Monday, August 31, 2015

August 31, 2015 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody!

This past week marked a big spot for me in my mission. That's right, I've been out for 6 months now! I was even able to do the traditional burning a tie the day of my 6 month mark. These months have gone by pretty fast I must say. I remember back when I was writing in the CCM and I had 6 weeks there. I thought I was the big shot veteran that knew everything there. Haha Nope. I am just barely considered experienced now in the mission field. Honestly, I hope that the months go by quickly just like these past 6 months, but at the same time I don't because I want to enjoy my mission. My companion right now, Elder Mortimer, only has 2 months before he goes home and then my District Leader is going home in 3 weeks. So they are, as we call it, "trunky." Which mean they are ready to go home and it's always on their mind. It sucks because since they are so trunky it's rubbing off on me but I still have a year and a half!

Nothing really too new in our area as of now. We had a finding fest about a week ago where we spent the whole day finding new investigators. Well, we found some, and taught them, but now they dropped off the face of the Earth! For some reason we can't find a single one of them again.

Me and Elder Mortimer did have a neat experience but not gospel related at all. As we were pulling into a shell station to get gas we saw a........ Race Car! A legit one too that races in NASCAR. I don't know why he was stopped in Herndon because there isn't anything in Herndon at all. He had his truck and pulled out the car to show it off and everything. They even had a BBQ going and a DJ playing music. It was really cool to see. Not something you get too often.  Then the same day we had a dinner appointment with a member family. Her husband wasn't home so we had to sit outside and eat which wasn't all that bad because it was a nice day. Well, she brings us our food and we eat and everything is going good. As we finish she starts taking our plates and goes inside. I was readjusting in my chair when a nail was sticking out of it and caught my pants. I hear it tear and I just sat there, and whispered, "oh no." I look and there is a big hole right on the back of my pants. Luckily it was on the pocket so nothing was showing but it was stills big freaking hole running down my pocket. Best part is the Hermana comes back and notices me looking at it. "¿Se rompiĆ³ sus pantalones?" (Did you rip your pants?). I tried playing it off but she caught me. She felt so bad about it because it was her chair that did it. She even went as far as to say she is going to do a fundraiser in the ward to buy me a new pair of pants. Hahahah. Just hilarious.

Well that was the extent of my week. We are still trying to remind those investigators and I'm short a pair of pants now. Life of a missionary. You encounter some pretty strange things. Love you guys!

Love Elder Biehn

Monday, August 24, 2015

August 24, 2015 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

This past week was surprisingly really good! A definite change from how it has been going for the past weeks. Me and Elder Mortimer were actually able to get lessons in with new investigators and not just the normal people we visit. I was definitely surprised to see that, in fact we only got shut out once this week. Not ideal, but definitely an improvement from the week before.

For example, this past Saturday we had a zone wide finding fest. This was a chance for all the missionaries that work in the Oakton stake to get together in the morning to have a quick testimony meeting and really get people fired up about teaching, then committing the whole day to nothing but finding. At first I wasn't looking forward to it because this entire past week had already been a lot of finding for me and Elder Mortimer, but after testimonies, I changed my mind. It did its job. So, then we decide to go work an area that we were already planning on visiting, but after about an hour we had no luck at all. We hadn't even seen any Hispanics the entire time we were there, which is strange for the area we were in. The first one we saw, he was grilling, so we went and talked to him. We nearly put out his coals but we were able to get a return appointment for next week. We left that area then went to another where we had a lot of potential investigators. The first house we try, a young man opens up and we have a discussion about Jesus. After a little bit of talking, he lets us in. As I go in, I look around and find a restoration pamphlet. Perfect! We capitalized on the opportunity and got talking about the restoration. This guy had some really good questions that he was asking as well. Not the normal investigator questions you get when explaining the restoration but legit questions that takes a bit of thought to come up with. I was pleasantly surprised. To say the least we have a new investigator. Then a couple days later, we decide to go to the same area and meet with another person we had found earlier in the week. As we are walking, the same guy was sitting on the porch talking with a friend. We were thinking, "Well, we have to go talk to him otherwise it's just going to be awkward to pass by." So that's what we did. We met his friend and talked and tried to get to know him. Then, we did the transition from talking to teaching and introduced the Book of Mormon. As I was explaining, another one of his friends is getting home from soccer so he joins in on the lesson too. I think they really enjoyed talking with us because they seemed interested in the Book of Mormon. Either that or they were just surprised to see two gringos speaking in perfect Spanish. It was probably a combination of the two.

