Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 13 - Grand Junction

Good Morning everyone. This has been a very crazy week.

Monday Nov 3:

Last Preperation Day we went to a bunch of Doctors appointments for Elder Niue and he found out that he has a stress fracture. So he has been walking around in a boot and with some heavy duty crutches.

Tuesday Nov 4:

Tuesday was very successful until that night. Earlier in the day we taught a part member couple. The husband who is a member helped to build the San Diego and Sacramento temple, but has been less-active for a number of years. He however has an interest to come back to church so we have been teaching him. We taught them the Plan of Salvation and at the end I was about to say the prayer when he interrupted and said, "I will say it" with a look of determination on his face. It is great to see him take the steps to come back to church. 

That night there was an exchange set up with our district leaders and Elder Niue and I got into an argument about who was staying in the area. It has been difficult to work with Elder Niue. We do get work done, but our cultural differences and customs clash sometimes. 

Wednesday Nov 5: 

All of Wednesday I spent with Elder Capps in the Grand Junction 1st ward. It wasn't a very good day for me. I felt bad about arguing the previous night and had little motivation to work. Luckily Elder Capps can talk about anything and he helped me feel better about the whole situation. That night we had dinner at a really good Mexican Restaurant called Dos Hombres. It reminded me of the good Mexican food back home. They also had a ghost chili burrito (ghost peppers are apparently extremely spicy) which if you can eat it in 30 minutes you get your picture put up on their wall of fame. They had two large posters of just missionaries that have tried it. This made my day.

Thursday Nov 6:

Thursday was better. I still felt bad about Tuesday night but We were able to still get work done. We had a district Meeting on Thursday and I gave a training on Christlike Attributes and the importance in the mission. I tried to stress that as a missionary we should represent Jesus Christ everywhere; In public, and in private. Especially because we walk around with name tags that say Jesus Christ in large letters on it. I think it also applies with every member, especially because when we are baptized we take the name of Christ upon us.

Elder Niue had another Doctors appointment where they confirmed the stress fracture. That night we did an 8PM member lesson with sister Orton where she invited a lady named Carolyn. She had apparently been baptized in Idaho 30 years prior and was interested in coming to church.

Friday Nov 7:

Today we decided to work on Suzie's shed/garage again and finally finished sanding and started painting. We also had a dinner at another Mexican restaurant and I tried the Teriyaki Chicken Burrito. It was actually quite good. After dinner we went to go see our new boundaries and they are huge. They are about 2 miles wide and go on for 4-5 miles. There is also a lot of space in between houses so that will be interesting. Besides that not much happened on Friday.

Saturday Nov 8:

Today was very successful. We were able to teach two less-actives, talked with 3 other part-member families, and also found out that someone had moved. In fact when we went to a house to see someone three drunk adults answered the door and said, "Really! 2AM at night?" It was actually 7PM, but I got a good laugh out of it. We also talked to a person we met a while back named George. His wife died 15 years ago and he still is mourning it. We were able to set up a lesson with him which was really exciting. Overall this was a very good day.

Sunday Nov 9:

Today was very good. We had an excellent Ward Council and a Coordination meeting to get a head start on the new ward boundary change. We also saw a Shirls who owns the talking bird at church. She was exciting to be in a new ward and especially that they have a family history class 2nd hour. We also had our mission presidency suddenly show up at church today. Elder Gifford who is leaving next week also gave an amazing unplanned talk in Sacrament meeting. Overall this was a very good day with much success

So I don't have to much time to email today because the library is crowded and I might get kicked off soon so I won't be sending to many e-mails or any pictures this week.

Till next time,

Elder Dallin Pulsipher

Week 14 - Grand Junction

This was a very hard week.

Monday Nov 10: 

This was Preperation day and we spent a lot of time emailing and I was able to look at some of my family history and found that a line through King David and Judah, (146th Generation). That night we ate dinner at a less active lady in our ward who has an amazing story. She grew up on a ranch with a bunch of Cowboys, and took over a failing business of scaffolding in the 70's.

Suzies Grage finally Finished

Tuesday Nov 11:

I woke up with zero motivation to go out and work, so I decided to say a quick prayer for help and was able to go out and work the rest of the day. That day we went to the hospital to visit two members. We have a giant hospital in our ward boundaries and it was very confusing. We spent a good two hours there visiting and trying to find out where to go. It was actually a little funny because one member that we visited looked better than he ever has. That night we had dinner with Sister Porter who invited the bishop and his wife and two other members as well. It was an excellent feast.

