Monday, May 25, 2015

Week 41 - Littleton CO

Hello everyone,

So this was one of the hardest weeks on my mission. It was full of complete and utter boredom. I was ill near the beginning and towards the end Elder Farley was ill. He is still pretty bad and we have been inside most of the time. However there were quite a few exciting things that happened this week as well. I will detour from my usual format, because most every day was me sitting down, reading, watching church films, and drawing.
Incredible Hail storm
Event 1: The Hailstorm of the Century
We have had none-stop rain for the last month. Out of the 25 days in May we have had rain on 22 of them. This has been the most rain that Littleton has gotten in years. They just need to move it to California. Along with this rain we get interesting storms like a hailstorm we got. Within a minute of it starting it was in full force. It was thick hail and giant sheets of it. You could barely see through it. Along with this was rain and very very loud thunder. We were luckily inside, down in the basement. However one of the window wells had a small waterfall on the side. We were concerned about flooding, because it happened years ago in our place. Luckily we were safe and no flooding happened. About an hour after the storm there was not a cloud in the sky.

Event 2: I met Jimmer Fredette
So there is a family in our ward whose daughter married the famous BYU basketball player Jimmer Fredette. We were in the valley and it was raining, more of this misty stuff. We decided to just house hop and visit with members. When we got to this family Jimmer happened to be there. He was very cool, nice, and surprisingly a little shy, or tired. I really don't know. My companion Elder Farley was more excited because he actually loves basketball.

Event 3: The Bernals Confirmation.
On Sunday I had the oppurtunity to confirm the father. I was very nervous. I have never done one before and I was just nervous for words. I had absolutely no idea what to say. However when I got up there words came. It is always awesome when that happens. Afterwards I was just happy. To be able to see someone accept and soak up the gospel like this is truly a blessing.

So those were major events that happened this week. In other news Kelsey, the teenager whom we have been teaching graduated from High School. However at a dinner with her parents she established that she was more excited for her baptism then graduation. She gets baptized this Saturday. I'm excited for it. She is one of the best people I have taught on my mission.

So that was my week. Not much really. Hopefully this week will be better. Hope you all have a great week.

Till next time,
Elder Dallin S Pulsipher

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Week 40 - Littleton, CO - Baptism

Monday - Wednesday May 11-13: 9 month mark
Not much happened. We were ill (I think from something we ate. Nothing too bad). We did some tracting, started preparing for the Bernals baptism and we did some service. One thing I've noticed lately is that I feel like I've hit a road block of progression. I hit this with swimming year round. I wasn't getting any better and it was getting harder. Often times missionaries hit this around their 1 year mark. When someone hist this mark they have two choices. To push hard through it or to take a simple road. By choosing the hard path one will eventually progress even more. By choosing the simpel road one will only progress to a certain point. I believe I have hit this point and have had to make a decision. I've decided to push through. I know it won't be easy but it will be worth it. I just have to push through even without that motivation to work or the fear of some of the things I must do.

Thursday May 14:
We had exchanges today. I went back to my first area Chatfield ward. It was a good day starting off with a great district meeting. The theme was church attendence and why church is vital to conversion. One thing we have been focusing on in district meetings is the keys to conversion
  1. Holy Ghost - testifies of truth
  2. Prayer - the way we act on our faith
  3. The Book of Mormon - another way we act. By reading. Goes with prayer
  4. Church Attendence - Something we can personally witness. As we take the sacrament we feel the spirit.
I also got to see some people I had helped teach. We also went tracting and found someone who said she had been waiting for someone to come teach her about the gospel. It was really cool. We also had the oppurtunity to rip out some carpet. We have had a record amount of rain. It has been coming down hard. A member of the Chatfield ward's basement had flooded, so we got to rip it up and throw it away. It was fun. It was a great day and it felt good to be back in Chatfield

Friday May 15:
We had a great day planned, unfortunately all of our appointments fell through or rescheduled. In general it was an odd day. We did however get to finish up planning the Bernals baptism. We noticed that the baptism was at the same time as seminary graduation so we had to move it down in time.

