Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27, 2015 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everyone,

I can honestly say that not much changes once you get used to the mission field. The only really interesting things to write about are transfers, exchanges, baptisms, etc. but other than that it stays the same. I'm just going through my day making visits and driving. When we do manage to meet someone then it is often not anything too dramatic. We just share a quick message about the family, or Joseph smith, or the Book of Mormon, then we get their number and try to set up a return appointment. Then we move on. That's how street contacts normally go. 
The Washington DC Temple

Me and Elder Hernandez haven't had much luck with finding a ton of new people to teach but we do have quite a bit of investigators right now that are super solid. The family way back that me and Elder Oran found is getting baptized this Sunday on August 2nd! Yay! They are so awesome and they love it when we come over. They will make a great addition to the ward and it really gives me a peaceful feeling knowing that I helped them come to know the gospel. I love that family, I don't think there are better words to describe it. None that I can think of right now anyways. They are so willing to do everything we ask or invite them to. For example, this past Friday us missionaries organized a viernes de película (movie Friday) for the ward. We all invited our investigators to come and it was a great turn out. We watched Meet the Mormons in Spanish and I can tell everyone loved it. The bishop even said the next Sunday, "ok when is the next time we can organize another one of those?" Score!
Another trip to the temple with some recent converts. 

Then on Sunday, me and Elder Hernandez went to the temple again but with a different group of people. It was with some recent converts that we got to know pretty well. Then the sister of one of the recent converts came with as well. She is our investigator that we have been working with. Anyways, the temple trip was super good because we had a tour about temples and the purpose of them. I know she really enjoyed it along with our whole group that went.

I guess I kind of wrote a lot for having a boring week but those two events really made it good. Everything else was average, lol. Another week come and go.

Elder Biehn
We were bored one night...that's all I can say about this picture. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Email

Hey everyone!

Wow this week really flew by! It felt like just yesterday was P-day and here it is again. That's kind of good and a bad thing because that means I'm getting pretty close to transfers. I'm almost certain that I'm getting transferred in 3 weeks which is kind of unfortunate because I really love this area and the people that we are teaching and I get along with my companion super well. I think that my biggest fear is that I'm going to get a new companion that I don't like. Plus it will be someone that I don't know at all so I would have that awkward stage at the beginning trying to get to know the guy. But that's the life of a missionary so I really just need to get used to it. What I'm really not looking forward to is having to pack up all my things from the apartment I'm in. That would be hard because I've spent my whole mission life in this area and now I'm going to have to leave it. Also because everything I own fits into 2 suitcases as well but that's another story. So I'm really just trying to enjoy the weeks I have left here and what time I have before I'm uncomfortable again.

Anyways, this past week was really fun. Last P-day I went to DC again with some other elders. We ended up walking around the air and space museums and I could honestly spend days in that building. There is so much cool airplane stuff, and rockets, and outer space models, and World War 2 things. It's so cool! I will definitely be going back to that before my mission is through, probably more than just a couple times. Lol. Afterwards we went out to eat and then walked back to the metro station, then to our car and drove home. Then it was back to work.
The Washington DC Temple

Later in the week, I went with some investigators to temple. It was awesome! The visitor center is huge and has a ton of stuff. I believe the Washington, D.C. Temple is the only visitor center that has a model of inside the temple. It showed the different rooms and a lot of the stuff. We watched the movie "Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration" in Spanish and I understood it! Yay! The sisters gave a tour of the visitor center and it was really fun. Then we all went back outside and took pictures in front of the temple. It is massive! It is in the top 3 biggest temples in the world, next to Salt Lake City temple and Los Angeles temple (woot woot!)

Me and Elder Hernandez are still going in our area and working like crazy. It has slowed down a little bit with the amount of lessons we are teaching so we are planning to do some tracting in this upcoming week. That family we were teaching is still on date and ready to be baptized. We just have a few more lessons to teach them then it's into the water they go. They are super strong and such a great family. Everyone we take with us to visit them says the same thing after each lesson. I'm loving it.
Well, until next week.

Elder Biehn

It's also been raining a lot and one of our recent converts left her umbrella behind. So we are holding onto it for her and decided to have some fun while we were at it. (Those are Elder Hernandez's glasses and he said I should should put them on to look "classy")

More of us walking in the rain.

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015 - Elder Biehn Goes English for a Day

Hey everybody,

I'm writing this email pretty early because it doesn't look like I'm going to have much time today. Me and some of the other elders in my zone are planning to go into DC today and walk around the museums. So, it should be a fun day today.

