Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Well this past week was really hectic, to say the least. The biggest reason is because of transfer meetings. Those are always crazy. But this even more so because our dear mission president, President Riggs is leaving and the new mission president, President Huntsman, is coming in. We haven't actually met him yet, but my zone will have the chance to this Friday on July 3rd. Also, my old companion and trainer, Elder Oran, got transferred. So currently, I'm in the same area and still working in Arlington. My companion now is Elder Hernandez. He was in my district before but one of the areas in our ward got shut down because our mission is downsizing. There used to be two sets of elders in our district but now there is just one. His companion finished his mission and went home and my companion went to a different area. So they just stuck us together and we both stayed. At least I don't have to get to know someone completely new now. Right now I'm leading the area which means that I have to do a lot of the planning and setting things up since my new companion doesn't know the people in this area. It's hard work, that's for sure. I've had to really step up because the past 3 months has been just me taking a back seat while Elder Oran would do a lot of the planning. Now I'm the one having to talk to everybody, in Spanish, and set up appointments.

Honestly, I'm really surprised at how much I’m actually able to do. Before, I wasn't able to comprehend or really talk in lessons or over the phone, but now I'm able to take charge and lead the conversation. It really is true that when the necessity arises, all you need to do is put forth your best and God will cover the rest.

One such occasion was this past Sunday. I never realized quite how stressful Sunday's actually were for missionaries until having to lead
the area. For example, this Hermana in the ward called us and said she could pick up our family of investigators we had coming so I was really relaxed and thinking, "This will be great." No. She calls back later and tells us she can't do it today but she can for next week. So I scramble really fast and get a Hermano in the ward to go pick them up but the problem is that he has to get gas in his car. Ok not that big of a problem and an easy fix. So I thank him and head to church. I call our family to tell them that the Hermano is picking them up but they don't answer. I just think, "Alright they'll find out that he will pick them up when he gets there." Then the same Hermana calls back and says that she can pick them up today, but it is next week that she can't pick them up. Ugh! I call back that Hermano in the ward and reschedule it for next week. Then the family calls me and tells me that they can't come because they are sick from food poisoning. Uhh...

So I call back the Hermana and cancel the ride. And I was doing all this while trying to prepare for my talk I had during sacrament. Yes, I had to speak in sacrament meeting as well that day. The topic was Gordon B Hickley’s talk in General Conference of 2007 on "slow to anger." Ironic, isn't it? So sacrament starts and we get through the announcements, then my investigator that got baptized last week was getting confirmed. So I had to do the confirmation in front of the whole congregation then give my talk after the sacrament. It was a crazy day but I finally got to relax once sacrament meeting was over. That was the hard part.

Sorry for such a long letter but it really was a crazy week for me. Anyways, I could really feel God's hand guiding me and helping me along the way. I definitely would not have been able to do that on my own.

I love you all and you will hear from me next week.

Elder Biehn

My district before the transfer: 
Hermana Christensen, Hermana Tate, Hermana Christensen (yes there are two), Hermana Moberly, ME, Elder Oran, Elder Hernandez (my new companion), and Elder Milner

Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody,

This week is the last few days I have before transfer meeting. I'm finishing my training so I'm sure I'm getting a new companion which will be nice. It's at around this point that you feel like you are ready for a change and there are little things that get on your nerves. I also started driving this week as well. My companion used to be the driver but we got a monitoring system called the TIWI. Long story short, he's not allowed to drive anymore. I've missed driving so much. I haven't driven for 4 months and so I was a little worried when I started. But I got the hang of it again and it is so relaxing. On a spiritual note, we had another baptism this past weekend. She was another one of the investigators that I inherited. I was just lucky enough to be here when she agreed to baptism. As for other investigators, we have 3 families that we are teaching. My companion says that is super rare for any part of the mission so I'm super lucky. Two of them look promising, like they will get baptized soon. The other is going to take a bit more work but I'm sure they will.

Adios and I'll talk to you next week!

Elder Biehn

We got to go to Arlington National Cemetery today.  It was one Elder's last p-day in this area.

Arlington National Cemetery
Tomb of the Unknowns - Changing of the Guard

The Iwo Jima Memorial - Elder Milner,
Elder Hernandez, Elder Oran, Elder Biehn

The humidity is horrible!

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 15 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everyone,

I had a good week because our family that we found is making progress! Honestly, I would be surprised if they don't get baptized. It was awesome because we brought a member with us to our lesson. They are both from Peru and so hit it off instantly. Then they even made it to church. The part was that they were trying to schedule their own ride to get to church. The same member that we took with us was the one to give them the ride, so I'm talking to you members right now. Go with the missionaries! You never know who you might be able to fellowship and you could be the reason that an investigator sticks with the church at first.

On another note, I did a lot of service this week. There is another investigator family that we have that I've been meeting with since I got here, and they haven't done very much along the lines of progressing. But anyways we helped them with yard work. They were laying a lawn. Let's just say I was tired and really sunburnt by the end of it. I found that I need to work on the Christlike attribute of charity because I was not enjoying it. Then later in the week we had a zone wide service project where we were stuffing backs for a set of games that this county puts on. So it ended up being fun because there were other missionaries there that I could talk with.

