Month: October 2016

Week 42 – Happy Halloween!

What’s up family and friends? First off, Happy Halloween! I can’t believe it is already Halloween – like holy crap! Time is flying in the mission field!

Can you believe that it is only two months until Christmas? It will be so fun to Skype with the family! This time of the year is my favorite. All of the holidays and all of the families coming together to celebrate such wonderful events that have happened.

Yesterday we combined for the third hour of church. Our bishop was the one who was in charge of it and we talked about family home evening. Too many families are going without family home evening and we need to get that number up. Family home evening is so important and it helps families unite together. We talked about how families just need to be together. It doesn’t necessary mean that there has to be a spiritual message, it is just important that families spend quality time together. I loved the family home evenings we would have, whether they were going to a game, going for a drive in the RZR, or just playing a game.

This week we were able to meet with the Tangle family and share a message with them. We talked about their baptism and we found out that she works on the 3rd so we pushed it back to the 12th. We got a time and our ward mission leader is setting up all of the baptism arrangements! They are excited to be baptized! We just hope that nothing will go wrong. We are still teaching another part member family and that is going pretty well. They want to start having us over every Monday night for family home evenings! We told them we would love too!

This week the Oakdale 1st and 2nd wards had a big Halloween party! It was super awesome and we had six investigators there so it was even better because they came too! Elder Powell and I were the chili judges and let’s just say being a judge isn’t very fun. We had to pick the best five out of twenty. After trying the first three chili dishes, the remaining all tasted about the same. One of our members usually makes one but he wins every year so he decided not to this year. He told us he would make us a batch of it so we can try it!

This week I have been studying a lot about grace. I read in Helaman 12:24 and was curious what it mean’t about “grace for grace.” I then found the talk by President Utchdorf called “The Gift of Grace.” I love when he says it is after all that we can do, we are saved by grace. Not because of all that we can do. We need to be doing all that we can here and be the people our Heavenly Father wants us to be. I know that if we will do all that we can, then we will be saved by grace. I know that this is the true church and that the gospel was restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Have a wonderful week and be safe in all that you do! I love you all and am grateful for all the love and support that you give to me! I feel each and every one of your prayers!

Elder Pope

Our wards had a big party and chili cook-off this week. There was one kid who was dressed like a missionary so we took a picture of him! He has a brother on a mission so his mom took a picture of us too so she could send it to him!
We did service this week and trimmed about 250 trees! It was really fun!
We had dinner with Horacio last night and it was really good. He is a really funny member!

Week 41 – Chainsaw Duty Again

This week was a pretty wonderful week! We did lots of service and had a ton of fun, like usual!

This week we helped a few members cut out some trees and even cut out a stump. It was a lot of fun! Doing service is so wonderful and it is great even when it is something so little and simple. Helping people makes me so happy and I love it! This next week we have a lot of service lined up again.

We had interviews with President Palmer this week and they were great! President Palmer is the best mission president anybody could ever have. He loves all of his missionaries so much and he is always here for each and every one of us. He talked about the Atonement with everybody while we were there. Atone, Atoned, or Atonement are used to reference the Savior’s sacrifice 36 times in the Book of Mormon. The Atonement by our Savior was a lot bigger sacrifice then we will ever know.

Yesterday in Elders Quorum we talked about a talk from this last General Conference about “no one is telling me I can’t.” I don’t remember exactly who it was given by but it was a great lesson. One thing that really stood out to me was to not find myself in a circumstance where the bishop is required to tell me I cannot take the sacrament. Don’t ever find yourself in the state where someone tells you you can’t do something. Live up to what you know is right. Sometimes we make mistakes and we have to repent, learn, and grow from it. If someone tells you that you can’t do something, prove them wrong. Become a better person and do better! They asked if we had any experiences when someone tells us we can’t do something and we agreed it just makes you want to prove them wrong. We can do anything that we put our minds to!

The scripture for this week is 1 Nephi 21:14-16. It is a wonderful scripture and I love it because Jesus will never forsake us. It also deals with the Atonement. Jesus is awesome! I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week! Always do as Jesus asks! Sorry for the shorter email today. I love you all so much! I feel each and every one of your prayers!