Wednesday Nov 12:

Part of our District
Wednesday was very busy. We went to go work on Suzie's Garage and put on our first coat of paint. It was very cold. Temperatures aren't as crazy as some places in Colorado but it has been down in the 25-32 degrees. We used this service called Tell Me which is a toll free number and found out that Elder Gifford's (one of the other elders in our ward) home had a high of 3 degrees with a low of -10. After that we went to go teach Cristian and Miguell about prayer and scripture study. It was a great lesson and it is funny what responses they give.

That night we had some curry with our ward mission leader and then had our Coordination Meeting where we discuss the people in our area. I've liked these meetings because it gives us some assignments and allows us to report. Right after this Elder Niue presented some things about American Samoa to the Bear Scouts.

Elder Capps and I

Thursday Nov 13:  3 Month Mark

Thursday marks 3 Months on my mission from the time I entered the MTC. It has gone by fast. This morning we had a district meeting. It was fun and we played this game where there is an investigator with two problems (Two missionaries whispering in the investigators ears some of their problems and issues and instructions to trump the two missionaries) then there are two missionaries who try and resolve the issue. After the district meeting we finally finished Suzie's Garage. That night we stopped by Sister Orton who lives in a Senior Citizen Community. She is a great member missionary and has found many less-active members we didn't even know about in her neighborhood. She even plans to invite them all to her house for a family home evening.

Elder Capps decide to drink a Bottle of Meeting.
Just to prove he could

Friday Nov 14:

On Friday we went to go help Brother Hildebradt lay some sod (grass) for his and his neighbor's lawn. It was fun and they fed us a great lunch afterwards. Later that night we decided to stop by a family who is becoming more active in our ward and talked for a while. I then decided to share a scripture and felt like I should share Alma 32:21 which talks about faith. After wards he said he needed to hear that because of something that had happened earlier that day. On Friday while we were driving we also listened to 17 Evidences of the True Church. I would suggest people to listen to it.
An Alley in Grand Junction. There are many of these

Saturday Nov 15:

This was a very hard day for me. Everything seemed to happen the opposite of what I wanted and expected. We had our only investigator drop on Saturday, George. He said he just didn't want to change. Also the first person I learned to love on my mission and invited him to be baptized got baptized today. I am happy that he made that decision but I'm sad that I wasn't able to be there. He was baptized over in Littleton which is about 4 hour drive. We also got news about transfers. So I will be staying and so will Elder Niue, and one of the other elders in our ward will be joining us, Elder Yarbrough. I was not happy about this honestly. I really wanted to train or at least have a new  companion, but now Elder Niue is staying and we have a another person joining us. I don't like the idea of three missionaries in the companionship.

Sunday Nov 16:

Elder Jensen and I at the library
Sunday was very hard as well. I am still feeling disappointed about his next transfer and I'm a little scared of it too.  We did however go to a baptism of a friend of a member in our ward. It was great to see the smile of this girl after she was baptized. You really do see a change in people. We are also combining the north and south areas of our ward and our area has increased. So we now have an investigator who will be baptized hopefully this next week.

Overall this has been a difficult week especially at the end, but you get those sometimes.

Elder Pulsipher

Week 15 - Grand Junction

I'll just go right into my week.

Monday Nov 17:

So on Monday night we went to Elder Yarbrough's investigator's house, Triston, to teach a lesson. Triston is 18 years old and lives by himself. We found him through his girlfriend at a dinner and the South elders started teaching him. He was put on date the next day after the second lesson and they stopped teaching him for some reason. Right beforehand Elder Yarbrough got a call from the Assistants that he was going to be transferred that next morning all the way in Denver. It came as a shock to him because we usually get the calls on Friday and Saturday night, but the mission made a sudden change. Now it is just Elder Niue and I which came as a relief actually because I was nervous about having a threesome.

This is Elder Capps Brother Smith
(who helps us out more than anyone ever has.
He should be made a missionary),
and Elder Kuns our new district leader.

Tuesday Nov 18: Transfer 3

Tuesday morning was Transfer meeting. My trainer Elder Clark is now in my zone. My district decreased to only three sets of elders. My zone has 5 people who came out with me which is exciting. I also found out that the investigator who was supposed to be baptized in my last area but wasn't is going to continue the discussions soon, because his son, who is 8 years old, told him that he has to or not even come to church. His son is awesome and is a huge motivator.

After Transfer meeting we went to Sonic with the new district leader, Elder Kuns, and Elder Capps. I'm excited about him being my district leader because he is always happy and motivated. It should be a good transfer for our district.

After Lunch Elder Niue and I taught an amazing lesson with a less-active/part member couple. The wife who is not a member really want's her husband to come back to church and even helped us with our lesson by bearing her testimony of the Atonement. I really am seeing a change in him and for his want to come back to church.

