Month: June 2017

Week 76 – Sister Pope Comes Home?

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a pretty good week! It was my birthday so that was pretty fun! We partied it up with some members and had a ton of fun! It is so crazy to think that it is almost July! Time has gone by so fast here on the mission. Before you know it, I will be home! CRAZY!

I just wanted to give a shout out to some of my good friends, Elder Dallin Smuin and Elder Parker Freeman! Man, those two are super awesome! It is crazy to think that this is the last week on their mission, for both of them! I am so grateful for both of them and their great example to me! They are both going to do great things in this world!

Not a whole lot happened this week. It was over 100 degrees each day and it is supposed to be about 95 this whole week. It is so crazy when we come home at night and it is still 95 degrees outside! I feel like I am going to melt here but it’s all good! So many people are more receptive to let us into their homes and give us water when it is super hot outside. It is great for us! We love getting to meet new people and share the gospel with them! We were able to pick up a few new potential investigators this week! We were just knocking doors around some houses we had planned and they are super awesome people! We have a few appointments with them this week.

Well Jordi, our recent convert, has been doing really well. The Spanish Sisters just started teaching his family this last week. They were really standoffish with us but I guess when you throw Sisters their way they are receptive. I don’t know what it is but Sister missionaries can get into so many more houses then we can! The two Spanish Hermanas here are super awesome! One is actually from Alpine, UT. Her name is Hermana Law. Or, I guess her real name is Afton Law and the other one is Hermana Trejo. They are super awesome Hermanas! We are having dinner with Jordi’s family tomorrow night so we are excited to talk with them in the very little Spanish we do know.

It has been so crazy to think that I only have six months left on my mission! I have grown so much here! A mission has been one of the hardest things I have done and I am so grateful for trials. Sometimes I just want to give up but there are things that we have to go through so we can learn from them. There is a quote that I love which says, “Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep growing. Heaven will be cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever.” -Elder Holland. There are times when God will cut us down so we can come back even stronger. We have a part member family that is really into gardening. We visited them yesterday and they were cutting back some of their plants. They were cutting the ones that didn’t have flowers. They kept the ones that did have flowers. It is so all of the nutrients will go to the ones that are about to flower instead of going to the ones that don’t need it. Sometimes God will cut us down in certain parts of our lives so we can become stronger! I have a testimony of this and know that God knows all. There are just some things that we won’t understand here on the earth. I love the scripture Jacob 4:8. It says, “Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God.” I love you and hope you have a wonderful week!

Love,
Elder Pope

We took a picture after district meeting on Thursday. Elder Wade, Elder Wray, and I are the three who aren’t normal, as you can tell!
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The sunset was super cool this week! At this time of the night it was about 95 degrees.
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Elder Wray and I with our glow-in-the-dark ties. Thanks, Mom!
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This is Kevin. He took us for a short ride in his Kushman. Have any of you ever heard of one before? Kevin is super funny! He is one of our member’s brothers!
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Week 75 – Happy Late Father’s Day!

What is happening family and friends!?! This week was a pretty great week! Well, other than the fact that was above 100 degrees the last couple of days and it is supposed to get to 115 this week! Haha yeah, it was a hot one and it going to get worse. Elder Wray and I found out last night that we will both be staying here in the Riverbank Ward together. I love Elder Wray! It is such a good time to be with him and I am excited to spend another six weeks with him!

I want to wish my father a Happy Fathers Day! I am so grateful for him and all the wonderful things that he does for me and for my family! I am so grateful for his Priesthood leadership and being such a great example to me! Someday I hope to be just like my dad!

This week I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder Beus. It was so great to be with him again! We had a blast, like always, bringing back the good old days. We were able to help one of our members move out. She is moving to Turlock and we are super sad about it! Her name is Juliana and she is my homie! I hate getting to know people so well and then we get moved. In this case, it was just the opposite. She got moved. She is going back to my old stomping grounds in Turlock so that is okay!

We have been teaching a few part member families. It is going great. We are hoping that some great things will happen with them this transfer. We have an investigator named Yamil. His whole family are members but he isn’t one yet! YET, of course! He has been coming to church each week and playing basketball with us. He is great and has so much potential! We are also teaching a family called the Baileys. The dad and two kids aren’t members. We are teaching them and it is going great!

The scripture for this week is John 3:16-17. This is a pretty familiar scripture to a lot of people but I just feel like sharing it. I love this scripture and how it defines God’s love for us. He is a loving God who wants the best for each and every one of us! He is my Father in Heaven. Yesterday made me think of all the things that He has truly blessed me with. I am so grateful for the many blessings He gives! He is truly amazing!