Elder Pope

We got to drive a golf cart when we were helping the patriarch cut down a big tree.
We got to pick fresh pomegranates and take them home. I really love them!
I got to cut out a tree stump because I was the only one that they trusted with the chain saw!

Week 40 – Pride Comes Before The Fall

Just having a grand old time here in the mission field! Teaching repentance and baptizing converts like no big deal. I love the mission field!

This week we were able to do a few service projects! The first service project we did was help a less active member cut off two big branches from an almond tree and then cut them up into smaller pieces for their fireplace. It was pretty fun and always great to help out in any way possible. We also helped an investigator in the Oakdale 3rd Ward move about 200 bails of hay. That was pretty fun but let’s just say I slept really well that night. President and Sister Palmer were there along with the assistants because it was a pretty big project. We got to move it from a big stack into a barn. It was pretty fun!

This week we had five member-present lessons. We were able to stop by the Eckstein’s twice this last week and share messages with their foster kids and they were great! We have another appointment with them on Thursday so we are super excited for that. We are still teaching the Tangles and they are still on date to be baptized! Our new investigator, Jasmine, came to church again yesterday and we were able to teach her during the second hour of church, which was great. She is great and we are excited about her!

Big shout out to my friend Gunner Miller for getting called to the California Modesto Mission! Best mission ever and no one can tell me different. He is going to love it out here!

This week, while reading in Preach My Gospel, I read a quote I believe is from Dallin H. Oaks. He talked about how, as missionaries, we need to keep our lines in the water for as long as we can. He said, “some fisherman are away from their homes for twelve hours and have their lines in the water for ten hours. Other fisherman have their lines in the water for only two hours.” As missionaries, we need to have our lines in the water from the time that we step outside of our apartment. We need to be able to teach people any time and every time an opportunity arises. This is also true for all members of the church. We need to always be able to share the gospel with anybody and everybody when we have the opportunity to share it.

The scripture for this week is Proverbs 15:33 it says, “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.” We need to always stay humble in all that we do. Pride is of the devil. We just need to stay humble, obedient, diligent and follow the counsel of the prophet. I know Thomas S. Monson is the prophet that lives on the earth today. He receives revelation for us from God. He is God’s mouth piece. I love you all so much and am happy for all you do for me!

Elder Pope

Riding the mower while doing service!
We were almost done with our service project moving hay when it started pouring. So, I thought I would take a picture because it was pretty fun!
The whole crew after moving hay. Only a few were paying attention when I took the picture but President Palmer is the guy in white in the back.
This is the beast of a burger that we had after the service project. The restaurant is called Hulas and it is a great place to eat! I would recommend it to anyone!

Week 39 – 9 Months? Crazy!

Well, I am staying in Oakdale this transfer! I am still with Elder Powell and we are both super excited to spend another transfer here! The other two Elders in the Oakdale 3rd Ward are both staying too! We are super happy. It is going to be another great transfer.

We just got a referral from a member who lives in Washington. We contacted the referral and were able to share a message with her. She is going through a hard time with her family and she was so happy to see us. We invited her to church this week and she showed up right before the meeting started! She loved it and met a lot of new friends! Right before she left to go home she told us she would be back next week since she loved it so much. She seems pretty promising! Her name is Jasmine. She is super awesome! We still have the Tangles on date to be baptized on November 3rd so we will be here to see them get baptized! All of our investigators are doing good but the Tangles are the most promising. We have dinner tonight with a family in our ward that has four non-members living with them!

We have an investigator named Ceaser who we can only meet with about once every three or four weeks because he works so much. When he is free he loves to talk with us! We talked about prayer and about keeping the Sabbath Day holy. The lesson went really well. We talked about how we need to pray all the time and not only once every two or three days. I made an analogy that I had heard. It is just like how a father wants to talk with his children and ask how their day went. God is the same way. He wants to hear from us each and every day. It is important that we always talk with him and always go to him for everything. It was also super cool because we talked to him about keeping the Sabbath Day holy. It was awesome because he took Sunday off the week before to watch General Conference with his friend and he got a lot more work at his shop and he was a lot happier. We were able to explain to him about how important it is. He is going to take the next Sunday off again!

