the part member families because we know that is where most of our success will be. I am short on time this week, but I love you all! I hope all is going well at home! I love this gospel and am grateful for it in my life!

The scripture for this week is 3 Nephi 11. I am not sure if I have used this one but I really enjoy this chapter. It is, in my opinion, the best chapter in the Book of Mormon. Have a good week! I love you all!

Love,
Elder Pope

This is the wardrobe that we built for Fay. It was a ton of fun!
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Last week we went to the driving range for preparation day! It was so fun!
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Today we went to Calaveras Big Trees State Park. It was really fun! They are the biggest trees in the U.S. and they are awesome! I am grateful to serve here and grateful for this beautiful area to serve in! Enjoy the pictures because I have a lot of them…
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From Nathan’s mom, Nancy: “This picture made my day! It was texted to me from someone at the dinner. I am so grateful when members do this for missionary families!”
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Week 26 – I Love You Bros

This week while biking down the road someone yelled out at us, “I love you bros!” He stopped a little ways up the road, so we went and started talking with him. He was a really cool guy! He said he wasn’t interested but he loves what we do. He told us to keep up the good work and share Jesus with others. It was a really awesome experience! I really love people like that!

This week Elder Kishpaugh and I prayed and asked that we would get a new investigator because we hadn’t found a new one in over a month. One of our investigators, Fay, said she wanted to take us out to dinner because I hadn’t been to this place she likes. She and her husband, who previously was not interested at all, picked us up and took us to dinner. While at dinner, we got talking. His name is Bob and he has never really talked to us because he had heard bad things about “Mormons.” Over dinner, he found out we weren’t half bad people and started to open up to us. He started talking about family history and how he loves doing it, not knowing that our church is super big into family history. We got talking about family history and he got really excited! It is all he could talk about the rest of the night. He invited us back and wants to learn more about it, so we have an appointment set up for this week! His wife Fay doesn’t want to be baptized unless he gets baptized, so hopefully we can work on Bob now! I know that it was an answer to our prayer to find just one new investigator!

This week in district meeting we talked about unity. It really made me think. Are we truly united one with another and one with the Savior? Our mission vision is, “We are one with the Savior, in doing the will of the Father!” I really love 2 Nephi 1:21. In the end of the verse it says, “be determined in one mind and in one heart, united in all things that ye may not come down into captivity.” I really love this scripture because it shows that we need to be united with the Savior. We need to always have that connection with Him. It is so hard to see those people who don’t have that connection, since they are ones who are down in captivity. Don’t fall into Satan’s traps. He is always challenging and tempting us but if we will turn to the Savior and do our best then everything will be okay!

This week we received the list of all the less active members and part member families here. There are 45 part member families in our ward boundaries that we are going to start working with! We are hoping and praying that some families will be prepared to learn more and get baptized!

This week we did just over eight hours of service! We helped some members move out of our ward on Saturday. That was really fun but sad to see them go! We did a few hours of service at community sharing. This week while at community sharing we had an investigator who was dropping off food. He saw us so he came and said, “Hi.” It was awesome because he told us he respects us even more for doing service for the homeless people! Service is so wonderful and it is awesome when things like that happen. I love serving my Lord and Savior to help grow his kingdom.

The scripture for this week is 3 Nephi 11. This is, in my opinion, the greatest chapter of the Book of Mormon! I love reading the Book of Mormon! It is so great that we have it. I know that a 14 year old boy named Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon and that he saw God and Jesus Christ. I am grateful for this gospel and for all the wonderful blessings it brings into our lives.

Today we are going to the pawn shop and maybe going to the driving range. I love you all! Keep up the good work at home and always try to share the gospel with anybody that you can! You just never know who is prepared and waiting for it.

Love,
Elder Pope

This is Horacio. He is a member as of two years ago. He loves having the missionaries over and making us food. We ate dinner at his house on the fourth and we ate ribs and really good chicken. We ate lunch at his house yesterday and we ate super good carnitas tacos.
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Elder Simms and I at community sharing. It is so fun to serve others!
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A member gave us money for food so Elder Kishpaugh and I went to an Italian restaurant.
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We helped a member put up more of her fence. She has cows so we chilled with them for a few minutes while taking a break.
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We helped an old folks home by trimming their roses. It was super fun and they were so happy!SAM_0805