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Weather turning cold

Hello all!

Boy, what a week! Seems that the week passes by like lightning! Within one short week, the temperature has dropped from great, crisp, weather, to extremely windy (as in 70 mph gusts) and downright cold (as in lows in 20s). The leaves are starting to fall, and the roads are starting to get covered with yellow, red, and orange. It truly is sight to see. Hopefully I can take some pictures next week.

We have a new investigator as well. She's really sincere and looking for truth. We are so excited to be teaching her.

We also had an interesting Colfax experience yesterday. We tracted into a 3 people who want to come to Church. Being Colfax apartment, 2 out of the three were drunk, high, smoking, and/or had mental complications. But there was a really cool guitarist who was surprisingly both sober and sane. He sang a country song for us he wrote-- it was SO good! Then I got on the keyboard and we jammed out with "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief." It was pretty fun.

They were all really nice people, and who knows whose life and situations may change? The Gospel is wonderful-- it really is the answer and enabler of life. No matter what the situation of problem, all people are best helped as they learn and accept the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I think even we, as Church members, don't really understand it. I believe it was Dieter F. Uchtdorf that said in a recent General Conference, essentially, that the Gospel is the answer to all problems-- individual or societal, religious, moral, economic, physical, and anything in between. I never understood that until my mission. When people accept and live the Gospel, all aspects of life improve. I know that to be true.

Attached is Scott Petersen's rendition of the average mission-- I think I can personally identify 95% of these cartoon characters to real missionaries in our mission.

Now here's a question: which one am I? =)

Have another great week! And if you've been having rough weeks, here's my expert mood-lifting medical advice: try praying for and taking advantages of opportunities to share the Gospel-- it works! As a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, I promise that in His name, amen.

Beautiful Foothills

Hello all:

Boy, what a fun area this is! The Foothills area is amazing! We've only been within 10 miles of our eastern border once, but that area is beautiful. The mountains are gorgeous (see pictures), there is wildlife everywhere (see pictures), and lives up to the Rockies' reputation.

In terms of missionary work, we are going forth searching for those who are ready for our message. If tracting responses are any indicator, this area is truly "white and ready to harvest." I'm so excited to see the work go forth here.

I've attached two drawings:
  • The Book of Mormon-- The Ultimate Missionary: This drawing was created by my youngest brother Joseph. I don't know if he quite understands exactly how on target he is. Every time I look at it (it usually hangs in our room), I am astounded by how profound it really is. It reminds me of how blessed we are to have the Book of Mormon. What a wonderful gift it is! I have seen experiences on my mission that confirm every day that the Book of Mormon is true. It's not until I got on my mission that i realized that everything we believe can be founded and based on the Book of Mormon.

    When I began my mission, I taught mainly from the Bible, trying to prove the doctrines we teach from the Old and New Testament. While this is nice, it lacks the convincing power the Book of Mormon has in conversion. It truly is far more powerful a witness, and has more potent a power than any elder or sister this world can send forth.

  • Asking for Referrals: This is a comic an elder in our mission drew up. Preach My Gospel instructs us to ask for referrals from everyone. This is supposed to help us find more people to teach, However, it is ironic to note that active members and uninterested people at doors have about the same referral rate. Usually when we ask members to share the Gospel, or to invite someone to hear our message, we get the same response, "Not right now, Elders!"

    I think we as active members tend to take for granted the blessings we've received from the Gospel, and don't really feel motivated to share it. We don't realize how much others need and sometimes even recognize that they want what we have to share!

    On the other hand, investigators who've received testimonies, and members returning to activity in the Church, are "easy to be entreated--" they know the new-found joy of activity in the Gospel a part of their lives, and are desirous to share that joy with others.

Hopefully we as members don't feel burdened, pressured, or even annoyed when missionaries ask us if we have any acquaintances they can teach. May we take a careful inventory of our lives and truly account for where we would be if someone had not freely shared the Gospel with us. It is only fair that we should be willing to share the Gospel with others freely as well. This I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

PS: Yes, we have a wheelchair in our house-- it's kind of fun =)

First week in Foothills Ward

Wow, what a week! Definitely one of the most hectic if my mission.

Thursday was transfers. I am now in the Foothills Ward covering portions of Lakewood and Golden (see map). We're re-opening the area after missionaries have been absent for a while. Got a new companion (Elder Mooney), and got a car (2010 Ford Fusion). I'm rather excited about the car-- after 13 months on a bike, I've racked up enough cycling miles to get me to NC (and back) a few times.

We spent 3 hours on Sunday making a large wall tracting map and a mini navigational map based on borders left over from previous missionaries, and then found out yesterday that our borders go MUCH farther than we knew-- we extend from Wadsworth to out past Lookout Mountain! So we cover literally scores of miles... and yet we only get 165 miles per week. Oh well-- we'll count our blessings.

Housing is fun, too. A ward family owned a sort of really, really old folks' home in our area. When the last resident, um... "moved on," they agreed to let the missionaries stay there. It's super nice-- it's the size of a mansion with 3 stories and more tunnels and passageways than a haunted house. It has 11 bedrooms-- perfect because at the moment there are 9 missionaries being housed there (my companionship, a threesome, the Zone Leaders, and the Kemptons, a Senior Missionary Couple)

It was really weird to come to because it still looks like an old folks' home-- shower seats and toilet assistance thingies in the bathrooms,oxygen tanks and wheelchairs everywhere, and the smell of a hospital.

The Kemptons (the Senior missionary couple) are fantastic. They've been working with less-actives and part-member families in this ward for several months and have really been a blessing. Sister Kempton is an angel-- she's always helping us elders out (although she says she feels like a frat mom sometimes). Elder Kempton is hilarious-- he constantly reminds us that people have died in our house, our rooms, and very likely our beds.

All in all, we're super-excited to get to work in this area. There is so much potential. Streets have gone many months since being tracted (contrast to Orchard South where they go maybe 2-3 weeks). We're already finding people who are expressing interest in our message. I've got a good feeling about this place.

OK-- Pictures:
  • My new companion: Elder Mooney, from Chandler, AZ
  • The Southglenn District after General Conference (Assistants included)