Oh, funny story. So we had a dinner appointment set with a member and we go. Well, she decided that she wanted to cook spaghetti for us. When I saw it, I thought to myself, "Oh no." Every time I eat spaghetti, without fail, it always seems to spill on me. This time was no exception. As I was eating the last few bits of my noodles (still clean at this point, no spills), one of the noodles decides to whip around and spread the runny sauce all across my white shirt. Ugh! Every time... And it was toward the end too! I thought I was in the clear! But nope. So now I've got spaghetti sauce across my shirt and I did my best to clean it up but it was still all over, and now we had to make the long walk back to our car. I tell Elder Mortimer we need head back to the apartment and do a shirt change. Apparently he got some spaghetti sauce on himself too. Haha. ¡Comiendo spaghetti esta peligroso! (Eating spaghetti is dangerous).

So thankfully this area is starting to pick up. It just took a little bit of work to get it kick started. I look at those first two weeks as a learning opportunity because my last area was amazing. It was a great place to start my mission in because there are always lessons and members willing to help. Coming here helped me to realize what missionary work is. And it isn't easy. It makes me think of a quote by Jeffery R. Holland, "Missionary work isn't easy because SALVATION IS NOT EASY." Imagine Elder Holland saying that in his big commanding voice. Yeah... It's like getting smacked in the face by the spirit.

Thank you guys so much for your love and support. Talk to you all later!

Elder Biehn

P.S. Here is my address for the apartment I'm in since I've had some people ask me for it.

13022 Weeping Cherry Walk #204
Herndon VA 20171

Sunday, August 23, 2015

August 17, 2015 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody,

I'm doing much better in my new area now. This past week was pretty rough because at first I was still getting used to all new missionaries, new members, new places, new investigators. And I have to learn all their names and find a way to teach them exactly what they need without knowing them! Lots of prayers were said to say the least. But it works out because I've been learning and getting to know everyone pretty well.  This area though, it's hard. Out of the past week, me and Elder Mortimer got shut out 4 out of the 7 days. Which means we didn't teach any lessons the entire day. Then, for 2 of the days we didn't get shut out, we only taught 1 lesson at night. So to say the least, we didn't do very much. Which is pretty unfair because me and him have been working like crazy to try and get something going, it's just that no one is either interested or even opens the door. After knocking on someone's door, we've had people come and look at us through the peep hole (and we can tell because we hear them walk to the door and we can see them through it (because the lights in the background go out), then they quickly shut out the lights and act like they aren't home............. Seriously? That's happened to us more than a couple of times, a lot more. We even had someone shout "Don't answer the door, no one's home."  So ya, you could imagine how depressing it is.

However, there was a miracle that happened. After a full day of being shut out, despite our best efforts, me and Elder Mortimer were pretty depressed. I was starting to question myself and my motives. It was pretty hard because we have this wonderful message and it's our job to go and share it with people but no one wants to listen. So pretty depressing to say the least and I was depressed. I said a little prayer in my heart, asking Heavenly Father "Why? If we are working so hard, why is no one answering? I thought the harder we work, the more successful we'll be."  But then, we pull up to this house that we never knock on because the lights are always out, the house is completely dark, but we tried it anyways. While we were walking up to the door, I saw a girl sitting on the sidewalk not doing anything. I had an impression to go talk to her but I told myself after this door. No answer. So we walk back to the car and start getting ready to leave, when I look back at her again, but this time the impression to go talk to her was even stronger than before. Something I couldn't deny. By this time Elder Mortimer was in the drivers seat waiting for me. I told him "I think we should go talk to her." He looks over her way, and says "Do you know what you're going to say? Have you got a script?" Of course I had no clue, "Nope." He says, "Alright this is going to be awkward." I responded, "Yep, let's do it anyways." So we walk over, introduce ourselves, ask what her name is, the usual stuff. Then she gets up all of a sudden and asks, "Do you guys want to go for a walk?"  In my mind, I'm thinking, Of course we do! So we start walking and talking. I was terrified that my mind was going to go blank half way through it because it normally does, but I found myself talking with ease. She was even asking us about what we do and everything then we ask her a few questions. After a bit of talking we find out that she is going through a really roughly time right now because her mom is in the hospital, her parents are going through a divorce, and she is about to be evicted from her house. She told us she isn't a very religious person and hardly goes to church, but she has started to pray much more and is asking for help. I believe fully that God answers prayers through the use of his children, and we were the answer to this girl's prayer. That is the reason I had such a strong impression to go talk to her. One I could not deny. So we are planning on visiting her sometime this week and hopefully introduce her to the gospel and show her how it can help her life.  I'm grateful for this experience because I have learned to trust in the spirit no matter what. I had always learned and read and talked about it, but never really experienced it. Now I know exactly what it means to be prompted by the spirit. I pondered on this a bit after getting back into the car and came to this conclusion, "After a day like this, I'm not going to ignore the spirit now."

