Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 24 - Grand Junction

Tuesday Jan 26:
Not much happened on Tuesday. We went to go email in the morning due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day. After emailing we went to a place called Zoup! A member gave us a coupon to the place. I basically bought an extremely overpriced sandwich. After lunch we went to teach the Stones a part-member/less-active family. He hasn't been feeling to well lately so he wasn't fully there, but she listened inventively. We then decided to go tract the neighborhood where dinner was. We didn't get any success until the end. We knocked on the door and a lady answered saying, " I would love to give you a few hours of my time but I'm just heading out of the door. Could you please come back another day earlier" We agreed. she really seemed interested and as if she really wanted to hear about our message.

Elder Young and I at Broth Smith's
On Tuesday while at the library I was able to look at some family history. I found out that I am related to an Edward Partridge and an Amasa Lyman from Doctrine and Covenants. In fact Edward Partridge and Amasa come from my Bogh line and are mentioned quite frequently. I was also able to trace back to Adam and Eve through Judah on my Stiles line. Since I've been out family history has really interested me.

Elder Young and I
Wednesday Jan 27:
It was a great day. We had zone conference and it was just what I needed. The entire topic was really about change. Our mission is making a lot of changes. We are now focusing more on reactivation or "rescues". We are also going to be emphasizing putting people on a baptismal date at the end of the first lesson. This is a huge change because we have created an entire lesson just to put people on date and it comes later on. We are also going to be reported twice as many numbers, which i think will really help motivate and get specific about what we should do to improve. Many other things changed, but the biggest change will come when the Ipads get to our mission. They are thinking about march or April. It will be a Birthday present possibly. 

There also some trainings given. Our mission presidency really knows how to inspire and uplift. I heard one of the best talks on the atonement given by Sister Murdock. It really brought into perspective just how much we know about our Savior in this church. It also brought into perspective how much we really don't know but how much we need to act in faith to use his atonement. It was really just a great day.

Thursday Jan 28:
End of a long ride on our bikes.
Thursday was very successful and very busy. I was on exchanges with Elder Maw, Elder Capps companion. We started off by visiting Doug Farrington our investigator. I started to teach about faith when we heard a huge boom. After it we heard a dog bark, all of his appliances beeping, and sirens a few minutes later. It was a little spooky, but he said it might be God trying to tell him something. We found out it was a transformer that blew. Other than that the lesson went great. Later we tried a Recent Move-in to our ward. We were able to meet with her and shared a message in the doorway. Right before this my tire went flat, so we asked to use a bike pump. She didn't have one so we went next door and asked if they had one. The man answered the door by cracking it open and said, "Meet me in my Garage." When the garage door opened he pointed to the bike pump and ran inside. It was quite odd, but I was greatful for the pump.

We then tried brother Batten at a retirement home but found out that the entire facility was under lock-down due to a neurovirus. So we decided to go try a distant new move-in. We had tried her many times but never were able to make contact. This time she was pulling up right when we got there. It was a huge blessing. That night we also met with the Arledge children. They got permission from their father to be baptized but he backed out last second and called them to say no. We were very disappointing but have high hopes that their fathers heart will be softened.

Friday Jan 23:
It was a very slow day. Today I learned that Elder Young was very much like me in my first transfer, stubborn. I still am but he is also, so sometimes that can collide. He is a great person and one of my best companions. He just thinks he is king sometimes, figuratively speaking. In fact he just told me, "I am King" while reading what I just wrote. He is funny and quite humorous.

Rolling hill and mountains in our area
Country road in our area
While tracting that day we ran into a lady who answered the door and said, "We have a problem here." We did a survey and for every question in the 10-question survey she took about 10-20 minutes on explaining everything she knew. She was very nice once we opened up a little. She had actually been an investigator in the past but never went anywhere. She did however say that she felt the spirit the first time missionaries came. That night we were able to meet with Sister Glenn. We went on a walk around the lake talking for a little and went inside to visit a little. At the end of our visit I asked if we could teach the missionary lessons. She said she would love that. When we first met her she would have said no and never come back, but now she really trusts us.
This is what I see on my bike.

Saturday Jan 24: David got Baptized
20+ miles of riding through hill country. We started Saturday with some tracting but realized that most of the people were out of town so we decided to instead save that street for another day. Instead we tried every less-active in our north boundary. We were able to make contact with about 7 less-actives or at least find some info on them. We even tried a few active members and got a referral from it. It was a long day and by the end of it I slept like an angel mixed with a log. Also my brother David got baptized today.