That night we taught Triston and I found out that his baptismal date was set for this Saturday. He had only been taught the first three lessons and we had two more lessons (which usually broken up into about 8-12 lessons, because they are all the commandments and ordinances). So we taught him all of lesson 4 which covers the commandments required for baptism.

Wednesday-Thursday Nov 19-20:

So I was ill with a cold on Wednesday and Thursday. We were home bound until our ward coordination meeting on Wenesday and on Thursday I couldn't stop coughing so we stayed home again. After our dinner however we visited with a less-active family which was really nice and taught a lesson to Brother Averna, a recent convert who acts as if he has been an extremely active member his entire life. We taught about chasity, which is always fun to teach! (sarcasm deeply applied).

Friday Nov 21:

On Friday morning we had a weekly Planning Session. During a weekly planning session we do something called a companionship inventory where you and your companion essentially discuss your relationship and how you can improve. I essentially told Elder Niue that something needed to change and that we both had to come out and say what was bothering us. I soon found out that Elder Niue has been getting homesick because I haven't been much fun. I've been too serious. I was glad he said that, that way I actually know what to improve on. This was the turning point for our companionship. The rest of the day I tried to talk more and he has been trying to listen more. 

That night Triston had his Baptismal interview with the District Leader and we taught him lesson 5. He was so excited to get baptized that he really couldn't sit still and kept on moving during the lesson.

Elder Niue and I with Triston

Saturday Nov 22: Triston's Baptism (#3)

This day was full of Miracles.
  1. At a zone meeting we learned about a Christmas Initiative called He is the Gift. The church is buying advertisements in Times Square and all over New York. They are also going to be the Home Page advertiser on YouTube fromDecember 7-Christmas. There will also be an Ensign devoted just to this with 9 pass-along cards leading people to a video and a website As missionaries our entire proselyting efforts are going towards this initiative. I encourage everyone to watch the video and share it with everyone they can. It really is a great video.
  2. After district meeting we drove by some people who signaled for us to stop. They needed some help jump starting their car so we helped them. Afterwards they asked for a Bible and we gave them two DVD's and a Book of Mormon we were so excited.
  3. We had to get all of our tires replaced because they were almost completely worn out and they weren't sure if they could complete before close which would mean we wouldn't get it back until Monday, but they managed to fit it into their schedule
  4. Triston and I at his Baptism
  5. Saturday Night at 6 Triston Jackson was baptized. It was a great experience and we had a full room. Even his mom and siblings came who are in full support of this. The service went well and His girlfriends dad, Brother Newton baptized him. We were all a little concerned with this because he is very heavy and can't walk very well. As I was witnessing I thought there was no way he could do it and we were told to be ready to go in if something happens. I just stood there and said a quick prayer for Brother Newton to have the strength to baptize the 200 pound over 6 foot Triston. When he went under the water Brother Newton pulled him up easily. He made it look simple. It was an excellent baptism.

Sunday Nov 23:

On Sunday Triston was confirmed and given the Aaronic Priesthood. He was very happy. We also got our first real snowfall and got a quick 20 minute snow storm during church. When we left church all the snow had been melted and temperatures went up to the 50's. It was a good day but slow.

Elder Niue and I are doing much better now and we are having more fun. We had very slow weekdays and a very busy weekend. Overall it was a great week.

Till next time,

Elder Dallin S Pulsipher

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 12 - Grand Junction

This has been a very very slow week.

Tuesday Oct 28:

On Tuesday Elder Niue woke up and couldn't walk. His foot has been swollen and he has had a very hard time getting around. We stayed home so that he could recover. I got a chance to watch something called 18 lives and the Book of Mormon. It was a Youth Cultural Event put on here in Grand Junction, very similar to the one that we did back home. It was about a seminary class and how following the example of Book of Mormon prophets helped them change their lives around. It was put together really well, and I'll have to get a copy. I also had a chance to really study. I've decided that each week I will focus on one gospel principle and research, ponder, and study it. This week was Faith. What I did is I looked up every scripture in Preach My Gospel on the subject and wrote what I thought the verse meant. I would then look in some of the other resources I have such as Bible Dictionary, True to the Faith, etc. It has been really great and I've learned a lot about Faith. One thing that I found instructive was found in Alma 32 (essentially Alma's sermon on faith). He likened faith to a seed and mentioned that if a seed is a good seed it will bring forth a lot of fruit that holds that same seed. For example, Let's say that your seed is respect. If you nurture or show respect for others, many other people will show respect back. If you smoke, it may bring temporary happiness but will ultimately bring death or ill-health. You know that respect is a good seed because it brings respect and you know that smoking is a bad seed because it brings forth death. I also learned that one seed brings forth many fruit.

