Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Week 79 - Highlands Ranch

Elder McDaniel (who found her), Elder Legler,
 Ernie, Monika, Kjersti and me
This was an amazing week. A lot happened.
Tuesday Feb 9:
We started the morning off by taking our car in to get repaired. It was making a really loud noise in the engine. We took it into the dealership and then got a ride home to put our bikes together. I was wiped out by the end of that evening. We were going non-stop from place to place. We had a lesson with Monika to show her the font. We talked about temples and family history. It is exciting because her dad and step mom are working at being sealed together and hopefully she will get to join them in about a year.
Wednesday Feb 10:
At about 9:00 we went with some members to breakfast with an elderly lady who has investigated for a while. Her name is Eudie Charnes. She was in the film business and was a production manager for a lot of movies. She helped with Escape from Alcatraz. Amazing lady and really funny. We then went to a doctors appointment and got our car back. The rest of the day was just a normal day of missionary service.
Thursday Feb 11:
District meeting started the day off. I gave a training on finding people(which I am not good at). I focused on using the skills and talents we have all been given and the ways we are the best at to find people. We all have unique talents and abilities that we were sent to this mission (or are placed in certain situations) to help and bless others lives. I have been very good at teaching people and singing and inviting the spirit. I can relate to people really well and this has helped me do missionary work.
Later that day we met Jade. She is a very interesting lady. She has met with missionaries in the past. She is spot on in a lot of beliefs but just has different vocabulary to it. She has christain, muslim, and buddist background which gives her a unique perspective on religion. She has somehow been able to find the truth within all of these. She believes that ignorance is bad and wants to know more about our faith. I'm excited to start teaching her.
That night we had a great lesson with Monika. She is getting baptized on Saturday. We bore our testimonies and shared a little more about how the church runs. She is so ready, so ready that our mission president met her said that she understands the atonement better than any investigator he has ever met.
Friday Feb 12:
It was our planning day. It was long and not much happened. I think a lot of it has to do with Monika's baptism being so close.

Saturday Feb 13: 18 month Mark  | 74% through.
Monika's baptism was amazing. Our ward mission leader Bro Smith has been the best ward mission leader I have ever had. He put together the program and ran it without us having to do anything. The spirit was strong and Her smile was priceless. Our mission president and his first counselor were there. They really enjoyed being there and feeling the spirit. We also had two investigators. We had sister Charnes and Daniel who is waiting to get baptized once he is 18. President Murdock got to meet Daniel and they had a good conversation. Daniel actually helped Monika accept baptism when we took him to a lesson and he bore his testimony on Baptism.
P-Day fun making Legos
It is for moments like this that I went on a mission for. The joy that you feel in the gospel is multiplied by helping others find the gospel as well. When your investigator repents. You repent along with them. When they grow, You grow. As you teach, you are taught. A mission is for other people, but also for you. There would be no reason why Heavenly Father would send young men and women who just got out in the world on mission except he wanted them to learn and to grow.
Sunday Feb 14: Valentine's Day
It was another great day. 
During the first sacrament meeting. Monika was confirmed and Elder Legler and I sang. It went really well and it was a powerful meeting. The second sacrament meeting was interesting. We had 7 people from another congregation join our sacrament meeting. They have been taking a class on mormonism and to end it came to our church service. Sister Murdock spoke and repeated a similar talk she had given to us missionaries a while back on the Atonment. It was the best talk I had ever heard on it. Afterwards we did a Q and A with President Murdock and the Stake President. It went very well. They asked a question about divorce in our church. I got to share a little of my experience of having remarried parents and how well we are doing now. Overall it went very well.
Also Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday Feb 15:
My Lego collection
It was a good Preperation day. We played with Legos, which is our favorite P-Day activity. That night we went from one house to another doing member lessons and getting a lot of referrals.
IT was a great week. I realized this weekend that I love being a missionary and don't want to go home. Luckily I have 6 months. We were also told that we will be staying together because of our good work here for another transfer. Elder Legler is going to finish up his last transfer in this area. We feel a lot will happen in the next 8 week. Transfers are the 22, and it might change. Also this next transfer will be 7 weeks long rather than 6 because they moved the MTC time up to three weeks which has pushed all transfer dates back one week. which means I come home on August 17.
I hope you all have a great week.
Till next time,
Elder Dallin S Pulsipher

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Week 78 - Highlands Ranch

Hello Everyone,

It was a stressful but amazing week. 