The end of the transfer is coming up in a week and a half and this next one is going to be crazy. My companion is sure that he is leaving the area, my district leader is finishing his mission, I'm going to have to lead the area, and President Riggs is being released as mission president. We are all counting down the days to June 25 because everything is going to change. And I just got used to it too.

Adios and I will talk to you next week.

Elder Biehn

Monday, June 8, 2015

June 8 - Elder Biehn Weekly Update

Alright, time for another weekly letter to everyone to let you know how I'm doing. I'm going to start with my investigators because I've had a lot of questions about that. So, we have a very small investigator pool because a lot of them are frozen and aren't keeping commitments. I have one baptism scheduled for the 20th of June, but other than that, not much else. We do a lot of work with less actives which I see is just as, if not more important. These people have made their covenants and still fell away and it is more dangerous for them because they actually know. It's like it says in 2 Nephi 31:14 "and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me." So it's really important we get these people back to church. I know it doesn't have the glory of adding numbers to your baptism count but that isn't the focus. Plus, less active members know a lot more non-Mormons then active members, usually. So we can always ask them for people they think might be interested.

On another note, I had the chance to lead my area this past week. What that means is that my companion leaves for the day and a different elder comes to work with me. Since he knows nothing our investigators I have to do all the planning. I'll tell you, it wasn't easy. The morning is mostly studying and preparing for the day so that was easy, but once the afternoon came it was ridiculous. No one is home between lunch and 4 and so we have to find something to do between that time. Nobody is around and there is absolutely nothing
that we can possibly do because everyone is working. Tracting, visiting, even with members. So we ended up taking care of some loose ends until our prime proselyting hours came.

The past weekend was really good for my companion, and that's because we got fed A LOT. The past three night we've had dinner with someone. And every time it was super filling and I was able to go without eating for at least one meal. I was content with one meal a day, which is absurd for me. Especially last night. One of the members in my ward invited the four elders to dinner at his house. Let me tell you that Argentinian men know how to cook. He had made some of the best carne asada and salchicha I've had in a while. We were all stuffed by the time we were done and very, very happy.

Well that's about it for this week. I look forward to hearing from everyone and I will talk to you next week.

Elder Biehn

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey guys!

Man, do I have a story for you! A lot of good has happened this past week and I truly feel that Heavenly Father guides us to where we need to be right when we need to be there. On Tuesday, one of our appointments fell through so we had an extra 30 minutes before our next appointment. We had the impression to go visit a member of the ward, which we had originally planned for if we had time. Normally 30 minutes isn't enough time to do anything but I felt like we had to so we did. We call him up and ask if we can visit, of course he says yes. We get there and we start having a good conversation but then he asks if we have some extra time. Apparently, one of his neighbors needs help to take things out to the trash. His neighbor had been having a lot of health issues lately and just barely got out of the hospital, so she was on bed rest. He tells us he wants to give her a blessing but needs help because he hasn't given one before (he is a convert for two years). Of course we agree and we ask her if she has faith in God and in His son, Jesus Christ. The spirit was so strong at that point as she struggles to explain that she knows there is something greater than us but she knows he can help. We proceed to the blessing and it is me and the member that are doing it. He gives such a strong blessing and afterwards she wants us to come back again because she felt that there was something different about us. She was the reason that we had 30 extra minutes that day.

Right before that happened, we had a lesson with our current investigator and we brought a recent convert with us. He brought with him his little sister that isn't a member. We had an awesome lesson about baptism with everyone participating and our investigator committed to be baptized on June 20th! So overall, that was a great day.

Yesterday was a miracle as well. So I woke up early and decided to make myself French toast for breakfast. You have to understand that this is monumental moment because I've been eating cold cereal for breakfast every morning for the past 2 months. It turned out great, thank you mom and dad for teaching me how to cook. After I had the thought nothing can ruin my day, I had French toast this morning. Honestly, yesterday should have been really discouraging because we hadn't taught anyone because all our appointments fell through and no one was opening the door. Then on our last door we were going to knock before going home, they let us in. There was a whole family! And they were excited to see us because they had listened to the missionaries before but both of them got transferred out so no one else came to visit. This family was awesome, they were just soaking it all up. We had a great lesson on the Book of Mormon, prophets, Joseph Smith, and prayer. Of course they had the standard objections to the restoration but we were able to answer it with scriptures and truly testifying of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. And now we have a return appointment scheduled for next week and they invited us to come by whenever we need something. This family has so much potential I will be shocked if they don't get baptized. So after our day of failure, we end up finding 5 new investigators at once. That was the reason we didn't have any other lessons and were prompted to go to that street to tract.

I know that God works miracles among His children and he prepares them to receive the Gospel. When they're ready, often times they will run into us. When I say us, I don't just mean the missionaries, I mean every member of the church. You never know what people you will have an effect on. Often times, if we talk to a person they almost always have a friend that is Mormon or somehow know a Mormon. That is the way we, as missionaries, are able to get into people's homes and teach them.

I love all of you and be sure to do your part in spreading the Gospel. 

Elder Biehn