Saturday May 16:
This was a very very busy day. We started off visiting an investigator who has been "investigating" the church for 30 years. We have a lot of people like that in our area. He just wanted to talk about the three nephites. We did however turn the conversation to the Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentence, baptism, etc.) He then proceeded to question us about baptism and why he needs to be rebaptized. It was kind of funny because he kept on turning to Elder Farley to try and get another opinion.

Elder Morgan, Me, Sebastion, Juan, Marcela, 
and Elder Farley
During the middle of the Day we had a lesson planned for the Bernals where we go over their baptism and show them the font. However 30 mintues it stormed hard. We got hail/snow about 3/4 of an inch thick. it was odd because it just splattered when it hit the ground. The Bernals told us they couldn't come. We then prayed to allow the storm to pass so we could still meet with them in 30 minutes. 10 minutes before our appointment the hail and rain stopped and a blue sky appeared. The lesson went well and they were very excited.

That night we got to teach the Trejos. The youngest daughter has been reading the fastest and has been in Jacob 5 for the last few weeks. In case you don't know that is the Allegory of the Tame and Wild Olive Trees. So we decided to teach them a lesson on that. We had already talked about the Tribes of Israel so it worked out. I don't know if they really got much out of it but I learned a lot about it.

Sunday May 17: Bernals Baptism
It was a long day. Church went well. The father of the Bernals was ill so he couldn't come. He said he would be able to attend the baptism, but it was still nerve racking. We actually got to teach in Primary about baptism. It was fun. It reminded me of my calling before my mission of teaching the 4 and 5 year-olds. We have also been preparing a Come and See Sunday. It is going to be excellent. We will have just had a baptism, we have a homecoming talk and a farewell talk and during second hour we will do a panel type thing where we have a topic and have people ask questions about that topic. I will be one of the people on this panel. I'm excited for it.

We then went to start filling up the font for the baptism. It took a long time. A very long time.

Crazy Storms and weather
we have been getting has produced some crazy clouds
Around 4:30 the Bernals showed up. We got changed into our white clothes and took some pictures. The baptismal service then started. We had a talk on baptism by Elder Farley and a musical number. Then came the baptisms. I was nervous. This is my first time baptizing someone (the father Juan). When I started walking down into the font A warning signal went off. The water was a foot lower then what we had filled it to. There was a leak somewhere and it was up to my knees. I was nervous and the witnesses just gave me a concerning face. However I knew that the baptism still must go on and that everything would work out. I said the prayer and put him under the water. However it was not completely under the water so I had to do it again. He just barely made it. When I said we were good. Brother Bernal just laughed and had a huge smile on his face. The mother had to get baptized twice as well. In the end no one was injured luckily.

Talking to Brother Bernal and his son while changing he said that his headache he had was completely gone and that they just felt on top of the world. The rest of the service included Sister Capener who has helped us out a ton giving a talk (she is the son's spanish teacher). Then sister Bernal got up and bore her testimony. It just seemed like the entire baptism was a dream afterwards. It went by so fast and I couldn't think straight afterwards. It was great though. I am so happy they made it and have partaken of this saving ordinance. I can't wait to see where they will go in the gospel.

The Bernals, Capeners, and Us
Along the path of life we will always come to a block or a fork in the road. It will ultimately make us choose whether to take an easy path or a difficult one. Baptism is like this. We can only progress so far before we must make a decision. The Bernals baptism is like this because their path to baptism wasn't easy, nevertheless they decided to take it. Satan tried to stop it but everyone involved push through that. Ulitmately they have made it to baptism and now they can have the opportunity to eternally progress if they remain faithful.
So that was my week. 3 baptisms down and 2 more to go before I leave. We should have a busy crazy next couple of weeks. Hope all is well back home. Have a great week.

Elder Dallin S Pulsipher

Week 39 - Littleton CO

Hello everyone. It was honestly a long and hard week. Luckily we had Mother's day at the end where I got to talk to my family.

Tuesday May 5: Transfer 7
Elder Capps, Rhoades, Young and Me
outside the Denver Temple
It was transfers today. We woke up at about 5 and went over the the mission office. Elder Farley and I both stayed. There were no last minute changes on our end. It was interesting because we had an Assistant go home. He has been serving as an assistant for 1 year. That usually doesn't happen. It was a hard meeting for President and sister Murdock. 17 missionaries left including Elder Niue whom I served with. That night we taught the Trejos and John and Kelsey. John mentioned that he wants to get baptized, but is not sure when.

