Month: April 2016

Week 15 – Third Transfer!

This week was a great week!

This week was transfer week. Elder Jarvis and I are both staying here in the Turlock 4th Ward! I love this ward and all of the people in it. I am happy I get to spend another six weeks here! I know this is where Heavenly Father has put me to bring people closer to Him and Jesus Christ.

This week we had the opportunity to do three different service projects. The first service project did was helping a family in our ward move a lot of food storage and a big pool table. We had 10 big guys moving it. The second service project that we were able to do was helping a widow in our ward. The Elders Quorum was getting together and cutting down all of the weeds in her backyard. Her weeds were about three feet tall and she has a really big back yard. The only people who showed up were Elder Jarvis, Brother Griffin, and I. They gave me the big weed wacker and it took us two hours to get it down and then we raked it up. It was really fun! The third service project that we did was helping a lady in our ward mow her lawn. We help her mow her lawn every two weeks now.

I love to use the Priesthood and put it to good use. This week we were able to give about six blessings. They were all super awesome. We went to visit a investigator last night and he had crashed on his motorcycle earlier that day. He has been having a really hard time understanding the priesthood, so it was amazing to give him a blessing yesterday.

We have been finding a lot of new potential investigators the challenge is getting them to investigator status. We are still working with Leon. We are trying really hard for him to stop smoking but he has to want to do it. We have to push back his baptismal date.

Not a whole lot this week. I am thankful for all of the support that you all give me. I am grateful for all of the prayers. I love you all so much! Keep striving to do what is right. Scripture for the week is 1 Corinthians 10:31. Always strive to be more like Jesus!

Love,
Elder Pope

There are a whole bunch of guys who ride around on their bikes selling corn-on-the-cob with Mexican mayo, Parmesan cheese, and chili powder on top. They are the best!
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Week 14 – Three Months!

Wow, I can’t believe I have been out for three months already!

This week was a pretty normal week. We didn’t do a lot of exciting things.

We did three different service projects this week. They were all super fun! The first service project we did was help move one of our members to another house. We got to move a lot of heavy dressers and desks. And, of course we had to move all of the heavy stuff to the second floor because they were getting the downstairs carpet removed. This week we are going to help the family move a massive pool table that they have as well. They had a big thing of protein that they weren’t going to use, and their son doesn’t like it, so they gave it to me. The second service project we did was helping one of our members build a garden. That was pretty fun! The third service project we did was help a less active clean out their brother’s old house. We only saw a few black widows. I found out that there are black widows everywhere here too!

We visit our recent converts once a week. We love going out to the Sutton’s because they have a ton of different animals and every time we go out to their house they have some new animal. We were able to play with their little turkeys, chickens, pig, fainting goat, ducks, and mini goat. It is always an adventure when we go out to their house. It is also really awesome when we go out to their house because they give us a ton of eggs. Last week they gave us three dozen eggs. They give us about that many almost every time we go out there, so that is pretty cool.

The guy named Leon, who we are teaching, has some pretty serious challenges but we met with him again this week and he said, “Am I still being baptized on the 30th?” It really caught us off guard because we had talked to him about being baptized and we thought it was just out of the way but he brought it up. We both got super happy and knew that he really wants to be baptized. We now just have to work on a few things so he can be there, but we can do it. Please pray for him so he can stop smoking.

We are still teaching the group home. There are really only two of the boys who are interested but we keep teaching them all. This week we will hopefully get at least one of them on date to be baptized. They are all super cool and wanting to learn more. We went by yesterday to pick them up for church and we found out they can’t go without a supervisor and there was only one at the house at that time. They were pretty sad that they couldn’t go, but on the bright side we got them CTR rings and they are wearing them everyday!

That is all for the week. Not a whole lot. We have a few service projects set up for this week. Keep spreading the gospel wherever you are! Always remember that your Heavenly Father loves you and he wants the best for us! I feel all of your prayers and am thankful for them. Please keep them coming. I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Scripture for this week is D&C 82:10. It is a great scripture!

Love,
Elder Pope

I made some homemade sweet potato fries this week that were freaking good!SAM_0395SAM_0397
Playing with the duck from the Sutton’s.SAM_0404SAM_0407
President’s interviews!SAM_0408SAM_0409
The Avina’s house last night.SAM_0414SAM_0415

Week 13 – Grandes Aventuras de Elder Papa

This week was great!

This week Elder Jarvis and I have really been praying to find some new investigators. We made a goal to get at least two new investigators. We have been teaching Derek and it was funny because we went over and invited everyone who wanted to learn more about Jesus Christ to come and join. Derek was just there, then another boy named Dominique comes in. We start teaching, then Ryan comes in so we start over. We are like five minutes into our lesson and Joseph comes in. We then say, “Who ever is going to come in, come in now!” Then Damion (the guard) comes in to listen as well. We taught them about the Restoration and it went amazing. We got four new investigators from it and we are going over again this Wednesday! We went by Saturday night and talked with Derek and Dominique for about fifteen minutes. They are reading the Book of Mormon and praying, which is awesome. We are trying our best to bring them unto the waters of baptism!