Wednesday Oct 29:

This day was full of miracles. I could really see Heavenly Father looking out for us. Elder Niue could walk with crunches slowly but could not ride a bike, so we decided to try and walk to our first appointment. One our way a member from another ward pulled over and gave us a ride. We had only gotten about 300 yards when he pulled up. After this appointment we got a call saying our car was finished in the repair shop. A member gave us a ride and we finally had a car. Perfect timing. Later on in the day we were teaching our two new coverts Cristian and Miguell about tithing and fasting. I think we might have confused them about fasting because they seemed a little concerned. Luckily I think their grandmother explained it afterwards. That night we had dinner with a less-active couple and had a discussion about genealogy and the early church. That night we had a coordination meeting where Elder Niue and I sang, and an amazing 8PM member lesson with the Lewis family. It was a great day full of blessings.

Thursday Oct 30:

Today we had zone conference. This is where multiple zones come together for an all day meeting with the Mission leadership. When we got their we parked our car and they did an inspection, luckily the repair shop cleaned it for us. They hand out awards for the cleanest car.  We then got instruction about the mission and other various things. President and Sister Murdock went to a conference in Navoo and learned that our mission was the top mission in the mid-United states in finding people. They also talked about I-Pads. Apparently they are having issues, with some of the software and we wont be getting them until early next year. The rest of the conference went well. This Christmas as a mission every missionary is going to sacrifice something. I've been really trying to think of exactly what I should sacrifice.
I also got to see Daniel Jensen and caught up with him. He has been doing great and sounds like he really enjoys his mission.

Friday Oct 31: Halloween

Because it was Halloween all of our appointments cancelled on us so we really couldn't do much. We decided to do service. We have been sanding the back of this house so that we can paint it. It has been taking a long time but we finally got most of the sanding done. That night we went over to our Ward Mission Leaders house for dinner and to talk for a while. We unfortunately are not allowed to go knock on doors, probably because they'll think we are dressed as missionaries and some people did think we were dressed as missionaries for Halloween. It was nice though. We talked about the lineage of Abraham, Ebola, and why there are such things as participation awards. That night we went started exchanges with the zone leaders. I went to their area which is the YSA ward for the college with brother Smith.
That night we went around to members of the YSA ward and wrote Happy Halloween on the sidewalk with chalk.

Saturday Nov 1:

Let me just say that being a YSA missionary right after Halloween was very interesting. We spent about 5 hours of tracting which made me very nervous. I have never tracted that long and tracting in general makes me nervous, but it turned out to be great. Elder Smith was an expert at telling if college students lived at a house so we would be driving and he would suddenly stop and we would go up to a door. It was fun to talk to people around my age for once. It is easier to relate to them and they are all very willing to try new things. We met about 20 people that day and talked to them all for at least 10 minutes at a time. It turned out to be a great exchange and I learned a lot about the OYM (Open Your Mouth or talking to random people). That night when I got back Elder Niue was sitting in a chair with a weird looking shoe. They had apparently gone to the hospital and they told him to basically stop working and rest for a while.

Sunday Nov 2:

Today at church we had a combined 2nd and 5th ward Sacrament Meeting. They changed the ward boundaries and the name. I am no longer in the 2nd ward but now in the Bookcliff ward. My area doubled and if I stay next transfer I'll have a lot of work to do with new members to the ward. It was a very emotional church meeting for the 5th ward, because they were a very large connected ward and we were a very very small ward. Many members moved over and the split was larger than people expected. I'm personally excited to have so many new people. After that in Gospel Principles class our Ward Missionary leader asked us to sing, so Elder Niue and I sang, and we had an excellent lesson on Genealogy. The rest of the day was slow because we couldn't really go out and work, but I got a chance to read most of Our Search for Happiness. It is an awesome book about our basic beliefs and I would encourage everyone to read it.

This week was very slow in that we only taught 7 lessons only to less-actives and recent converts but it was still a great week,

Till next time,

Elder Dallin S Pulsipher

P.S. last Preparation day I learned how to play football. I actually really enjoyed it.

Week 11 - Grand Junction

This was a great week.

Tuesday Oct 21:

I woke up this morning to a heart wrenching scream, or a weird kind of snore coming from Elder Niue. I'm not really sure, but it was a little creepy. On Tuesday morning we took in our car to get it repaired. Apparently last transfer an old lady had backed up into the car and left a mark and dent. So we took in the car and we have been riding bikes ever since, which is kind of a nice because the weather has been beautiful here in the 70's with a nice cool breeze.

