Month: August 2017

Week 85 – Knights Ferry

This week has been a great week! Elder Ramsay and I are still hanging in there. He has been sending things home because he goes home in two weeks! We are still just trying to find a bunch of people to teach. Tracting is a lot of fun because you get to meet so many different kinds of people. You just have to have fun with it and laugh a little!

So this week we found out that Jose, the 18 year old we met a while back, is on date to be baptized in the YSA ward now! That is so awesome. Jose is such a great person! Someone who knows nothing about God and sees people reading their scriptures at school so he gets interested in what they talk about. We met him about a month ago and he is almost done with reading the Book of Mormon, has read a bunch of the New Testament, and is just in love with the teachings of Jesus Christ. He truly is a miracle story. I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and its teachings. I do not know what I would do if I didn’t have the gospel in my life or where I would be at. I think too many times in my life I have taken for granted that I do know what is true. I do know who Jesus Christ is and I do know that I can live with my Father in Heaven again. Too many people are dwelling in unbelief and that is what makes me what to serve. I have seen so many different blessings from the gospel of Jesus Christ and I want other people to see and feel those special blessings He has in store for them.

We had the opportunity to go on exchanges with the assistants this week! I got to go with Elder Wray! It was so awesome to be back with my old companion and to find people in the YSA ward. It is great because I still get to see him every week. We were able to pick up some new potential investigators for them in the YSA ward and send some referrals out to other missionaries. It was just great to be with him again!

Elder Ramsay and I had a great lesson with one of our investigators, Robert. We were able to bring a member with us and talk about the importance of the Book of Mormon. It went really well. He is also studying with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and just really trying to figure out what is true. He is just trying to quench his thirst. Robert is a great guy! He is in his 60’s and retired so we can visit him anytime, which is great as a missionary. We committed him to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. He said he will make more of an effort to read from it because he hadn’t since the last time we had met with him.

We met a super awesome less active member this week who we are going to start working with! His name is Brother Brown. He has been less active for quite a while now and has gone through multiple sets of missionaries but you just never know when it is the right time. We can never give up! I just got word this week that a less active member in my last area is going back to church. I am not sure if you remember the people where I took pictures with their lizards but he is going back to church now! I love Brother Robbins and am so happy for him and his decision to come back to church. It truly is amazing!

The quote for this week is from President Thomas S. Monson. “So much in life depends on our attitude.” I absolutely love this quote. If we will just have a good attitude about things then we will have a good life. A good attitude will get you far in life if you just stay happy and keep pushing on, even when the times are tough. The best example of having a good attitude is our Savior, Jesus Christ. He had such a willing attitude about everything and was always selfless. One of the many things I have learned on my mission is that if we will look outward and not inward we will be happier. That is what helps us have a good attitude and keep a good attitude! I am so grateful for all of the prayers that are offered on my behalf. I feel them and am ever so grateful for them. Have a fantastic week!

Elder Pope

So Knights Ferry is a pretty awesome place! We did a bunch of rock climbing and a lot of rock jumping. We were just hoping and praying that we wouldn’t fall into the river! Thankfully, we didn’t fall into the river but we had a couple of close calls!
Picture of the assistants and I after our exchange!

Week 84 – Jesus Loves You!

This week went by super fast! It is so hard to think of what we did this week because it seems like just yesterday I wrote my last “long” email home and now I am doing it again!

I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder Jarvis again this week. His companion is a district leader so we go on exchanges with them twice during a transfer. One time they come to our area for the day and the other we go to their area because his companion is our district leader. Elder Jarvis goes home this transfer so this is the last time I will go on exchanges with him. While we were on exchanges we stopped by a potential investigators house. He was home and let us in. We talked with him for a while then had the opportunity to read 3 Nephi 11 with him. He is praying about it and going to read it, so we will see when we meet with him tomorrow!

So we had dinner with the Prasad family last Monday night. I am not sure if I have written about the Prasad’s yet but they are a super awesome family! Brother Prasad was raised in Fiji and moved to California about 14 years ago. He makes the best food! Getting to the point, we had the normal chicken and rice. It is kind of like curry but that is not what they call it so I am not going to call it that. He also made chicken gizzards, which actually weren’t half bad but he also made chicken liver…that one is a little more interesting. If you have never eaten chicken gizzards or liver, you should really try them. It is something that you wouldn’t expect. I love going to the Prasad’s house because we don’t use utensils either. We eat the food with just our hands and that is pretty cool!

This week we also visited with a part member family. I think most of you have seen the pictures of us helping them “weed” their garden because the member posted it on Facebook but I will put one of the pictures at the bottom of the email. The Locklear family is super awesome! We love getting to help them in any way that we can. The mom and daughter are members but the dad isn’t. But guess what? He came to church yesterday and is hopefully going to start coming more often! That is a great sign. The missionaries a little while back were super pushy with him so we are just growing our relationship back with them. He is into making things go fast or just fast cars, dirt bikes, etc. so we get along pretty well!

We had the opportunity this week to help a great family move all of their belongings back into their home after their house flooded about a month ago. When her house flooded it was the one year mark of her husband passing away. She had prayed that she would have a distraction so she would keep her mind off of him. Well, she got a distraction alright. It comes to show that you need to be careful what you pray for. She learned her lesson and I think I learned my lesson. God does answer our prayers. No matter who you are or what you are praying about He answers each and every one of our prayers. It also shows that God has a sense of humor! Be careful what you pray for. We also had a great lesson with their family this week. We taught about the Plan of Salvation and how amazing it is. It is truly amazing that we have the knowledge we do of the Plan of Salvation!