We found Leon last week. We taught him this week and he was acting pretty weird. We asked him if he remembered what we had just taught him and he said, “No.” We found out he is so addicted to drugs that he can’t go without them for more than an hour. It is really sad to see such a great person be so addicted to drugs. He managed to come to church yesterday, which was pretty amazing. I sat next to him and he had to leave with ten minutes left in sacrament meeting. It was amazing he was able to make it to sacrament meeting, but we are still trying to help him out!

This last Priesthood session I learned a lot about using the Priesthood power. It reminded me of the time I gave Abraham Avina a blessing a few weeks ago. He had fallen off a ladder and landed on some metal, so his back was all messed up. While at family home evening, he asked for a blessing. He could barely walk and he couldn’t stand up without getting help from us. He asked me if I would give him a blessing. I was able to give him a blessing and after the blessing he just sat there with tears running down his face. He then said how he got a super warm feeling and how his back felt like it was brand new again. I then put my hand out to help him up and he said, “NO! I can do it myself!” He then stood up out of the chair like nothing had happened. It is amazing the things you can do with the priesthood. I will always be thankful to hold the priesthood and the wonderful things we can do with it!

This last Friday was Esther Avina’s funeral. It was amazing. I am not the biggest fan of funerals, but they really make you think about what life is after this earth. I am so thankful that we have the Plan of Salvation. Her funeral really reminded me of my Grandma Pope’s, right before my mission. We really miss the people who have left us, but for their family that is already there it is a great time. It is never a goodbye, it is just a see ya later.

I am grateful for this gospel and to know that families can be together forever! There was a scripture I came across that I really love – D&C 112:10! Check it out! I love you all so much and am grateful for all of you! Keep up the good work in all that you do!

Love,
Elder Pope

Service project we did this week for a less active member.SAM_0361
We had lunch at some other elders’ apartment and it was super fun! It is always a fun time going to other apartments and just hang out and eat! “God Squad”IMG_9699

Week 12 – Buen Día A Todos!

Hola familia! Que hay de nuevo?

This week was a fun but rough week. We had a lot of good news and some not so good news.

The picture I sent last week was of Abraham (dad) and Renee(daughter) Avina. Abraham’s wife, Ester, passed away yesterday after fighting cancer for about a year. It was really hard on everyone because she was doing pretty well and then these last three days she went downhill really fast, and no one knew about it except for them. It was also really hard on them because Renee’s husband died three years ago from cancer and now Ester. Keep praying that their family will get through this hard time. We were able to go over to the hospital yesterday and comfort them in this hard time. We cheered Abraham up, so that was really good.

Conference was AMAZING! I really enjoyed all of the talks that were given. We missed the morning session of it because we were at the hospital with the Avina’s but we are going to watch it soon. My favorite talk was either Elder Holland’s talk at the end or President Monson’s talk in Priesthood session. I really liked how the man used his Priesthood power to have the rescue boat come back and save them. It is really cool how we can use the Priesthood for so many different things that can bless our lives.

We had a really cool experience last night! We stopped at a group home to see if two of the guys we were going to start teaching were home. A kid named Derek answered the door and we asked if they were home and he said “No.” We then asked if he would be interested in learning about our church. He said, “Sure.” Come to find out, earlier that day something had happened and he had made the decision to come closer to Jesus Christ and to pray about how he can do so. Then we showed up later that night! We asked him if this could be an answer to his prayer. He said, “Oh yeah, of course.” We then taught him about the Book of Mormon and about prophets. He then said he wanted to be a prophet someday and to preach the word to people all around the world. We then said, “Like us as missionaries?” and he said, “Yes!” We invited him to be baptized and he said he would pray about it. We are meeting with him again tomorrow night, so hopefully that all goes great!

Another new investigator we found is Leon. He looks like he is 25. We taught him two lessons and have a time this week to go and teach him another lesson. We assumed he is about 25 because he is living with all of his family, but we decided to ask him. He told us he is 43. We then asked how many children he has. He told us he has four children. The first is 29, the second is 27, the third is 14, and the fourth is 12. We were really caught off guard, but it was really funny. He is a really cool guy and has some problems with the word of wisdom, but we can fix that!

The third new investigator we found this week is Michelle. She is really awesome and a really religious person. She grew up Lutheran and wasn’t very open at first. We gave her a Book of Mormon last Thursday and met with her again this last Wednesday. She had read all the way to Alma and was going to start Alma right after we left. She said she believes everything that we are teaching her and we are super excited to meet with her again. So hopefully we can get her a date to be baptized. She has never been baptized and told us she has always wanted to be baptized!

That is all for this week. I am really grateful to be serving here in the California Modesto Mission! I know this is where God wants me to be at this time in my life. I pray for you all everyday and hope all is going well back at home! I love you all so much and am grateful for you and your testimonies!

Love,
Elder Pope
(or if the Hermanas are talking to me it’s Elder Papa. It is really funny.)

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