Sunday Jan 25:
Honestly it was not a good day. This morning we got to church and our investigator Doug Farrington came. It was great until the talks were given. it was just one of those sacrament meetings where people do things that aren't normally done, and that isn't really focused on the Savoir that much. It would be fine if we were just there but just the fact that Doug was there. He left quickly afterwards. I really just hope it wasn't because of the Sacrament service. The rest of church was great however. After church brother Dean took us home to get my front tire fixed. It has been going flat so he just traded one out. Afterwards he invited us to come to his Mission Prep class. It was actually great. We got to teach a lesson, answer questions, and helped Brother Dean by giving him some ideas about his class. Other than that not much happened on Sunday.

Overall it was a good week. Definitely a spiritually boosting week with Zone conference. I hope you all have a great week.

Till next time,

Elder Dallin S Pulsipher

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Week 23 - Grand Junction

Hello everyone. Due to the Holiday yesterday the library was closed so I am emailing today. The internet for the entire county systems is also being very spotty at the moment so I may not get to email anyone back

Elder Young, Bedolla and I playing scrabble
Monday Jan 12: 
On Monday Elder Young and I realized that we are basically within walking distance of Walmart. So we went to Walmart got some bike locks and then rode to the library. After that we went to the church. Unfortunately our area is full of hills and back country. Everyone is far from one another. Fortunately there is almost always around the hills as well. That night Elder Young made some great Turkey burgers. He is actually a pretty good cook but just chooses to only eat Chicken Noodle Soup for breakfast and lunch because it is cheap.

Tuesday Jan 13: 5 Month Mark
I am about 21% through my mission. It has gone by fast. We tracted a lot today. We did about three full streets and got in about 1 house. The lady was very nice and taught many members children piano lessons but just wasn't really that interested. However Elder Young insisted on teaching her. It was a little awkward but he managed to give her a plan of salvation pamphlet and she seemed a little more interested. We invited her to read and then call us with any questions.

We also were able to contact a referral we got from Bishop. It turns out this man is a less-active member and that he isn't really interested in coming back to activity but would like us to come back. One thing I've learned however is that when people say this it means they really do want to come back but just don't know it or want to admit it. That night we also started an exchange with Elder Niue and Bedolla. One of the duties as a district leader is to hold exchanges with each companionship in my district.

Wednesday Jan 14: 
A sign we ran into while travelling
It was a very slow day. We had planned to do service at a place called Re-store. We biked three miles to it through a lot of intersections and found out they weren't taking volunteers. So we biked three miles to the library to look on a site we use called Just Serve to find that none of the projects on there we could do, so we went home and spent about three hours trying to do service. Other than that I found that I get along really well with Elder Bedolla. We had some great conversations. It made me excited to do future exchanges.

That night we had dinner at the Gustavsons and had a discussion on dreams. The previous night Elder Bedolla and I were talking about sleep walking and he ended up sleep walking. He was standing in the doorway and slowly came over to my bed. I asked if he was awake and he said yes. I then proceeded to guide him back to his bed and when he finally found it he fell fast asleep. In the morning he remembers When I spoke to him but nothing before that. This caused them to start interpreting my night fright dreams. They concluded that whenever I have night fright I am just dreaming about Heaven and Hell. It was quite funny.

After dinner and out coordination meeting we met with the Arledges. They have two unbaptized children that we have started teaching. They had decided to ask their father this weekend to see if they can be baptized.

Thursday Jan 15:
Thursday was very good. We started the day off with a district meeting. I had Elder Bedolla give a training on relying on the spirit and I gave one on using time wisely. It went a lot better this time. After the meeting we had lunch. During lunch we got a call from the Stone's asking for some help taking down Christmas lights. We said we would be right over there. When we got there no one answered the door so we just assumed that they might not be home, so we decided to start taking down lights. After we finished Elder Young took his bike and I took his to see the hieght difference. As he was riding he rode through some thick mud. This mud was caked so much the tire was twice as big.

The rest of the day we tried a few New Move-ins finding some of them aren't even at the address and a few less-actives. We rode a lot today and were able to get a lot of work done.

Friday Jan 16:
Our study on the Plan of Salvation
It was a great busy day. We started the day off by helping to move a member. After that we had lunch with Brother Smith and then did our weekly planning. Elder Young and I have really been able to open up a bit and discuss how we can improve.

After weekly Planning we went to see Doug. He is an investigator we found last week. He recently got a new job so his schedule hasn't been set but we tried him and he answered. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and invited him to be baptized if he comes to know if this is true. He accepted. We also gave him a Book of Mormon and he said the closing prayer. It was great. When we brought up baptism he actually said that he has been baptized in a cowboy themed baptist church. It was a little odd but we were able to use this to explain how we are baptized slightly differently.