Overall, quite the unexpected week. A lot has happened but at the same time very little. It's hard when nothing goes the way you planned, but it's amazing how one little miracle after a day of disappointment can change the mood of the entire day.

Wow, quite the letter I wrote this week. But it was a good experience and much learning took place. I love you guys and I will talk to you next week. 

Nos vemos
Elder Biehn

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10, 2015 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody!
My Companion - Elder Mortimer

This past week has been crazy to say the least. That is because I have been transferred from my first area. I have a new companion, new area, new ward. Pretty much everything is different. It's so weird! But my new companion is pretty awesome. His name is Elder Mortimer and we have a ton in common. We like like the same music, make the same jokes, and we are the two biggest white guys in the whole Spanish program, haha. Seriously, imagine how funny it is to see two big,blond hair, blue eye, white guys walking around speaking Spanish. It's pretty dang funny. It's only been a few days here and we have already gotten some strange looks.  I'll include a picture of us so you can see. 

In other news, after the transfer we had a mission activity.  Let's just say that there is a member that is loaded with a ton of money, and every year buys tickets for the missionaries to go to a Nationals game.  that's right, I went to a baseball game this past Saturday!  And it isn't just a few missionaries, no, it's the entire mission.  But that's not all, he goes and buys tickets for the two neighboring missions as well.  So there were a couple full sections of missionaries there.  It was so much fun!  Especially after transfers because I got to see the other missionaries I served around and it was in a relaxing environment where we didn't have to worry about working every minute. 

Missionary Night at the Nationals baseball game! It was nice to see old friends!
I really enjoyed watching the game but I enjoyed the fact that I got to spend time with those missionaries that I served around before. I was so happy to see my old district. Half of us had gotten transferred so it's not even close to what it was back in Arlington. It was me and Elder Hernandez, and then 4 other hermanas that I had spent the past 3-5 months with. So it was super good to see them and get pictures. That's something I didn't have a lot of was pictures of them. I didn't think I would want it so much but now I realize how important it is for those memories. So I've got quite a few pictures from that game, especially since most of the missionaries I know now won't make it to the next one a year later. Ugh, making missionary friends is rough. If they aren't in your area then you hardly get to see them.

Overall, crazy week. But I'm getting used to my new area. There's a lot of work to do and not a lot of time to do it.
Elder Everett - my companion from the Mexico City MTC. 

Love you all and I'll talk to you next week.
Elder Biehn


Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3, 2015 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Well, to start off, I have good news and bad news.  Bad news is that the family that me and Elder Hernandez were teaching backed out of getting baptized.  When I heard this, I was devastated.  I couldn't believe that this awesome family that we had taught so much to and they were progressing so well actually backed down. Apparently, a member had said something that could have been taken 2 ways and the husband took it the wrong way. So, he got offended and that stalled the progress he was making.  We are trying to meet with them to see what we can salvage.  There is a lesson to be learned from this though.  The whole week before they were going to get baptized, I had a feeling that this is going too fast, I don't know if they are ready. But I just wanted to see them get baptized so I pushed it aside.  God works in mysterious ways and if He will find a way to make it happen. It just turns out that this was the way it needed to be in order to make sure they are ready.  I think by realizing this that it has helped me to really see the bigger picture. It just is terrible thatit had to happen this way and that this member got caught up in it. I realize now that I need to repent and be more receptive to the inspirations of the spirit because that is how God works through us. I am sure that this will end up working out and that everything will be better than it was before.

Now, the good news.  Me and Elder Hernandez have a pretty large investigator pool and I have become close friends with almost all of them.  A lot of them are really close to baptism and things are looking good for the missionary work. The ward is getting excited and more motivated to do missionary work by coming out with us, feeding us, and participating in ward activities and getting to know our investigators.  Its great to see because when I first came it wasn't like this at all.

I'm really enjoying life here in Virginia as a missionary and it seems that time is flying by. It's already August! I remember being in the CCM back in February. Crazy!

Elder Biehn

Driving with Elder Hernandez

This video was taken while we were driving.  We had our seats as far forward as they would go because we had a bike in the back seat.  One of our investigators had their bike stolen and a member had an extra one that he could have.  We are on our way to deliver the bike to him.