Month: December 2016

Week 50 – Happy New Year!

I was asked to give a talk this next week in church. If any of you could make it that would be great! Haha! I am just kidding.

Where do I start? Christmas was amazing! It was so great to be able to Skype with my family and catch up with them! They are so awesome! It seems like just yesterday that I Skyped with them for Mothers Day and here it is already Christmas and I get to see them again! It is so awesome to be able to talk with them twice a year! I love my family so much and am so grateful for the love and support they give me. Also, thanks so much to the Johnston family and the Sucher family for the wonderful boxes! I loved them so much! I can’t thank you enough!

This week was a pretty awesome week. Basically all of the people who had us over for dinner had fun activities that we did with them after dinner. The members here are so great! One of the nights we had the opportunity to go and drive through the Christmas lights. For breakfast on Christmas Eve we went to an awesome member’s house! We ate this super rare cod and eggs and bacon. After breakfast we hurried and went to lunch with Wayne and Belinda. We ate at a super cool restaurant then they gave us Christmas presents. It was awesome and we love them so much! Christmas Eve we had dinner and had the opportunity to help the members cook the food! We juiced like 150 oranges, tangerines, and persimmons. It was crazy fun and we made a super good drink! Christmas morning was great because we were able to go to church. Every seven years Christmas happens on Sunday, and I am so grateful to have been on my mission for it!

This week we had the opportunity to complete a service for one of our members. We helped her paint her house and we were able to share a message with her. It was lots of fun to share the #LIGHTtheWORLD message with her. She has committed to be baptized but hasn’t set a date. She is also moving next week down to LA, so we have to let the missionaries down there know! It is sad to see her leave but we know that the missionaries down there will be prepared for her. We are here to all help each other!

We have been working really hard contacting the prospective elders. Our investigators were all out of town this week so we had a hard time teaching lessons. Every time we would knock on a door they would tell us to either come back another time or they were out of town. We are hoping that it won’t be like that this week! You would think that they would want to hear a message about Jesus Christ more because of the time of the year but I guess it is alright!

Not a lot of other things happened this week. Manteca is pretty cool. We are having a great time! Elder Beus is super awesome and we always have a lot of fun!

The scripture for this week is all of Luke 2. I feel like this is an appropriate scripture for this week. I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas! It is so wonderful to celebrate our Savior and Redeemer’s birthday. I love Him and all that He has done for me and all that He continues to do for me. I love serving Him and helping other come closer to Him! I hope you all have a wonderful new year! Next time I email you it will be 2017! I love you all and pray for you every day!

Love,
Elder Pope

Elder Beus and I painting our investigator’s house.
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We made gingerbread houses with some members this week. Mine was a camping scene. I came in second behind a member who took it really seriously.
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My district this transfer. They are all super awesome!
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The mission Christmas devotional. The California Modesto Mission is the best!
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One of our members has a sweet Corvette Stingray! I wouldn’t mind this as my future car.
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Helping with dinner on Christmas Eve! We made some M.U.D. (Most Unusual Drink).
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Elder Beus’ parents hooked us up with ASU jackets so I guess I am supposed to go to ASU for college. It is alright because I got more BYU stuff than ASU stuff, thanks to the Suchers, so I think that is the real school for me!
#GOCOUGARS
I also heard they won the Bowl Game. Way to go BYU! Even though deep down I kinda like Wyoming, because of Wayne and Belinda, I am happy that BYU won! It was a great Christmas!
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Week 49 – Merry Christmas!

First of all, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I hope you all remember the true meaning of Christmas. It is a time to celebrate Christ’s birth and all of the wonderful things that He has done for us. This is a wonderful time of the year!

Well, this week was a pretty good week! Last Tuesday we had interviews with President Palmer and Sister Palmer. They are so awesome! I am so grateful to have such wonderful leaders here that care for and love each missionary so much. It is always so fun to be able to talk with each of them one-on-one for a short period of time. We had great conversations! That took up most of the day.

Wednesday we went and visited both of the recent converts in this ward. We are really striving to get them to do family history because if they find some family names then we can go with them to the temple! How cool would that be? It kind of stinks not having a temple in our mission but it is also great because then we really have to teach about family history and strive to get them to the temple. It is just an added bonus that we would get to go with them!

Thursday was a really interesting day. I went on exchanges with Elder Perry, who is in my district. We serve in the same area, just live in different apartments! We got a call in the morning where they told us that there was a truck that had just spilled 600 gallons of hydrochloric acid and that we needed to stay inside. We pushed district meeting back until 1:00 PM. Oh, and it was also pouring outside and, I don’t know about you, but biking in the pouring rain kind of sucks. It was tons of fun though! We were told to go inside and dry our clothes so we wouldn’t get sick. We ended up staying inside for a little while until dinner. Our shoes were soaked, so all four of us went to dinner in our bare feet so our shoes could dry. It was pretty funny and the family who we were eating with about died laughing! It was a pretty awesome and wet day!

On Friday we did some weekly planning and had some meetings with the other missionaries. We were also able to visit some of our investigators but not a lot of people were home. We had dinner with a family that lives like seven miles from our apartment and it was super far and got pretty cold. It was an all around solid day!

Saturday we went and helped one of our coolest members in the ward move out. They are moving to Santa Cruz and it was pretty sad. He is a pretty cool member and it was sad to see him go! We then had an appointment with a guy we met on the road and he wasn’t home. We then visited the Santos family. They were outside working on their Harleys so Elder Beus and I played some football with the two boys! It was great.

Sunday we went to church! It was pretty good. Last night we went to a concert at the church. Our church and the Methodist church here in Manteca got together and held a Christmas Choir Devotional. It was great! They had the choirs sing and the Methodist church has a bell choir that was pretty awesome! It was a solid night.