That night we had dinner at bishop Holt's. His wife always makes the best food and this time was no exception. After dinner we had a lesson with the Gallegos family. They are a part-member family and this time we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ using an analogy. THe entire family liked the lesson.

Faith - You see a gate a far way off. It attracts your attention, however it is dark and there is rocky terrain and gorges in your way. You must have faith to continue.

Repentance - Sometimes you get cut or fall in a gorge. We must repent to make these things better or to get out of the gorge.

Baptism - You finally get to the gate but it is locked. You see a grand Castle far off in the distance that you desire more than anything. In order to unlock this gate you must be baptized.

Holy Ghost - When you unlock the gate you are given a flash light. It is dark outside but the flash light helps lead the way to the castle. This is very much like the Holy Ghost. It is a guide in your life.

Endure to the End - We must continue along the path and have faith, repent, take the sacrament and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost to make it to that Castle. The path is rocky but if we endure we will make it back.

Our Study on the Holy Ghost
Saturday Jan 17:
We decided on Friday night that we would spend Saturday riding out to the farthest reaches of our area. so We biked a total of 11 miles through hills and countryside. We started by riding 4 miles to the a unknown member. There is no info on her so we just decided to try. After about 15 minutes of looking for it we finally found it on the wrong street. Unfortunately no one was home. We then rode to a members house to visit. We had never met them and just decided to get to know them. We then rod

e about 2.5 miles to a fairly new neighborhood. No one was home and if they were they were Seventh Day Adventist, which means it was their Sabbath Day, so they were naturally not interested. We then rode another 3 miles trying to contact less-actives and were able to find one that said they will try and come back to church soon. We then rode 2 miles home to take a little rest before riding to dinner. That night we went to go teach a lesson to Shirls, or the talking bird lady. Overall it was a good day because we got out and worked hard, but very tiring.

Sunday Jan 18:
Sunday was very slow. They typically are because our church starts at 1PM. Anyways we started the day off by doing a study on the Plan of Salvation. We got through about half of it when we went to brunch with Brother Smith. He then took us to the institute building. I got to do my second baptismal interview. It went really well and this time I was a lot more focused and opened up a little bit more. Other than that we had church, dinner, and some more study.

Monday Jan 19:
Elder Young, Bedolla and I playing scrabble
It was an interesting day. Due to the library being closed we got an extra long P-Day. We cleaned our apartment went to Walmart and then went to the church. When we got there, no one was there so we just raced around. Eventually when people showed up we decided to play Scrabble another Elder brought. That night we had a dinner and a lesson with a member in our ward and her boyfriend. We watched the restoration, gave him a Book of Mormon and did an object lesson. We also received news that the Arledge Children got permission from their father, so we will be having two baptisms soon.

Overall it was a great week. Sorry this is very long. It was just very eventful. I hope you all had a great week as well.

Till next time,
Elder Dallin S Pulsipher

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 22 - Grand Junction - First Week as District Leader

Elder Young and I waiting at the library
Hello everyone. I hope you all had a great week.

Tuesday Jan 6:
It was a very busy day. That morning we had DLC (District Leader Council). We met with our zone leaders and talked about this upcoming transfer and what to expect as District Leaders. There was a lot of info to all take in at once but overall it went well. After that we had a Zone meeting about learning by Faith.  It was a great meeting about how us as missionaries really need to learn by faith in order to teach our investigators to gain faith. I plan to use this as a basis for my upcoming district meetings.

After this we had some time to do our study and Elder Young and I have decided to do short little projects or studies sometimes for Companion study. So for this week we did the Twelve tribes of Israel. We looked for everything we could find on the tribes (which was helpful because Brother Averna in our ward is very knowledgeable on this stuff) and then put it all on two boards. It was fun and interesting.

We then went out and tried some people and I found out that a Kevin Pulsipher who lives in Delta is related to Zera Pulsipher and not David. Everyone keeps asking if I'm related to him but I just found out I'm distantly. I was actually in Walmart one day when a random person who was most likely not a member asked if I was related to him.

The Twelve Tribes of Israel
Wednesday Jan 7:
Because we have no car or bikes we have been walking a lot. It has actually been fine because Elder Young and I get to know each other better. While we were walking to go try a less-active a member of our ward stopped and gave us a lift. It was actually a huge blessing because the person we were trying would have been gone by the time we would have gotten there. A little later on we had a member call us to help him push his truck down a driveway. We were happy to help and got a ride and cheesecake out of it. That night we had our coordination meeting and dinner at the Gustavsons. We also tried to tract which has been proven extremely ineffective when it is 20 degrees outside and dark. While tracting we stopped by a member of our ward and he gave us a referral and said it was a very strong referral.