Tuesday Feb 2:
It snowed a ton. It snowed about 13 inches and we were told not to drive our car. So we went around and

shovelled driveways. We started by walking to an elderly investigator of ours. She was greatful for our help to shovel. Someone offered us lunch, so we went back. However along the path we ended up shoveling about 6 peoples driveways as well. It was funny because they were all strong promptings. The first man even said that we can come back and teach him. By the end of the day we were out of energy. Luckily we had a lesson with Monika which is my favorite part of missionary work.

Wednesday Feb 3:
It was a good day. We had 3 lessons. The first was with a Daniel, who is waiting until he is 18 to get baptized. We talked about the modern day prophets and watched a documentary on President Thomas S. Monson. We then had a lesson with a recently married couple where the husband got baptized not to long ago, and then a lesson with a member lesson with a bro Tingey.

Thursday Feb 4:
We had a good district meeting where we talked, the entire time, about our investigators. We got some useful ideas to help our investigators progress. Other than that it was a fairly slow day, with a lesson with Monika and an appointment with one of our bishops. After those appointments we both felt as if this has been one of our favorite wards on our missions. We also have felt very succesful regardless of the outward appearance of success. We have helped the wards get very excited about missionary work, and have acted as a coordinator of member missionary work. It has been very effective.

Friday Feb 5:
This is where the stress comes in. It however was a very spiritual day. I won't go into to much detail for privacy, but someone we are teaching had a meltdown and felt way to overwhelmed because Satan has been pushing very very hard. They said it seemed like to much. What followed was constant promptings of the spirit to do things to help them. Such as having the entire zone pray for them and sending scriptures, telling them to find a quiet place to pray, etc. We felt devastated that this was happening. When we needed and they needed comfort the most, it came. We got a text from a sister in the ward we both haven't met, which said in essence thank you for the musical number last Sunday, it really helped. Soon thereafter we got a text from the person we teach which said that they found peace and did what we had said. Overall it was a stressful day but was full of spiritual experiences. This was this persons trial of faith, which is almost always followed by amazing experiences.

Saturday Feb 6:
We spent the day planning because of what happened on Friday. We did however help someone put some carpet in.

Sunday Feb 7:
This was a great day. One of the best on my mission. We found out during sacrament meeting that we were teaching the gospel principles class on Repentance. We had forgotten. I'm pretty sure the spirit taught that lesson because we did not plan at all. It ended up being a very good lesson. Afterwards we did something with the Young Women to help them prepare for missions. We then had the second ward and then Monika's Baptismal interview. I don't know why, but I was more nervous than her. President Murdock eventually invited us into the room. The spirit was thick. He said that at points he felt as if he was interviewing a member. She is an amazing person who knows the gospel well. He said she passed and is ready to be baptized next Saturday. He also thanked us there and afterwards for the teaching, he could tell that we had worked hard and taught her well. This brought a lot of peace and joy to me helping me understand I am fulfilling my purpose her and being an effective instrument in the Lord's hand. I wish you all could have seen her face when she left and in that room. Light was emanating from her.

Another interesting development was I missed a very historical event. The 50th Super Bowl happened where the Denver Broncos were playing and won, while I was at a Super Bowl party in the other room playing a board game with some kids as a missionary in Denver. Few people can say that. I didn't see a single thing of that game, but I could tell who was winning from the noises in the other room. They basically told us to go around and just go to Super Bowl Parties.

It was a great week. I hope you all have a great week as well.

Some points of advice.

To win people's hearts you must do two things.
  1. Wear the team colors (we both wore Bronco color ties, everyone at church loved it)
  2. Sing for others.
Till next time,
Elder Dallin S Pulsipher