The scripture for today is D&C 88:63. It says, “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me.” This is such a wonderful scripture that couldn’t be said any better. If we will search out the scriptures we will come closer to Christ. If we will do things that help us come closer to Christ we will receive blessings and feel the Spirit stronger and stronger in our lives. I love the gospel and I love my Savior. Have a great week! Love you all!

Elder Pope

Picking “Weeds”
Elder Miller and I deep in our thoughts while writing in our journals. Monday night was a party! It was pretty awesome staying up late talking about all of the good memories before the mission!
We went up to Sonora to give a baptismal interview so I decided to take some pictures.
We didn’t have a dinner appointment so we grilled some steaks and corn. Good stuff!

Week 83 – Zach Got Baptized!

Dear Family and Friends,

We had a great week this week! We had the opportunity to teach a non-member family this week. It went really well! We were able to sit down and talk with them about the Plan of Salvation. They were really receptive and it went great! They were not sure what their purpose is on earth and if there is an afterlife. The message we share is of hope. I love knowing that we do have a purpose here on earth and that we can live forever because of Jesus Christ. It is so amazing that we have this knowledge of the gospel and we have the opportunity to share it with all that are around!

Elder Ramsay and I had the opportunity to go up to Sonora this past Wednesday. I love going up to Sonora and getting lunch with the missionaries up there! We had lunch with Elder Miller, Elder Spencer, and Elder Jones. It was so fun to sit and talk with Elder Miller about our past times together! They are sleeping at our apartment tonight. It is going to be pretty wild tonight! We have a zone conference tomorrow morning and they are staying with us so they don’t have to leave super early.

So we were at dinner with a member this week and we asked him about his mission. He served in Florida. He asked me if I knew Marty Haws because I am from Alpine. Come to find out, he trained Marty Haws on his mission! It is such a small world! His name is Brother Horlacher. They are a super awesome family who is moving from Riverbank and looking at houses in Alpine! It was so awesome to talk with them about Alpine.

The quote for today is, “Remember, what you do, where you go, and what you see will shape who you become. What do you want to become?” – Gary E. Stevenson. I love this quote. It truly is amazing! What we do now, is what we will be. I love the gospel and I love Jesus Christ! He truly is amazing and I love serving Him! Have an awesome week!

Elder Pope

This is a cool cake that a member made for the ward party!
For all of you that remember Zach Meredith. I taught him for six months when I was in Oakdale. Well, he just got baptized! He is the one I got the prayer rock for. I guess he used it too! He put it in his truck and every time he turned a corner it would bang and remind him to pray. He is so awesome and I am so grateful for him!
Here is a picture of our district!

Week 82 – Be the Light

What’s up Fam? How is everyone doing? Hope you are all enjoying the last couple weeks of summer!

Things are going great out here in Modesto/Riverbank. I got a new companion this past week, Elder Ramsay. He is from Richmond, Kentucky! He is super funny. He really loves video games and guns so we met at guns. Sorry, I don’t do video games! He is a great worker and I am excited to be with him. This is his last transfer on his mission so that means in five weeks I will be getting a new companion! That is pretty exciting, I guess.

We didn’t do a whole lot of proselyting on Tuesday or Wednesday. We were busy driving around helping out missionaries! Did I tell you that Elder Gunner Miller is in our zone now!?! I will get to see him about once a week when we drive to Sonora to drop off packages or anything for them! That is pretty exciting! He is the district leader up in Sonora, which means that we will get to go on exchanges this transfer! I am super pumped for that!

I wanted to write a little bit about an experience we had this past week. We got a referral from church headquarters for a guy named Jose. We contacted Jose and set up a time to meet. He proceeded to tell us that he grew up atheist and his parents always told him there wasn’t a God. Just so we had a little background before we met. Well, we got to meet him! It was an amazing experience. We were able to teach him the basic principles of how God loves us and He sent His son, Jesus Christ, down here to perform the Atonement. He proceeded to ask us, “Then why, if there is a God, does He not speak to us?” We testified of the Holy Ghost but we also testified of prophets. It was an amazing experience to be able to talk about prophets and how we believe in a modern day prophet today who is God’s mouthpiece. We taught him a few other things and he was amazed. Oh yeah, did I mention that he is an 18 year old kid who wanted to know more about church and God because he saw some people reading the scriptures at school? There is so much that can come from this story. First off, I am so grateful that we do have modern prophets on the earth today! I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and is God’s mouthpiece on the earth today. Second, it is so important that we are great examples to all those around us. You just never know who is watching you. Because of a few kids in high school, Jose has decided to learn more about God and Jesus Christ. It was so amazing to see a kid that just got so much light in his life. He told us he know has hope. I love seeing that change when people see that there is actually hope in this life. There is so much to the story but the moral of the story is that God does love each and every one of us. He has a plan for us and wants us to return to live with Him again. We can find hope in that!

I love the daily quote today! It says, “As we follow Jesus Christ, His love motivates us to support each other on our mortal journey.” I love this quote. As we follow Jesus Christ and strive to become like Him we will help everyone around. This reminds me of missionary work. I am taking two years of my life to serve God. I want to live with all of my brothers and sisters after this life!

Elder Pope

So, we found a water leak in our apartment this week and told the complex. Come to find out, it has been leaking for a little while now. It was super gross!
This is my new companion, Elder Ramsay!
We visited Kevin! He is a funny guy!