Thursday Jan 8: Happy Birthday Dad!
 Elder Young. This is basically who he is in a picture.
Thursday was also very busy. That morning I had my first District meeting as District Leader. I started it off by setting some goals as a district. Unfortunately no one would talk so there were a lot of instances of complete silence. I then quickly moved into casting a vision. One thing our mission stresses is casting a vision of our investigators. That mission could be seeing them dressed in white for baptism or their sealing. I then suggested that we should cast a vision of ourselves and then had everyone write down who they wanted to become by the end of the year. This is something that my Branch President in the MTC asked us to do. It has been very beneficial to me. I then gave a training of Praying with faith. Overall it was a shaky district meeting which is fine because it is my first.

As the day went on we were able to contact and teach about 4 people and got two referrals from our bishop. That night a sister in our ward took us out to Costa Vida which made me very happy. It is one of my favorite places to eat. We then tried to tract but ended up going over to the Gustavsons to make some calls because it was too cold outside. 

Friday Jan 9:
It was honestly not a good morning for me. For some reason as the week has gone one I've had a lot of anxiety about doing missionary work. I don't know why because I have done a lot harder things in my life but I was getting anxious. I think it really is just the fact that this transfer is very different as a district leader and having little transportation capabilities. I figure time will just fix it once I get used to this new way to do missionary work.

At about 2PM we got picked by Brother Smith and we tried a potential investigator. He wasn't home so we took this opportunity to visit some less-actives far out in our area. We eventually came to this long driveway and decided that the house might be down it. While going down it we got stuck in the mud. We tried to pull forward but couldn't really turn and ended up coming right to the end of another car. After a lot of calls and no responses from nearby doors, we eventually got a member to tow us out. 

The Organization of the church
specifically with the priesthood.
That night we met with a Part-member family and this time the entire family really seemed more interested than normal, which was great because we taught the Plan of Salvation. After the lesson we tried a few members nearby which all didn't answer. We then started our long trek home, but half way through it a member picked us up and took us home.

Saturday Jan 10:
It was another very busy day. At about noon we decided to go tracting. We didn't get in to any houses but found a lot of really nice people. One of the greatest frustrations I've found about missionary work is that sometimes the gospel would really bless there lives at that moment, but they say they are too busy or aren't interested. Anyways after that we got to borrow some bikes from a member of our ward. It was a huge blessing to get to borrow them.
The Encampment of the twelve tribes
along with their flag and stone.
 Most of this comes from the oral history
of the Israelites. Some of it is found in
the scriptures but a lot of it we got
from Brother Averna in our ward

That night we had dinner with the Kings where there was a very long discussion about light and truth. It was interesting because they are all very sophisticated and go deep into topics. Apparently this is a normal family dinner for them. We then went to go see a family who has two unbaptized children who want to get baptized but need permission from their father. We offered to teach them the lessons and see what we can do. Overall it was a good day.

Sunday Jan 11:
Yesterday was was slow. In the morning we decided to do a study on the organization of the church specifically with the priesthood and look in the scriptures for the duties of the role and the first mention of it. We then went to ward council and got to watch the Youth Theme video for the year "Embark in the service of the Lord." It was a great video. It was put together really well. We then had church. The overall theme I found was obedience and our eternal family. We talked a lot about the preexistence and how we treat others in this life. Our church services are always pretty good. It may just be because I'm a missionary and gospel topics are what I focus on the most. 

Overall it was a pretty good week. We walked about 30+ miles. I'm glad we now have bikes and we have been able to stay busy even though we have been walking. Elder Young and I are getting along really well. I hope you all have a great week.

Till next time,

Elder Dallin S Pulsipher

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 21 - Grand Junction - Elder Young (New Companion)

Happy New Year everyone. I hope your holidays were great.

Monday Dec 29:
Not much happened on Monday, but that night we had dinner with the Stones (a couple we are teaching) and we got a call saying that transfers would be moved to Thursday rather than Tuesday due to a storm that came through.