Week 77 - Highlands Ranch

Just Me
Hello everyone,
I hope you all had a great week. This was very slow, but it is mostly because we are changing our approach to missionary work.
Tuesday Jan 26:
IT was a good day. We stayed busy trying people. In the morning we helped out some other elders move out of an apartment. It was actually the apartment I was living in when I was here in Highlands Ranch last. Other than that it was a normal day.
Wednesday Jan 27:
It was a great day. We have been helping some members paint some of their house. I found that I am a good painter in comparison to some other elders. We also decided to make some muffins for Monika and her family. Satan has been working hard on them to try and make it so Monika doesn't get baptized, so we have been working hard to have daily contact. Other than that is was a normal day.
This is the color order of a a color blind person. Me
Thursday Jan 28:
This was a jam packed day. We had a zone conference. It went really well. It was one of the best and most spirit
filled zone conferences. It was about prayer, working with members, and being converted to our purpose as a missionary. It went over the foundations really. It was the perfect thing for us. That night we had two member lessons and a lesson with Monika on the Plan of Salvation. It was a powerful message. One thing I have been noticing lately, now that I have been out a while, is that I have been able to discern the needs of my investigators and everyone I teach a lot more. It was a goal I had for this year, to be more intune with the spirit. It is awesome how if we set thoughtful and serious goals and ask for God's help to accomplish them, he will help you. One suggestion though, if you plan on asking God to humble you, good luck.
Friday Jan 29:
Elder Legler was ill. He has a lot of congestion in his face in general and had vertigo. If you don't know what that is, it is basically where your world spins around you. Needless to say it was a slow day.
Saturday Jan 30:
We had a great weekly planning session. We discussed the needs of our area and what we can do differently to help it. We realized that this last week we were only focusing on member work. As a missionary you need to balance a little of everything. Such as working with Less-actives, former investigators, finding, etc. My mission has taught me a lot about being really organized. If you aren't you will forget something. especially while covering two wards.
Sunday Jan 31:
It snowed. In fact they have predicting a huge storm. However whatever they predict in Colorado, it will always be wrong. It is still snowing, but not like how they said it will be. We went nonstop all day long.
6:30 - wake up and get ready
7:15 - Coordination meeting
7:30 - Priesthood Executive and Family Council
9:00 - Church
11:30 - Coordination meeting
12:00 - Lesson with Monika
1:00 - Sang in Sacrament meeting with Elder legler
2:00 - Splits with High Priest
3:00 - Back to church for fifth sunday meeting
4:00 - Dinner
6:00 - Went and met a Recent Convert in our ward. 
7:00 - Family History activity with Youth
8:00 - member lesson with Taylors.
Overall it was a great week, but slow near the beginning.
Also, there has been a change in my coming home date, because the MTC has extended the length you are there, I will be coming home a week later. August 17. However if school starts close to that, I might be able to come home on my original date. I will know more when it gets closer. So I will be serving a 105 week mission.
Till next time,
Elder Dallin S Pulsipher

Week 76 - Highlands Ranch

Hello Everyone,

This has been a great week. I'm loving this area with my new companion Elder Legler.

Wednesday Jan 20:
We had a unique experience to be apart of a worldwide conference for missionaries. It was a live session from Salt Lake and talked about missionary work. They shared an interesting statistic in it. 

49% of investigators were found through missionaries own efforts
36% of investigators were found through members

59% of investigators got baptized who were found through members
25% of investigators got baptized who were found through missionaries own efforts.

It really shows to go that member missionary work is really powerful with finding. I have seen that this statistic is true in my mission. Members are great at finding. Missionaries can help find and teach the gospel to help people come unto Christ.

After the broadcast we had a zone meeting where they talked about getting a ton of member lessons. We have a goal to get 20 member lessons a week. After this we taught an investigator of ours named Daniel. He is waiting to be 18 before he can be baptized but has a strong testimony. So strong that we asked if he wanted to come with us to a lesson. He said yes.

Thursday Jan 21:
It wasn't a very good day for me. I was on exchanges and it seemed like thing after thing went wrong. However in my area something exciting happened. We have been teaching Monika. Her parents are active recent convert members and she recently moved in with them. We had planned to invite her to be baptized and to bring Daniel with us. When I got back that night I heard it was an amazing lesson where she accepted to be baptized on Feb 13th. She is so excited and the entire family was crying a guess. I saw her on Sunday and she was lit up with joy. This is an amazing thing to see as a missionary.

I also had a doctors appointment in which I found out that I had a staff infection on my chin. It is being resolved.

Friday Jan 22:
It was a good day, just very long. We had a great weekly planning session and meeting with the young women's president. We have a lot of great things going on in our wards and I have really enjoyed mostly working with members to help them embrace sharing the gospel. I find that I am really good at this. I was reading something this week about using your talents to push the work forward. I have focused a lot on my weaknesses without using my talents and strengths, because it has been stressed to turn weaknesses into strengths. This is an important thing to do, but if we don't use our strengths we will not be able to progress as fast as we would like. Also focus on one weakness at a time, rather than turn all your weaknesses around at once.