Later in the day we gave a church tour to a recent convert which is one of my favorite things to do because you talk about the paintings and the meaning behind them. We tied in the 4th article of Faith or lesson 3 in Preach My Gospel. After that we went to see that lady that pulled us over. Her name is Shirls and we visited last Friday. As we stood up to go, he bird, Chief said, "What are you doing?", then "Where are you going?". Shirls then explained to the Chief that we had to leave and Chief said, "I love you." It was really cool. It was the first time I have ever seen a bird talk. The rest of the day it was raining.

Wednesday Oct 22:

Today was particularity hard. Wednesday morning we visited a brother Ryder, a less active. Everything that we tried to teach he would come up with a counter argument for. Sometimes the counter argument agreed with what we were saying but he said in a way that was like an argument. I then asked why he bothers to meet with us. He explained he has been waiting for someone to teach him something new, which we have been trying to do, and that he was there to teach us. He really frustrated me, and by the end of "the debate" I didn't want to go back. So we will give him another try. We did have an excellent Coordination meeting though. The previous week we contacted over 20 less-actives. That night Elder Niue was listening to "Glorious" by David Archuleta from the Meet the Mormons movie. He would listen to it over and over again. over 100 times straight. I asked him to stop and he said no, but still stopped. Sorry Jacob for forcing you to listen to my music over and over again in the car going to school every morning.

Thursday Oct 23:

Today we had a District Meeting and a Zone Meeting. The zone leaders talked a lot about what gift we could give to the savior and challenged us to give three things.
  1. One baptism or to bring someone into the fold.
  2. Being exactly obedient
  3. Sacrifice one thing.
The rest of the meeting was great and we started some planning for some things we can do on the Holidays. Later we visited a less-active who actually helped build the Sacramento and San Diego temple. I tried to be as sincere as possible when talking to him about not coming to church and I found that it really helped him realize my intent and open up a little bit. Brother Stone said that he would start trying and would like to visit with us. That boosted my spirits a little. We also visited a lot of less actives. We had dinner with the Newton's that night and their daughter invited her boyfriend over. He said he would be interested in taking the discussions. He actually lives in the other elders area but they taught him that night, and the next day and put him on date for November 22. It was cool to see just how prepared some people are.

Friday Oct 24:

This morning we were doing Companionship study when Elder Niue said he didn't feel well, got up and went to sleep. So I was home bound most of the day. I was surprised how much I really got to do though. I had a chance to really go through the area book and clean it out, wrote some letters, played some piano, read some of Jesus the Christ and Our Search for Happiness (which are great books) and did a little bit of extra study. Not much actually happened today but I found things to do.

Saturday Oct 25:

This morning we moved someone into the ward. It is actually the grandfather of someone Jacob went to music camp with, the Foutz. It took about three hours. I got to talk with some of the ward members and found it enjoyable to move things. The rest of the day included visiting less-actives. So this entire week I there has been contention between Elder Niue and I. There are many things which he does that frustrate me and on Saturday night I found that many of these things are due to cultural differences. We were raised very very differently and our views on things conflict. We also have different personalities which also conflict with one another. The entire week has been like this but I've been trying to let it go and just be positive. It is hard but possible. Actually coming into this e-mail I was looking back on my week as negative, but I have found that it has been very positive and we got a lot done.

Sunday Oct 26:

At church on Sunday we found out that the ward boundaries are changing. We will probably be getting more people and more area because our ward is so small. I'm excited to see how it is going to turn out. Also at church we had the Primary Program. It reminded me of David, Madeline and Sam. Especially David. I was thinking about what David might do this year during his part of the Primary Program. It was great to see our two newest converts in it too and participate in it. After the program someone came up to us and asked us to teach them. They were invited by a member and said that they would like to be taught. It is amazing for someone to just come up and ask to be taught. We also taught three recent converts today and in one of our lessons with brother Averna he brought up a good point. All of the Ten Commandments fall under one of the two great commandments except one really.

 Love God
Love they Neighbor 
 1: No other God's
 2: No Idols
 3: Don't take God's name in vain
 4: Keep Sabbath Day Holy
5: Honor thy Father and thy Mother 
6: Don't Kill
7: Don't commit Adultery
8: Don't Steal
9: Don't Lie
10: Don't Covet 
Honor thy mother and thy Father really encompasses both. It also happens to be in the middle. God is our father and we should honor him, and we should also honor our earthly parents.

As a whole this has been an excellent week. We visited 17 less-actives and recent converts and taught them, which is a lot for this mission. Hopefully next week we can find some people.

Till next time,

Elder Dallin S Pulsipher