The scripture for this week is 2 Nephi 2:6-8. I love this scripture. I feel like this is a great scripture for this season where we strive to always remember our Savior Jesus Christ! He is amazing! Not a whole lot else happened this week. Elder Beus and I are doing great! Manteca is getting a lot better each day. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Love,
Elder Pope

Elder Beus and I have a little too much fun!
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When we try to act like ballers but we really aren’t!
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Elder Perry and I chilling in their apartment.
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Week 48 – 13 More Days to Christmas

There are only thirteen more days until CHRISTMAS!!! Congrats to Gunner Miller on giving his farewell! I will see you on January 3rd, hopefully!

This week we had our ward Christmas party and it was so much fun! It was so great to meet a whole bunch of members! We were able to get two part-member families, who we are teaching, to come to it! It was really awesome to see all of the wonderful people they were able to meet. The party theme was “The Grinch Stole Christmas!” It was lots of fun and they had tons of games for the kids. We had dinner and it was an all around great Saturday! We also had the opportunity on Friday night to go with one of our investigators to their church to watch a play – which happened to be The Grinch Stole Christmas! It was fun and we were able to meet a lot of people. We went to their Christmas Party then they came to ours, which was great!

Tuesday we did a pretty fun service project! We helped an elderly couple move an old TV to a different room. The TV weighed close to 200 pounds! It was nice for them to upgrade! We then spent the next two hours installing their new TV and hooking everything up for them. It was tons of fun and they fed us lunch after it too! They were super happy to get it all figured out. I especially love helping elderly people!

Other then that we really didn’t do a whole lot! We have been trying to focus on the prospective Elders. We did meet a really crazy guy this week. He was on the list from the previous missionaries, so we decided to go and see him. The other missionaries said to go back later so we decided to go back now because it had been a few months. We knocked on the door and he opened it then slammed it and yelled at us. He told us to get lost! It was pretty funny. We just have laugh about it and say, “Well, we don’t need to go back there for awhile.” As a missionary we get lots of crazy things that happen to us and people yelling at us but we just have to make the best of it!

Today was a great day! We went shopping then went to In-N-Out for some lunch! After that we went to Bass Pro Shop for some more shopping! We went with Wayne and Belinda. It was tons of fun! We are now about to play sports with everyone!

The ward is really starting to work with us now! We love them working with us! Without members, missionary work is basically impossible! The scripture for this week is Moroni 10:32. As I have been reading my scriptures, this is a scripture that has really stood out to me. I love all of Moroni 10 but this scripture stood out to me this time. If we will come unto our Savior and lose our pride, we will come a lot closer to our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. I am grateful for this time of the year to learn and grow closer to my Savior! We need to always remember what Christmas really stands for – giving and acting as Christ would. I love you all so much and am grateful for all of the love and support that you give!

Love,
Elder Pope

Elder Beus and I got our pictures taken at the Ward Christmas party!
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Bass Pro Shop was pretty cool! Not a whole lot to do here in Manteca.
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Wayne and Belinda are awesome!
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Chilling at the church with all of the other missionaries while we are emailing!
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Week 47 – Stuff the Bus

This week was a pretty solid week! We are having tons of fun and visiting tons of people! I hope all of you had a great week.

We have been teaching a guy named James. He had a stroke a few years ago and it is super hard for him to remember anything, including what we taught him the time before. We had to stop teaching him this week and it was really hard. It is hard to find people around here to teach. I am not sure if I told you but there are actually four missionaries in our ward. We have dinner with the other missionaries each night and we have been working a lot with the members and Bishop Peterson. We have been trying to work with all of the prospective Elders. There are 118 in our ward! It is super crazy but we know that as we bring in people that the baptisms will follow and we will find more people to teach. We have also been trying to work with some of the part-member families.

We did some service at the food bank this week. It was a lot of fun to get to meet new people and be together with the other missionaries. We helped separate good vs old oranges. It really stunk but it was a lot of fun! We were there for a few hours because they needed a lot of help. It was us, the four Elders from the Northland Ward, and two of the Spanish-speaking Sisters. All day Thursday we helped with some service at the Cemetery here in Manteca. There are some really old graves and we got to edge around them and make them look better. It was a great day to do service! On Saturday we had the opportunity to spend a few hours helping with “Stuff the Bus!” It was super awesome! We met the people who are in charge of it the night before and asked if they needed help with anything. They told us they would love to see us at “Stuff the Bus” tomorrow because they always need help. We showed up and they were so happy we had kept our word! We are going back next week to help them again. They get a bus and stuff it full of gifts that people in the community give. They then wrap all of the gifts and give them out to kids that are in need for Christmas! It is pretty cool because the people who are in charge are a biker gang. They are these really big dudes who have big beards with tattoos all over. They are so awesome and have the sweetest spirits!

We had the opportunity to give our testimonies yesterday and to hear the testimonies of a whole bunch of other people. I bore my testimony on “Light the World.” We are so lucky to have a Savior who loves us so much. He is the light and the life of the world. The scripture for the week is Alma 38:9. There is no other way or means whereby man can be saved other than by Jesus. It really makes me think. If we really want to return and live with our Heavenly Father, it is only through Jesus Christ that we can. I am grateful to be serving here and to help others grow their faith and come closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know that if we will all come unto him and do as he asks, then we will have eternal life. Everyone will receive immortality but not everyone will receive eternal life. If we do what we are supposed to do and come unto Jesus Christ, we can receive eternal life.

Love,
Elder Pope

Service at the cemetery.
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“Stuff the Bus” service project!
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We got a ride to dinner so we decided to take some pictures. Elder Schultz is on the left and my companion, Elder Beus, is on the right!
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Elder Beus and I made a MEGA bed just for fun!
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