Saturday Jan 23:
This day was full of service. We did some painting and helped someone move. Other than that it was a normal day of missionary work.

Sunday Jan 24:
It was a long day of church, but a good day nonetheless. There was a homecoming of a missionary who just came back from Brazil. Covering two wards we with meetings we have meetings from 7:30 to 4:00. It makes for a long but good day. The last few hours are a little rough but you get spiritually filled. That night we had a member lesson with the Kings, an awesome family. In the lesson we used an analogy using google translate to demostrate the great apostasy.

Using the phrase:
"I am a child of God and he has sent me here."

and translating it into
then japanese,
then portuguese
then back into english comes out as
"I put me here to be the Son of God"
Try it.
Overtime the truth was distorted and lost in translation.

Overall it was a great week. I hope you all have a great week as well.

Till next time,
Elder Dallin S Pulsipher

Week 75 - Highlands Ranch

Hi Everyone,

 Elder Legler and I
So I am back in Highlands Ranch. I honestly saw this coming because of a pattern I have noticed in my mission.

1 transfer in Columbine
3 transfers in Grand Junction
3 transfers in Columbine
1 transfer in Grand Junction

1 year mark

2 transfers in Highlands Ranch
2 transfers in Montrose
and now I am in Highlands Ranch. It is almost always an area touching the previous area. According to pattern I will be here two or Three and finish up in Montrose. Just wait it will happen.

The Liberato-Hall family

I am with Elder Derek Legler. I was so happy when I found this out because he is an awesome elder I have served around my entire mission. He helped me get through the tough time I was having in Highlands Ranch last time I was here. We have been working well together and he has had a lot of similar trials I have gone through. This will probably be my favorite companionship.

I am in the Spring Gulch/Saddle Ranch wards. They include the richest of the rich, but the members are all very nice. We are living with a single man Brother Wells. He is really nice and it feels like a home. We both plan to work a lot with members and helping them share the gospel with friends. When I was here last I found out that that is the only way to do it here in Highlands Ranch. I'm glad he agrees with the approach. I have also found that smiling through it all makes you have a different perspective about things. You are more positive. I have been trying to smile all the time since I have been here.

Us and Tom
A lot of this week involved cleaning and getting ready for the transfer. We also had a chance to teach a few people. Some people are really close to baptism as well. One is Monica. Her father is a recent convert and is on fire in the gospel. She has seen the change in her father and wants that for herself. Another is Daniel who wants to get baptized but is waiting for parents permission.

The Hall family
On Saturday we had an awesome experience to do something for the Young Women. They had a goal to read the Book of Mormon in 2 days. They broke it up in different ways and one of the ways they did it is by having people come in to do things. They asked us to do Alma 46 where Moroni made the Title of Liberty. I took an old shirt and wrote Phoenician and Greek words on the back (got the characters from this cool little pamphlet I found on the history of the alphabet) of the shirt and put it on with a tie. I was also wearing another shirt and tie underneath. So when that part came in the chapter. I ripped off the shirt with buttons flying everywhere and put it on a pole and raised it up. They all laughed because I had another shirt and tie on underneath. We then had them rip up paper shirts  and through them in a pile. (because the people do that in the story. It was fun and was an instant trust builder for the ward.

This morning I learned a little about how God works. We were reviewing these white boards in the apartment. As we were doing it we came across a name, Heather, that Elder Legler had never heard before. Shortly after we got a call from the Elder's Quorum President asking us to help move a former investigator move some things, whose name was Heather. It is interesting that God had prepared us with that name. We had something else planned, but when the name was heard we went right there.

Anyways I am excited to be here with Elder Legler in Highlands Ranch. We are going to make this transfer a great transfer. I hope you all have a great week.