Wednesday May 6:
We woke up early again to go to the Temple this morning. It was good and was one of the highlights of my week. I also got to see Elder young again. Later that day we taught Nicholas who we taught a lesson two a few weeks ago. We taught him the Plan of Salvation, and he read 100 pages. Unfortunately he didn't pray or read with the right intent. At the end he said he feels he has enough knowledge to figure it out himself. We tried to set up another time but he wouldn't let us. This can be very frustrating at times. However all we might be here are seed planters. The rest of the day we did some service and taught a few lessons. Luckily our evenings have been full lately. Basically filling up the day is the difficult part.

Flowers outside of the Denver Temple.
Just trying out my new camera
Thursday May 7:
I was wiped out. Waking up early and with busy evenings, I am exhausted. We had a goal setting district meeting where we talked about things we can improve on. We also noticed that there are non-members and less-actives who attend sacrament meeting but aren't meeting with us. We discussed ways we can befriend them. This week we have had a lot of rain. The weather here is kind of bipolar in that one hour it will be downpouring with a huge thunderstorm and the next it is a sunny blue sky. During these nice hours on Thursday we helped sister Dekle with some weeding and yard work. Sometimes when stressed it is good to do some manual labor. 
Snow in May

Friday May 8:
I started the morning going to a follow-up appointment on my toes. He ended up clipping the toes a little more (luckily with no numbing medicine). I instantly felt relief.  He said I should be good and just call him if I have any issues. We then had a lesson with a less-active sister we have been working with. We also had a long weekly planning session really planning for the transfer. We have decided to focus on embers and getting referrals. It has been the only way we have found good investigators. The rest of the day was pretty slow.

Saturday May 9:
Elder Jensen and I at Transfer Meeting.
I came out with him.
We had a zone meeting to start the morning. There were a few more changes to the mission regarding rules and procedures. We have gotten a lot of those lately. We also talked about what our focus is going to be on this next transfer. Looking at the numbers it seems like the focus in our district was different from the focus of the other district. What they decided to do was to combine the focuses and lift each other up. It seemed like a good idea. Afterwards we taught Kirstin. We talked with her and she says she wants to get baptized for sure around May 30th. It will probably be during the week on a Thursday so her friends who are coming with lessons to us can make it. She is awesome and is really progressing. One of the great blessings of being on a mission is that you get to see people change and come closer to God. When you see this you really feel joy. It also snowed at around 6PM and continued till the next morning.

Denver Colorado Temple

Sunday May 10: Mother's Day
Happy Mother's Day!
The day started off bad. I woke up in a bad mood. PEC was ok and when we started church I didn't see the Bernals. They would of had to come in order to be baptized next weekend. However halfway through I noticed them sitting in the back. It was a huge relief. There were some great talks on motherhood. We have some great speakers in our ward. We even had a non-member speak about his mother. Kirstin also was able to make it. She seemed to really enjoy it. We also talked with the Bernals and decided on May 17th for their baptismal date. They can't wait, and we can't wait.

Of course the highlight of the week was calling home. I video called my mom and talked with her for a while. I then got to talk to some of my siblings.  I then called my dad and Paige, and the Lloyd/Mattice siblings. It was cool to be able to do a three way call between Brazil, Utah, and Colorado. Near the end I got a hold of Jacob and talked with him for a little while. Everyone looked great. It was good to be able to talk with them for a while and just to see how everyone has matured. It was honestly a little hard leaving the computer though. I felt like more time would have been great, but knew that it would just distract me. Overall it was a great experience.

It was really a rough week for me, but you get those. With every downhill there is an uphill. This week should be great with the Bernals getting baptized at the end. I hope you all have a great week as well.

Till next time,
Elder Dallin S Pulsipher

Week 38 - Littleton CO

Hello everyone. It was an interesting week. 

Our District
So basically due to part of my toenails being taken out on Monday. I really couldn't walk. We had jam packed evenings with nothing during the day. I also got a little ill this week. Overall it was good though.