Love,
Elder Pope

This is a picture of the Leadership Council we had when Elder Clayton was here visiting a few weeks back.
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Elder Beus and I mobbin’ around Riverbank. It was a great time!
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This is my homie Juliana. She is super awesome and has such a great testimony. She has a First Vision tattoo that is super awesome!
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So, I caught a baby duck! Too bad missionaries can’t have pets or else we would have kept it. It was a cute little guy!
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Elder Wray, Elder Wade, Elder Jarvis, and I. We ball out!
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Week 74 – Jordi’s Baptism

Well, this week was a fantastic week! Today Elder Wray and I drove up to Sonora to spend the day with the missionaries up there. Elder Beus is up there and a couple others that are also awesome!

Jordi was baptized this week and it was so amazing! Jordi is such an amazing young man who has such a strong desire to do great things. I love seeing someone come unto the waters of baptism! Elder Wray was able to baptize him and I had the opportunity to confirm him yesterday and to bestow upon him the Holy Ghost.

Elder Wray and I both had the opportunity to speak in Sacrament meeting yesterday. Elder Wray gave his talk first on kindness. It was great! Then I was able to give my talk on strengthening families. It was super awesome! It was based off of a talk given by Elder Hales from the 1999 April General Conference. I absolutely loved reading it and talking about it! One thing that I really took away from the talk is that family time is the best! Just being together as families is what truly helps you grow closer. I love my family and am grateful for all the wonderful adventures we were able to go on…and will continue to go on when I get home, right!?! It was also super awesome because President and Sister Palmer both came to our Sacrament meeting. It was kinda scary but it was super awesome. They are so wonderful! They gave talks in the morning at a Stake Conference then rushed over to our ward so they could hear us talk. They are such wonderful people! Just so you all know, I have the best Mission President and wife ever! They are amazing!

We had the opportunity to have President’s interviews this week. Elder Wray and I got to stay there the whole time and help direct everyone with where they needed to go. It was pretty fun getting to see everyone in the zone!

We also went on exchanges with our District Leaders. I went with Elder Sirstins and he is awesome! We were able to visit a few people but did not teach any lessons. We had such a fun time with each other. That night we had a nerf war with Elder Holt and Elder Wray. We had such a great time getting to know them.

We also went to Big Trees on Monday! It was so much fun! I want to share an experience we had. There were six missionaries all together. We went on the short one mile hike and we were taking pictures and such when we decided that there was a five mile hike we wanted to do. The five mile hike was to some of the biggest trees in the park. It was two and a half miles in and two and a half miles out. And…we only had an hour to do it before we had to return. We jogged most of the way in and saw all of the trees. It took us about thirty minutes in and we had to take a break before we came back out, so we decided to take a short cut back. There was a road that we thought would take us back faster. Well, we got going for about a mile and decided it wasn’t going the right way back to the car. We had seen a trail a little ways back down off of the road. It seemed like it was the one we were trying to get on. We all decided to go down to the trail. When we got on it, we had no idea which way to go. They both seemed to go the right way. We decided that we should pray. We said a prayer and all felt prompted to go down one way. It was amazing because it took us to where we wanted to go.

The scripture for this week is James 1:5-6. We need to always turn to our Heavenly Father in prayer. He can help us in all that we do. I love getting to pray and feel prompted to do something. I love being a member of this church and having the Holy Ghost with me all the time, as long as I live worthy of it!

Love,
Elder Pope

Picture on the tree, just like last time! BIG TREES!
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Jordi’s baptism!
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We had lunch today at a famous restaurant. This is a burger from Squeeze Burger. Guy Ferarri did a TV show here. The burger was super good but I feel like I am going to die!
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Elder Brough and I chillin’ in the back seat!
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Week 73 – Big Trees

What’s up everybody?! Sorry that my email is going to be super short this week! We don’t have hardly any time to email. We are going to Big Trees today! But, this week was a fantastic week!

There is a lady in our ward that is really struggling. She texted us on Friday morning asking us to pray for her. We then asked if there is anything we could help her with. She replied and said, “Text me the first scripture that comes to your mind.” We both grabbed our scriptures and decided on Helaman 5:12. She got up yesterday and bore her testimony. Earlier in the week she had been reading her scriptures and came across that same scripture. She bore testimony of how real the Holy Ghost is. She really needed to hear that scripture. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost and the scriptures. I absolutely love this scripture! The promises that it gives us are amazing. Build your foundation on Christ!

Jordi is doing great! He is still on date to be baptized this next Saturday! I will send some pictures next week. I hope you all have a great week! I love you all and am so grateful for all of the wonderful prayers you offer on my behalf!

Love,
Elder Pope

When you see that investigator trying to ignore you…We like to have fun!
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