Tuesday & Wednesday Dec 30 & Dec 31: New Years Eve
Not much happened on these two days. Because transfers were postponed and it was New Years Eve we just went around visiting a few people, nothing too exciting. We spent New Years Eve night with the Lewis family. They made a lot of food and they made this really good Pistachio pudding cake. By the time we got home at 9:30 we were exhausted

       2015        

Thursday Jan 1: Transfer 4 | New Years.
We woke up, got ready, and went to the Church Building. When we got there we got to meet a lot of the missionaries and I got to say goodbye (temporarily) to Elder Jensen who went over to Metro side. We then started our transfer meeting which took an extra hour because the Transfer Train (a bunch of cars all driving together) was late due to snow and running out of gas. Apparently that is more common than not. The meeting was good and we got a surprise experience of President Murdock who never comes over on the Transfer Train. It was nice to hear from him. We then got the Transfer news. I always get really nervous about this. It turns out that Elder Niue got Elder Bedolla, who is awesome and I only got one companion Elder Young who is also awesome. 

Elder Young is from Las Vegas Nevada and this is his second transfer which means that I am also follow-up training. We ended up getting a ride with our assistant ward mission leader Brother Smith to our place and to Walmart. As far as the car situation goes, there have been a lot of accidents and there are no spare cars which is why we don't have one. We also don't have a phone because Elder Niue took it so our contact was very limited. The rest of the day we basically just unpacked and got to know each other better.

Friday Jan 2:
It is interesting planning without a phone, or form of transportation besides walking, but we managed. We decided to make some calls at a member who lives close by. They offered to give us a ride where we needed to go which was nice because we live a mile south of our boundary. When we got to where we were going we tried a few potentials and were able to teach the first lesson to someone. He said we could come back to teach another lesson and that he had been praying to know the answers of Where did I come from? Why am I here? and Where will I go after I die? He looks like a strong potential. 

We then walked about a mile to another neighborhood, which we later found there was a small pathway between the two neighborhoods. In this neighborhood we tracted. It was very morbid. Everyone was either ill with the flu, didn't want us, or didn't answer. It was also very very cold and grey. The hand and toe warmers really came in handy. That night we had a dinner with Brother Smith and our Coordination meeting. I think we walked a total of 4 miles.

Saturday Jan 3:
On Saturday during our personal study the zone leaders came by and said that I was going to be doing a baptismal interview in a few hours. I don't know what it is with interviews but I just get nervous for them even if I'm interviewing. It turns out he was really prepared and the interview went smoothly. I honestly didn't think I would have to do an interview so early. Luckily we were able to get a ride from the zone leaders. We decided we would go tract Bishops neighborhood. We decided that tracting around members will give the opportunity to get rides. When we got to the neighborhood we ran into Bishop Holt walking. He offered to let us in to have some hot chocolate so after we tracted his entire neighborhood we went in. He gave us some names of recent move ins and asked if we knew about a few people. We exchanged some info and he offered a ride to our next appointment. We didn't have a dinner that night so we went home made some food and entered all the members in our GPS and whether they are active or less-active. This will help out a lot when we may need to stop by to use the restroom or to warm up. I also finally got the phone from Elder Niue. I apparently was supposed to have it all along and they sent a new phone to him.

Sunday Jan 4:
Our church time was moved to 1PM for this year. When we got to church we went around talking to some people and introducing them to Elder Young. It was also fast and testimony meeting. At the beginning of the meeting I felt like I should go up, but as usual I was really nervous too. This has never made sense to me because once I get up there I am perfectly fine, but I was very nervous. Finally it was nearing the end and I suddenly felt calm. I took this to mean that I needed to go up and that Heavenly Father was helping me. I just shared how Christmas was special this year because I could focus all my time on Jesus Christ and how I've come to understand that he is my Savior and only through him and the Atonement can we make it back to live with Heavenly Father.

After Sacrament we went to our Gospel Principles class. Brother Gustavson this year has decided to explore what other religions believe about the topics we are discussing and explain where they are wrong and what is the truth. So for this first lesson we took a quiz on how much we know about other religions. There was a study done on this quiz and they found that Mormons, Jewish, and Atheists knew the most about other religions. I think it will be an interesting class.

After church we had dinner with the Berry's and then tried a family close by, who were not home. We decided to head back home because we had no form of transportation, by the time we get to our area we would have to go back, and there was a helicopter with a search light flying around the area, so we thought it best to head home. 

Overall it was a very interesting week. I'm excited for this next transfer and to be companions with Elder Young. I can tell he really wants to get out and work and put forth the effort. I hope you all had a great New Year and had a great start to the year. I know we did.

Till next time,
Elder Dallin S Pulsipher

P.S. I don't have any pictures this week because I forgot my camera at home along with other things I needed to bring to the library so I'll send a lot next week