Month: July 2016

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)!

Elder Pope

Taking the trees that we cut down to the burn pile.
Elder Powell, my new companion, and I taking pictures in the car.
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!

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!

Elder Pope

This is the wardrobe that we built for Fay. It was a ton of fun!
Last week we went to the driving range for preparation day! It was so fun!
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…
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!”

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.

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.
Elder Simms and I at community sharing. It is so fun to serve others!
A member gave us money for food so Elder Kishpaugh and I went to an Italian restaurant.
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.
We helped an old folks home by trimming their roses. It was super fun and they were so happy!SAM_0805

Week 25 – Happy 4th!

This week we were able to do about 15 hours of service! Service is so wonderful! My favorite service project we did was help a less active member of our ward put in a new mail box. We help her by doing a service project every week and she always has more for us to do! She is trying to sell her house and everyone kept commenting on how crappy her mail box was. She has wanted to change it for about three years now but couldn’t find anyone to do it. Her mail box was too big and she couldn’t find the right size bottom to fit it. Thanks to my dad, I learned how to “jimmy rig” things together before my mission. She had some wood lying around, so I cut it up and drilled it in all different ways. When I was finished, we tried it and “Wala!” It was a perfect fit! She was so happy when we were done. All she could say is, “It is so beautiful!” Service is so wonderful and it is so great to see how it effects people in just a short amount of time.

One of my favorite hymns is #335. I have been thinking about it a lot. When I arrived in Modesto, President Palmer said for all of the missionaries to always have a hymn that they are thinking of. If you ever have a bad thought or something comes to your mind that you want gone, just think of the hymn that you have studied. I have studied “Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy”(#335). I really love this hymn. It talks about how we need to be the lower lights on a light house. A light house has the big light on top but it also has lower lights on the bottom. When a ship comes in from sea, they have to get lined up with the lower lights and with the upper light. Once they are in line with both, they know they are coming in the safe way. If they are not exactly lined up with both, then they will not be on the safest pathway and it can be really dangerous. Jesus Christ is the big light on top and we are the lower lights. We are to help direct people to Jesus Christ and help them find the fullness of the everlasting gospel! In the chorus of the hymn it says, “Let the lower lights be burning; send a gleam across the wave. Some poor fainting, struggling seaman You may rescue, you may save.” We are the lower light. We can rescue people that are struggling and help them get back on the straight and narrow path! This is why I am serving a mission. There are those lost seaman out there and we need to save them. We need to bring them back to what they know is right! I challenge you all to find and study a hymn, so when are down or have a bad thought go through your mind you can think of a hymn!

This week I am especially grateful to live in such a wonderful country. We are so lucky that Jesus Christ made such a wonderful place under the direction of God. I am proud to be an American! The scripture for this week is Ether 2:12. I feel like it is an appropriate scripture for today! I am so grateful to serve my mission here in California! I know this is where God wants me to be and there are people that I am supposed to see here. I love you all so much! Be safe and thank you all for the prayers. I feel each and every one of your prayers.

Elder Pope

We rode up on one of the very few hills, so we decided to take a picture. There are actually hills here and it isn’t completely flat!
Sister Akers’ mail box that we fixed for her and gave a whole new remodel. Best one on the block now!
Fourth of July party this morning!
Mowing a less active member’s lawn for him! Good old Danny Jones!