Tuesday April 28:
When I woke up I couldn't walk. So we were home bound. By the end of the day I was able to walk a little. We just cleaned and rested all day. We have a housing inspection on Wednesday and if everyone in the zone gets a 10/10 weget a surprise at district meeting. We got rides to our appointments that night. We ended up teaching John and Kelsey. Kelsey has her whole baptism planned for May 30th.

Wednesday April 29:
We started the day off with our housing inspection. They are the Hancy's and served in the Denver Colorado North Mission. They said they remember an Elder Pulsipher who looks like me. They are sure it is Matthew. I need to see a picture. Anyways when they walked in they were astonished. We made that place spotless (because we basically had so much time on our hands). Elder Farley basically went on a cleaning frenzy on Tuesday. 
A view of Denver from a hill in our area

That night we had an investigator drop us because he didn't get an answer right away. We had only taught him once. However he did pray fro the first time in 10 years. We also taught Kirstin that night and it went well. We talked about the Plan of Salvation.

Thursday April 30:
We started the day with District meeting. Everyone ended up getting a 10/10 so we got these really good cinnamon rolls. We then went home and helped Sister Dekle with her yard. I was able to walk but not far distances. I ended up cutting the edges of the grass with scissors. Overall my toes started healing but I got a bad stomach ache that day. That night we had a relief society activity that all the missionaries sang at. It went well and Sister Murdock came as well. We even saw sister Bernal who was invited by a friend. It was great to see her there and engaged.

Friday May 1:
The Rain we Got
We had Weekly Planning in the morning. It is always odd planning when you don't know if you are getting transferred. Luckily I was able to walk a little so we tried a few people close by. After one of our visits it started to storm. There were crackles of thunder and lightning and when we almost got home it started to downpour. When
we got downstairs into our little apartment we noticed a really loud knocking sound coming from the windows. We then went up stairs to find that it was hailing. It wasn't small like we get in California, it was slightly larger, and there was a lot of it. By the time dinner hit, it was sunny. That is just colorado weather. Wait five minutes and it will be another season. 

That night we went to a baptism of two 8 year-olds. We were invited to share a message while they change. It went well and we showed the Because He livesand Because of Him videos with a brief message. After that we taught the Bernals. They are now on date for May 16th. Unfortunately that night I had a migraine.

Saturday May 2:
We started the morning helping clean the church building. We had a church tour with John and Kelsey. It was odd because people were still cleaning. We get it down so early back home that I assumed they would be done cleaning, but they didn't finish until 11. So we just kind of went around the building avoiding the vacuum noises. Later that day we met with the Bernals and planned their baptism. I will get the opportunity to baptize the father. I'm excited for their baptism I was just hoping I would stay. They took us to Mexican food afterwards. We then went to the Trejos to teach them a lesson on Moses. We finished the new member lessons and are giving them the choice to pick the topics. One of the girls said she wanted to know more about Moses. The previous lesson we talked about the 12 Tribes of Israel and the covenant tied to that. With the lesson on Moses we taught the Restoration and one of the pride cycles, using The Moses story to explain it. It turned out really well. 

That night we had stake conference. There were some great talks. Our mission president got up and bore his testimony too. There was a focus on missionary work. Our entire zone has been lifting and the areas have all immensely improved. 

That night when we got home and got a call. It turns out that we are both staying! That is rare to have two people in the same area for more than 2 transfers. I was very happy about that news.

Sunday May 3:
The morning was great. We had stake conference to start off. During stake conference we had the Bernals come, Kelsey, and our new investigator Kirstin. They all liked it. The topic of the entire session was the family. There were some great talks on the family. Sister Trejo also had the opportunity to speak. She spoke in Spanish and someone translated for her. During her talk she mentioned us and thanked us for teaching her and her family. I almost cried. After the session we talked to President Murdock. He said that he got three calls from members of our ward asking us to stay. I was going to be transferred but he said that this is the most calls he has ever gotten for someone to stay. I was happy that the ward did that. We then had the interview of the father of the Bernals. He passed and they are on track for baptism.

Overall it was a great week. We had a ton a rain, and time to study. This week I decided to compare Moses and Genesis. I was curious just what has been lost through translations and the years. It was really cool. The book of Moses contains most of the gospel as far as topics go. I found some great scriptures in there as well.

Anyways, I hope you have a great week.