Well, another week has come and gone, and it seems like time is really starting to fly. This week went by so fast and I can't believe it is already Monday again. There was a bit of changes that happened this week. For starters, I went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders. An exchange is where we trade companions for the rest of the day, spend the night, then we switch back the next day at around lunch time. So a full 24 hour period. I enjoyed it because I got to go to a different area and be an English missionary for a day. It was tough at first because I'm so used to talking to people in Spanish, I didn't know what to do in English. So my companion for the day was Elder Peterson and he had decided to do some tracting that day. I got a taste of what real tracting is like. I am blessed to be in the Spanish program because when I would tract, it wasn't so bad. Hispanic people would at least have a conversation with you if even if they really didn't want to. They are at least polite enough to talk to you. I have to give props to English missionaries because these people don't care in the slightest how you feel. We came across this one lady and this is how the conversation goes:

Us- "Hey! How are you doing today?"
Her- "Great. What do you want?"
Us- "Well, we're missionaries for the chur-"
Her- "I'm already Christian and I know all about you Mormons and Joseph Smith and your so called bible and I'm really not interested. Now go away."
Us- "Well would you be interested in doing family history?"
Her- "No. I don't want to talk to you anymore."

That is pretty much how every contact was for anyone who opened the door. Every time, me and Elder Peterson would just look at each other and either laugh or just shrug it off. Then for good measure, we left one of our pass along cards on their door.

There is good news though. Later that day, we were trying to check up on some less active members. We had a car and were driving through this neighborhood to try and find parking when I spot a Hispanic family. We hadn't found parking yet so we weren't able to talk. However, as we were walking back to where they were, they weren't there anymore. I was kind of bummed but as we kept walking we saw the dad getting stuff from his car. So I approached him and started to talk to him in Spanish. My one day in the English program and I'm still teaching in Spanish. Anyways, I was able to give him the abbreviated Joseph Smith story, place a Book of Mormon (Spanish of course), and invite him to church. The best part was that he had been looking for a church to attend and it just so happens that we ran into him. It was a good moral booster because I can teach a lesson on my own in Spanish. Elder Peterson told afterward that he could only understand a word here and there but he did hear "domingo" which is Sunday. So he was like "sí! Sí! Domingo." We both got a laugh out of it afterward.  This really makes me appreciate how much Spanish I have actually learned.
Visiting the museums in Washington DC on p-day. 
The National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.

There's a ton of other stories I have from just that one day. So it was pretty eventful. But it helped me realize how blessed I am to be in the Spanish program, even if it is difficult at times to learn Spanish and communicate with people. But they understand that I'm white and that I'm still learning Spanish and they are really nice about it. So, I have come to the realization that white people are really rude. Haha. That is why everyone in the Spanish program refers to them as "scary white people." I'm just surprised that people, MY OWN PEOPLE, would treat someone like that, lol. But it was pretty much everyone who would do that so it doesn't really matter. In fact, these middle-eastern people were walking down the side walk and we were walking towards them. They see us and, without missing a beat, turn around and start walking the way they had come. Honestly I was tempted to go chase them down and talk to them just so I could ruin their walk they were having. Haha. But I didn't, oh well. Overall, the English missionaries have it pretty rough and I'm grateful to have been able to experience what it's like so I know how good it is to be Spanish speaking.

Have a great week and I'm off to DC to look at some museums. Woohoo!

Elder Biehn

Nasty shrimp with the head still on it and the eyes were bulging out. Ugh nasty. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

My District
Well, another week has come and gone and here I am again on P-day updating everyone on my week. So I've been with my new companion, Elder Hernandez, for over a week now and things are looking good. We get along really well and work great together. The problem I had with my trainer was that he liked to take over and I hardly said anything. But now it is more 50/50 even though I am still learning Spanish. Good news is that we have a family getting baptized coming up on July 25th!
Watching 4th of July Fireworks at Iwo Jima Memorial

Happy 4th of July btw, I know I'm a few days late but since I can't write until Monday, it's alright. It's awesome being next to the capital of the nation for 4th of July because of the history that is around. For example, me and Elder Hernandez went to the Iwo Jima memorial and watched the fireworks from there. I gotta say, super patriotic. We weren't allowed to proselyte because that would just make everyone mad and cause problem so we wanted to avoid that. We basically just took care of errands the whole day then we were free to enjoy Independence Day after 6:00pm.

I can say that I really enjoy my mission now because it's fun to go and teach the people. I used to dread it but now I have a chance to talk and practice my Spanish way more than I ever could when I was being trained.
Talk to you guys next week!


Elder Biehn