Month: May 2016

Week 20 – Happy Memorial Day

Hope all is going well! It was a great week here in Turlock, California!

This week we were able to add another investigator to our teaching pool. Her name is Jamie. Jamie is friends with some of our members. She has a daughter who is four and loves seeing us. If we are biking past she will scream at us and tell us to come over. Jamie has been to lots of churches and hasn’t felt good in any church. She has not been to our church but her daughter goes with our members every week and asks everyday if it is church – which is awesome. She asked us what she would need to do to be baptized. She wants to keep learning and growing.

We are still teaching Raymond. We have been trying to get him to church but he just hasn’t made enough of an effort to get to church. We tell him we can get him a ride to church but he always says he has a ride then never shows up. It is really hard when he doesn’t try to come, so we might have to only visit him once a week until he decides he really wants to make that change in his life. We have an appointment set with him tomorrow so hopefully we can make some progress with him.

Today we had a wonderful experience! We went to the frozen yogurt place where we get free frozen yogurt. We got our yogurt and started talking with the lady who owns it. While finishing up she said she was going through a hard time in her life. We offered to give her a blessing. She was the only one working and said she would love one but it would have to be when no one is checking out. About five minutes went by and we finished eating. She came over and said she was ready. We went to the back room and were able to give her a blessing of comfort. It was such an awesome experience. She told us it was a blessing when we came in her store. She had prayed that somehow she could have a better day. She told us that it was an answer to her prayer. I know we were supposed to go there when we did! God puts people in our paths so we can help them!

This week in my personal study I was reading Ether. I was reading about the brother of Jared. He had so much faith that Jesus would appear to him. He is such a wonderful example to us. Nothing can happen unless we have faith and the more faith we have the better off we will be. The scripture for this week is Ether 3. Just because that is where it talks about the brother of Jared. It is a really cool chapter!

It is super hot here and it is only supposed to get hotter over time. This week it is supposed to be over 100 degrees and on Friday it is supposed to be 109. That is about all for this week. I know this church is true and I am so happy I am able to serve here. I know this is where I am supposed to be and that there are people who I am supposed to help here. This is where God has called me!

Love,
Elder Pope

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Week 19 – That is a Long Way to Scream

This week was a pretty fun week here in Turlock!

The work isn’t going as great as we are hoping but we are working really hard everyday to kick it back up!

We are teaching an investigator named James. James is a really cool guy! He was the starter of the Two-0-Nine Car Club. He is the guy with all of the cool old cars that I send pictures of. We were teaching him yesterday and he drank five beers while we were teaching him. He agrees with all of the things that we have been teaching him but is not quite sure if he is ready to make the change in his life. He is a really cool guy and we really feel like he is ready to be baptized he just has to quit drinking. He said it would be pretty hard because that is all he and his friends do. They drink and work on their cars. We told him we are going to convert him and his whole car club. He laughed and said, “Do it!” They told us if anyone ever gives us trouble to let them know and they would take care of it. They are super cool. Next time we teach him I will take a picture with him, if I remember.

This week we went on exchanges. I went on exchanges with Elder Ferrell. He is from Texas and is really cool. We were able to teach three lessons and they all went really well. He came to my area so it was really nice. He said that my area is better than his. We visited a less active named Sister Vigil. She talked to us about how her daughter wanted to fly her out to South Carolina to visit her. She hasn’t seen her daughter in ten years. She said she will NOT get on an airplane because she is to scared of heights. I asked her if she was scared to die. She said, “No, it would just be a long way to scream.” We about died laughing! She is really funny and loves talking with us!

This week we did two different service projects and have another planned for tomorrow. The first service project we did was help Daphne, our investigator, cut down more of her trees. She bought us a pizza and was leaving to go out to lunch with some friends so we had a ton of pizza for lunch. Our dinner appointment called us just after lunch and told us they didn’t feel good but would drop off food for us. They dropped off two 18 inch pizzas. One for each of us. And they got each of us a two liter bottle of root beer. So we had pizza for lunch the next few days. The second service project we did was helping Jamie, an investigator, clean her house. We had members that live right above her come over and we cleaned her house for her. She has had bronchitis for the past two weeks so we said we would help her clean her house. It was really fun!

That is about all for this week. Not a whole lot of other things happened. We have just been trying find people to teach. I love you all so much and am so grateful for the support you give me! Keep up the good work where ever you are! The scripture for this week is Ether 12:27. Not sure if I have done this one yet but it is a really wonderful scripture! Have a wonderful week!