Till next time,
Elder Dallin S Pulsipher

Week 37 - Littleton CO

Hello Everyone. This was an amazing week. A lot happened. The work here has really progressed for the first time in years.

Tuesday April 21:
Not much happened on Tuesday. A lot of walking and tracting.

Wednesday April 22:
When we planned for Wednesday we honestly thought we were out of things to do besides tracting. It was looking a little morbid. All we had planned was a lesson with Kirstin, a refferral form some members. However when we got out and started tracting that day we were able to find an investigator. We actually didn't tract far until we met Jessie. He is agnostic but is interested in what we believe. We did a survey and taught the first lesson. We then asked if we could come back and he said yes. Right after the lesson is started to downpour with thunder and lightning. Luckily home wasn't to far. That night we got to teach Kirstin. We had a dinner and taught the first lesson. She was very receptive and has said that she is looking for a religion. At the end of the lesson we invited her to be baptized and she excepted. Her goal is May 30th.  We have another appointment on Saturday.

The Trejos family with Sister Alvarez.
Sister Alvarez is the one who found
them in a Burger King Bathroo
Thursday April 23:
We started the day off with a district meeting. It was great. I talked about how Prayer is essential to conversion. We also had the new stake housing coordinators come and talk to us. They will be inspecting our places this next week and expect it to be very very clean. I think this will be a great excuse to deep clean our place. They also talked about trust with members and how when missionaries live with members, rather than apartments, the church saves thousands of dollars.

Today we also decided to go tracting in the same neighborhood we found Jessie. It is the lowest income housing in our area. which is about $150,000 to buy. Our area is not poor at all. However there are a lot of people renting and this place has a large turn over rate. The second door we knocked on we got in and taught a lesson adding another investigator to our teaching pool. This guy was very nice and said he had a friend on a mission. We got a return appointment for two weeks out (because he will be gone). 

That night was very busy with appointment after appointment. We ended up teaching three lessons that day which is great in this area.

Friday April 24:
Bandages on my toes
It was a slow day but good nonetheless. We started by teaching Mariel a member who is taking the steps to start coming back to church. We then had a long weekly planning session where we planned out the Bernals baptism and the steps to progress our investigators to baptism. That night we taught the Trejos the last new member lesson. We will continue to teach them when they have questions about anything. It has been awesome to see this family progress these last three months. They are awesome and it truly is amazing to see them soak up the gospel like they are.

Saturday April 25:
Today was long but good. We started the morning off by tracting Unfortunately we had no success. We then went to go to the Bernal sons baptismal interview. He passed. We had an appointment after that with them but they all weren't feeling well. Instead we walked around what we call the Ranch (the largest neighborhood in our area) trying some people. My toe was acting up and it was hard to walk though. We did this until a dinner with the Goodwins who made amazing burgers. We had one appointment that night with Kirstin. We taught about how to read the Book of Mormon better and how to relate it to your own life. It was a very good lesson. She is really interested and wants to know a lot more.

Sunday April 26: 
It was not a good day for me. Because of all the walking and my in-grown toenails hurting I couldn't walk very well. Church was ok. Unfortunately none of our investigators showed up. All of the Bernals were ill, which means they can't be baptized on May 3rd. We will have to push the date back to past mothers day. The thing about this is that we might not be here for it. Transfers are May 5th. The two teenagers we taught were both at prom the previous night and were too tired to come. Church itself was fine. We actually had a lot of people show up. That night we had dinner with Bishop Willardson. It was great.

Monday April 27:
This morning I finally had a doctors appointment for my in-grown toenails. When I got there he said they would just removed the side of the toenail. He took out a few needles and numbed up my toes. It hurt. I'll spare you the details. Anyways he then cut off the edge of the nail and pulled it out. I didn't feel a thing. He then wrapped it up into bandages. It is weird because I still don't feel a single thing in those toes. It turns out that the nail had grown really deep. One of the ward members took us and while we were in the doctors office, he called President Murdock and asked for us both to stay. I guess it is likely we will. I really do especially because there are all these baptisms coming up and the work is progressing very well.

I hope you all had a great week and a great week coming up. I will find out for sure if I am being transferred this next Saturday.

Till next time,
Elder Dallin S Pulsipher