We were only able to do one service project this week. We helped members in the 3rd Ward, Belinda and Wayne, cut down some of their almond trees that were dead and some branches that had fallen off when they shook the trees. It is really fun doing service and I am glad that my father taught me about service. Service is really awesome! We also helped at Community Sharing, just like we do each and every Tuesday.

This week all of the Elders in our district got airsoft guns! We are super excited and have already had a war last week and are having one today in a member’s orchard! There are a few pictures below so hopefully no one gets mad that this is a short email today! We go out into a member’s almond orchard and have fun!

The scripture for the week is Isaiah 41:10. I love this scripture. God will never leave us or let us be alone. It always makes me feel good whenever I read this. Sometimes we feel alone in life but we are never alone. Always turn to Heavenly Father in times of need. He will never let us go. He loves us and cares for us more than we can imagine. I love you all so much! Have a wonderful day today!

Elder Pope

We had the Sisters take a picture of us before we left to go have our airsoft war! Best preparation day!
I decided to grow a beard while on my mission. Just kidding. It is fake. I know I had you all but don’t worry, I didn’t.

Week 38 – Living the High Life

What up everybody? Life is going great in the mission field! Just teaching the gospel to everybody like no big deal. I can’t believe it is already October – like where has the time gone? Time is flying by way too fast!

This week was a fun week. It was especially fun to watch General Conference and hear from the leaders of the church. It is always so wonderful to be able to hear from them every six months. The talks were so wonderful to listen to and I know we can grow from following their teachings. One of my favorite talks was Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita’s. He shared about the Elder who went to Japan and how his prosthetic leg kept breaking on his bike. The Elder was so ambitious and wanted to keep pushing even though he was having problems. He had to go to a different mission where he didn’t have to bike, but I loved how diligent and ambitious he was to keep working as hard as he possibly could. It really made me pause and check to make sure that I am being as diligent and ambitious as I should be. We need to regularly check ourselves and make sure that we are always staying ambitious and faithful to the Lord.

We have to push the Tangles baptismal date back to November 3rd. They both have to work everyday this month, but they will be getting that day off so we are hoping and praying that this date will stay. They are doing really well. We were able to eat dinner with them this week and share a message with them.

We were able to do service Tuesday through Friday this week. Tuesday and Wednesday we helped a less active member rebuild a gate, then we painted it for him. They are selling their house and they were really grateful for our help. On Thursday we helped a less active member cut down weeds all around her yard. It was really fun to help and share a message with her and her family. On Friday we helped Wayne and Belinda, who are super awesome members, rake some of their walnuts out from the fence. We love doing service for them because they always feed us and it is always the best food.

For Conference we went over to Horacio’s home for the first session. Horacio, one of our members, fed us breakfast before it started. We ate menudo, which is cow stomach, and it was pretty good. It is always fun to try new things. For the second session on Saturday we went to the church and watched it with the other missionaries. For the Sunday morning session we went to the Stocker’s. They fed us french toast and sausage then we watched it together. For the Sunday afternoon session we went to the Eckstein’s. They have three non-members living with them so we thought it was a great idea, and it was. We have a return appointment to come back and teach them! They fed us lunch too.

My scripture for the week is 3 Nephi 11:14. I really enjoy this scripture because Jesus is wanting the people to come and feel his wounds. The word “thrust” really stands out to me because that means Jesus wants everyone to know He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. He died for us and lived again so we can live again as well. We can all come unto Jesus just like the Nephites did. I love my Savior so much! Always strive and do as the Savior would. You will be blessed because of it! Have a wonderful week! Love you all tons!

Elder Pope

We had a big nerf war last preparation day. Elder Simms and I were on a team and the other two were on the other team. We beat them every game. It was pretty fun!
Two other Elders from the zone, Elder Thomson and Elder Feltman. They are both super awesome!
Sitting on the fork lift, with Horacio, looking cool. It is too bad that missionaries can’t drive fork lifts because I really wanted to.
The crew doing work at Wayne and Belinda’s house. The only place where money grows on trees. I know what I am going to get when I get home!