Love,
Elder Pope

We were at a less active member’s home who had little goats. He is the one in the picture with me. He and his wife have been coming to church every week but we still visit them once a week. His name is Brother Warren. He is fighting cancer right now and is super awesome!
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This is the new hat that I got! It is a great hat to do service in!
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This is one of James’ friend’s car. He has nine different pimped out cars. One of his cars was the old Chevy Impala that was purple. He told me he will sell me one when I get home from my mission. I will be cruising in style.
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Week 18 – Soy Un Hijo De Dios

Hello Everybody! Hope all of you had a wonderful week!

This week we were able to do three different service projects. The first service project that we did was helping one of our investigators clean up her backyard. Her name is Daphne. She is from Taiwan and is super awesome. She is a doctor and loves to talk with us. We just have a few things that she needs to decide and hopefully we will get her baptized. The second service project that we did was helping a lady get her kite out of a tree. We were riding past a park to go and see an investigator and saw her so we decided to stop. She was so thankful we stopped to help. She had just bought the kite and accidentally got it stuck. We tried for about 30 minutes to help her get it down. She told us, “It is fine. I will just leave it.” We got her address just in case we were able to get it down later. We went to a members house, who is about three blocks away, and borrowed a ladder. We got her kite down and took it to her house. She said we were her heroes! It was really nice to help her out. We weren’t giving up. It took us a total of two hours to get her kite down. The third service project that we did was helping the Mallory family clean up their backyard even more and help them set up an inflatable pool that they got! The service projects were all really fun that we did this week!

We have been teaching a guy named Nick Everett. He is the son of Don Everett, one of our recent converts who I baptized. Nick is 21 but isn’t really a religious person. He doesn’t believe in God, so we are trying hard to see what we can do for him so he can believe in God. We just have to take baby steps but we keep praying he will start to understand and believe. He is a really cool person but he has looked into like every church and doesn’t want anything to do with them but loves talking with us.

We were at a park street contacting people and a lady yelled at us from her car. It was really awesome because she pulled over and came running at us. We thought it was some crazy lady trying to attack us but she was in tears when she got over to us. She explained to us that she had just come home from visiting her daughter and son in Colorado, who are recent converts to the church. She said she keeps seeing missionaries and knows it is God talking to her. She said she would love to meet with us but her husband doesn’t want us to come over. She then explained that she sees us almost every other day. She then said bye and ran to her car. Yesterday we went to visit an investigator and when we were leaving I saw a lady sitting outside picking weeds. I caught a quick glimpse as we started biking off and I told Elder Jarvis she looked familiar. It was her, and she started to cry when we came up. We talked for a little while and she said she will talk with us if she sees us when she is by herself. She was really awesome and hopefully we will see her again soon!

This week I went on exchanges with Elder Brough. He is from South Jordan and a really cool guy. But that is about all for this week. Just trying to find more people to teach is the biggest job right now. It is really funny because we get honked at at least five times a day by people that just wave at us. I love the people here so much! Everyone is super friendly and always welcoming!

I love you all so much and am grateful for all the support that you give me! Keep up the good work at home and always Choose The Right! The scripture for this week is John 11:35. Pray and ponder about this scripture. It is a wonderful scripture!

Love,
Elder Pope

This is how we got the ladder to the tree with the kite stuck in it.
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This is Daphne. Really cool person! When we were done cutting down some branches she wanted removed, she got all happy and said, “Time for a pizza party!” It was really funny. Once we were done she said thank you and told us to come back next Tuesday to help her cut down more trees. She then proceeded to say, “We will have another pizza party!” We laughed but she loves talking with us.
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Pictures from Sister Tilby. We are so grateful Elder Pope is living with the Tilby family! We love them!
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Week 17 – Four Months?!

It is crazy to think that I have already been out for four months now.

This week was a great week. We were able to do four different service projects. I love doing service for others. The first service project we did was helping a member plant trees and weed whack her backyard. We are hoping to go over soon and take out all of the weeds then help her plant sod. The second service project that we did was helping a member move wood. The third service project was part of “Love Turlock.” We helped scrub off some hard water stains in a water park. It was really fun and they fed us lunch after, which was super good. The fourth service project that we did was mowing a less active lady’s lawn and cleaning up her yard. It was a really wonderful experience to do so much service! Doing service is really fun.

We are still teaching Raymond. He still wants to be baptized which is really good. He said he loves learning more and wants to change his life. We are hoping to be able to meet with him more often this next week. He is doing pretty good in understanding. We are trying really hard to continue finding people to teach.