Till next time,
Elder Dallin S Pulsipher

Week 74 - Montrose

Saturday in Ridgway

Christmas Morning
Hello everyone,
So I got transfer news and I will be transferred. According to pattern this was going to happen. I will really miss Montrose. It has been one of my favorite areas. It has been hard but worthwhile nonetheless. I have no clue where I am going.
Tuesday Jan 5:
My morning started off at 2:45am with a lovely trip to the bathroom to throw-up. I must of eaten something because no one else got it but it was not fun none-the-less. We were actually on exchanges and had to switch back at 6:30. The whole day wasn't fun because we were stuck at home.
Wednesday Jan 6:
I have no recollection of what happened on this day. I was really exhausted from the previous day is all I can remember. We also had a lot of appointments cancel. I think it is a Wednesday thing.
Thursday Jan 7:
Our mission introduced an extra hour of study in the morning to prepare for a big meeting that will be broadcast to all the missionaries in the whole world. later this month. We have no idea what it will be about but they have asked us to review Preach My Gospel.  After studies we had a great District Meeting. I have really enjoyed my District Leader. He gives amazing trainings mostly on doctrine especially the atonement. We also had an opportunity to teach Tom. He is doing really well. He is growing closer and closer to Jesus Christ more than I think he realizes. One of the cool things about being a missionary is that you get to see the progress more than the people themselves.
Friday Jan 8:We had weekly Planning. It is always hard weekly planning right before transfers, because you don't know if you are being transferred or not. So you have to pretend as if you are staying to make it effective. After planning we had another lesson with Tom. We brought the ward clerk, Dave, who bore a powerful testimony. The spirit was very strong. He talked a lot about communing with God. Prayer in a way should be like a one on one interview with him. Sometimes we don't have to speak vocal words but can speak in our hearts and mind. It was a very good lesson. Dave promised a specific blessing that as he listens to the Hymns they will touch his heart. 
Saturday Jan 9:
We ended up going down to Ridgway one last time. It was a really slow day, but we found some former investigators that Elder Scott will start teaching soon. It was a beautiful day though.
Sunday Jan 10:
It was a great day. I had an interesting spiritual experience. 
Tom called in the morning saying he had a terrible headache. I was devastated that he wouldn't be able to come. However a minute after the call I got the prompting to call back. So I called back. I promised him that the headache would go away as soon as he entered the building and that the headache was Satan trying to stop him. I also reminded him of the promise that Dave gave him. Tom immediately said, "I will make it." His headache did go away. He came and it was a powerful meeting about the Book of Mormon. The hymn that stuck out to me was How Firm a Foundation.

How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

In ev'ry condition--in sickness, in health,
In poverty's vale or abounding in wealth,
At home or abroad, on the land or the sea--
As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.

Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o'erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

E'en down to old age, all my people shall prove
My sov'reign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And then, when gray hair shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs shall they still in my bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!
It was a great day.
I have loved serving here is Mt. Sneffles ward. I will miss it. I am excited though for a new transfer and a new place. I hope you all have a great week.

Till next time,
Elder Dallin S Pulsipher

Week 73 - Montrose

Just outside ouray in our area
Hello everyone,
We had a great week. Things are finally starting to pick up a little here.
I lost my planner so I honestly dont remember day by day so here are some highlights.
Tom is doing well. He is progressing and is getting closer to the truth. He has opened up a lot more and has started asking more questions.

Puzzle I got for Christmas and a few other presents 
We have been working with a Bill. He is a less active that after a serious car accident started to meet with missionaries. He has an interesting story. Since then he has gone through what would seem many awful things, including cancer. However he sees the blessings in it and has shown me the hand of God in someones life. He prays more than any person I know. It is interesting how a person grows closer to God when humbling experiences happen.

The gingerbread house is a temple
I have been studying the Old Testament and came across the Story of Gideon. It honestly is one of my favorite scriptural stories, and is a lesson that was taught in Sunday School when I came home for the summer. It is a story of a week man who becomes a powerful hero by relying on God. I believe I like it because you see his weaknesses and how he overcomes them. The story is found in Judges 6-8.
Just outside ouray in our area
On Thursday we had a huge mission tour. All the Assistants and the entire western slope come together for a meeting on Planning and the goals for the mission and the new year. It has helped a ton to be more focused. The meeting also introduced new standards of Excellence which are provided to help us become better missionaries. I honestly haven't liked them in the past because they changed so much but this time it was all focused on progressing people to baptism. We also had a huge push to keep the morning schedule exactly which has been very helpful.

Honestly that is pretty much the entire week. It has been very cold here but no more snow. I hope you all have a great new year. With this new year it has been more apparant that I go home in August. It flies by.

Till next time, Elder Dallin S Pulsipher