We had a recent convert move into our ward. He used to live in Ceres. His name is Andres Zapata. He is really cool. He has been shot three times and is still going strong. He has a really strong testimony and loves the church. He wants to talk to people about the church whenever he has the opportunity. He is so awesome.

This is a quote by President Palmer in his letter: “Motherhood is far more than a physical gift or birthright; it is also, and much more importantly, a spiritual gift accompanied by a sacred responsibility. All women, regardless of age, circumstance, or marital status have that gift, that responsibility, and the enduring as well as endearing opportunity to encourage, edify, uplift, nurture, love, lead and serve those who are progressing through their mortal journey both physically and spiritually. This gift continues through this life and throughout eternity.” I am so grateful for my mother and all that she does for me. She is such a wonderful lady and it was so wonderful to talk with her yesterday!

That is all for this week. Not a whole lot of other exciting things happened. I love you all so much and am grateful for all the support I am receiving while out here on my mission. The scripture for this week is all of Moroni 7. We talked about it for Zone Conference and I learned so much about it. Always keep your faith strong!

Love,
Elder Pope

Doing service.
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While on exchanges with Elder Perry, there was a 12 year old kid named Jose playing basketball. We stopped and started talking with him as well as shooting around. He loved playing basketball with us. He is Catholic but he told us we could stop by and talk to him every once in awhile. The picture of me dunking it is a 9 and a half foot hoop. Almost ten but not quite.
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This is the Tilby’s shaved ice shack. It is really nice living with them because whenever they are outside they always ask if we want one. It is the best!
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Friday it rained on us pretty hard for a few minutes. We got out our umbrellas, walked the park, and street contacted people.
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Week 16 – Soy Una Hija De Dios

Happy Mothers Day!

This week was a great week. We have been teaching lots of different people!

This last Tuesday we taught a potential investigator named Raymond. He is a really cool guy and his whole family is Catholic. He wants to know more about the church. We taught him a lesson and committed him to be baptized, so we are going to try for May 21. We told him it is not a set date but we are just going to shoot for it. He agreed to it. It was really awesome because he kept telling us he is getting a good feeling, so we told him it was the Holy Ghost. It was a really awesome experience.

This last Thursday we played basketball with a whole bunch of people. We were able to get one of our potential investigators there. He really enjoyed it and he got along really well with the members there. We are going to hopefully start teaching him this week and still get him to basketball on Thursday nights.

Yesterday for Gospel Principles class we talked about sacrifice. Taylor Ann Tilby, who just got home from the Trinidad Mission and is the daughter of the people we are living with, shared an experience while she was on her mission. A recent convert family who had been members for just under a year really wanted to go to the temple. The missionaries talked about it and they had seen pictures of the temples and thought they were so cool. The family was determined to go to the temple. The family took their baptismal record and a picture of the temple to the place where you get your passports. Usually you have to take a whole bunch of papers and it is still really hard to get a passport. They handed the man the papers and said they needed to get to the temple. He had heard about Mormons and thought it was awesome. He gave them a ten year passport for the family so they can go back more then just once. They went back home and sold half of their furniture so they could afford to buy a plane ticket to get the temple. They went to the temple and enjoyed it. They didn’t have enough money to buy plane tickets back home but some nice man bought their whole family plane tickets back because he knew how much they had sacrificed to get that far. I love this story. It really made me think about how lucky we are to have temples within walking distance. We should never take that for granted. There is no excuse that we shouldn’t go to the temple at least once a week and probably more. It is the House of the Lord and it is such a wonderful place. I challenge you all to strive to go to the temple at least once a week.

There is a really cool talk called “We Walk by Faith” by Gordon B. Hinckley in the 2002 April General Conference. It is a really powerful talk and I want you all to look it up and read it. It really strengthened my testimony. We were talking about it yesterday in church. It is one of my favorite talks and is amazing.

The scripture for this week is Helaman 5:12. It is one of my favorite scriptures. We always need to keep adding to that foundation. Never think that your foundation is good enough. Jesus Christ is always there for us all the time. Never let Satan take over.

We are trying our very best to keep getting investigators. I am really grateful for this gospel in my life and how wonderful it is to see it affect other people as well. I know this is the one true church on this earth today. I love you all so much and am grateful for each and every one of you and your example to me.

Love,
Elder Pope

Anthony Lopez, a recent convert, and I got into a serious game of basketball on Wednesday night. He accidentally tore off a side of my pocket.
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