Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey guys,

First off I want to say sorry about there not being a letter last week. For some reason my iPad not only didn't send it but also erased the whole thing, so I couldn't have resent it even if I wanted to. And by the time I figured out it didn't send, it was already half way through the week. So the basically what the letter last week said was that "I had a baptism!" Yeah, my iPad chose a TERRIBLE time to not work.  But anyways, the baptism was awesome. It was one of my past investigators from when I was serving in the Bella Vista ward in Arlington. My investigator and her brother and sister were hands down my favorite family that I worked with when I was there. Her brother has been a member for over a year now and we were teaching his sisters and it was going really well. They were going to church, we had a great relationship with them, and they had a ton of support from the ward. The only problem was her situation with the rest of her family. They aren't too fond of us Mormons so it honestly looked like she was never going to be able to get baptized, otherwise it would make a big impact on the family. However, thankfully she is trusting in the Lord and decided to go through with it, despite what may arise. So she was baptized last week, and I was SO excited. You have no idea how happy I was to be able to go back to Bella Vista and see all the people from the ward, all of my friends. The best part was that no one was expecting me to come, so they all lit up when they saw me, especially my investigator and her family. It feels great to be remembered and see that I really did make an impact on these people’s lives. They keep telling me that they miss me and are just waiting for the time when I come back to Bella Vista. Hopefully that is soon.

As for this week, nothing too spectacular. We did have a Chalra Fogonera (Fireside) where all the recent converts can go to and a few are chosen to bare their testimony. It's always a great meeting because not only do we get to see past converts, members, and investigators, but all the missionaries are there too! Basically, it's a giant Spanish program reunion with a ton of people from past wards.

We did have some success missionary work wise. Right now it has been pretty slow with this whole area, nothing seems to be catching on. But, I have an investigator right now that has a ton of potential. We just barely had a super awesome lesson where we basically re-established what the apostasy was because she didn't understand why she needed to be baptized again. Essentially, we recovered the entire Book of Mormon and where it came from. She knows the Bible REALLY well and she wondered why it doesn't talk about Joseph Smith, Moroni, or any of the other things we have taught her. Well, after a quick history lesson about Jesus's death and all the apostles, then the Nicene Creed, the reformation, the pilgrims, and eventually to Joseph Smith again, she was SUPER excited to read the Book of Mormon. She could hardly wait for us to leave her house so she could start reading! 

So that's that! Another week down as well as closing up the month. Yesterday was my 8 month mark and it's crazy to think exactly how long 8 months is. It is a very, very, long time. And 2 years is even longer. 

Anyways, Love you all!
Elder Biehn

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody!

This past week was a very productive week! Not necessarily missionary wise but at the same time it was. Let me explain. Remember how I said that this ward needs help? Well we definitely were giving it this past week. We started doing a ton of work with the members and the leadership within the ward to help it get kick started. Our emphasis right now is with the young men because they are the future of the church and a lot of them aren't planning to go on missions. So we decided that they are top priority. We developed a plan and shared it with the leadership of the young men, then yesterday we put it into effect and that is what we will be doing for this next upcoming week and the weeks to follow. Now, the reason this isn't really mission related is because it doesn't count towards our key indicators. Our key indicators is our numbers that we report, which we count based off of how many lessons we had during the week. Unfortunately, member work isn't one of the key indicators, so even though we have a lot of lessons with members, none of it counts towards the numbers. However, what we are doing is productive to the missionary work because it does two things. It helps prepare the members to start doing more missionary work and working more unified as a ward. This in turn will bless the future missionaries that work with this ward. This also makes it WAY easier to get investigators to church and help them to keep coming to church. They can see the way a ward operates and we want to give the best impression possible.

Speaking of investigators, one of our new investigators we found is progressing! He is actually doing the things we invited him to do, like pray and read from the Book of Mormon. He even took it a step further and shared the things he learns from reading and what we teach him to his wife and kids. Now his whole family is interested and we are planning to meet with all of them together some time this week. We want to do a baptismal invite and hopefully get him on date, which is HUGE! I'm so excited about these guys, they have so much potential and it is great to see our hard work beginning to pay off.

Another really cool thing that happened this past week was that my dad was able to help the missionary work. He gave me a referral for one of his friends that just so happens to be living in my area I'm in right now. It was awesome to be able to connect with him and he even invited us back next week. This could not have worked out better because the timing was perfect.

Well, that's a recap of what I did this week. Hopefully this next week will be even better and I can have more success in this area. Love you guys and talk to you next week!

Elder Biehn

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5, 2015 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

This past week was REALLY long. Not in a bad way though, it just seemed to drag and it is finally P-day again. I'm looking back on the week and it seems like it was forever ago. But it was actually a really productive week, I would say. General Conference was awesome, at least the parts I understood were. Yes, I had to watch it in Spanish. I only was able to watch one session in English and that was actually the most I got out of the whole thing. So, my plan is to re-watch the whole thing in ENGLISH so that way I get more out of it. I could understand it perfectly fine in Spanish, it's just that things don't really connect like they should.

As a missionary, we have the option to either watch conference at the church building or with members. We decided to watch it with members and we were able to visit 4 different families because of it. One for each session. The Sunday morning one was especially great because not only did they feed us lunch (conference goes from 12-2 and 4-6), but the whole family speaks English! So that was the one session I got to watch in English. And to make it better, the entire house is Cowboys fans!  So there is something I DEFINITELY can connect on, haha. I was talking to the dad, a non-member, about how the Cowboys are doing and basically having an awesome sports talk. Elder Bernay had no idea what I was talking about, and neither did this guy’s wife and daughters. They kind of just left us off to the side to talk. It was pretty funny because they said we were talking a different language.

So, earlier in the week was crazy as well. We had to take our car in to get repairs on Monday because some previous elders had gotten into an accident before. Nothing too serious, just a fender bender but it still needed to be fixed. They told us that it was going to take at least 5 days to fix, so me and Elder Bernay were pretty bummed because now we couldn't do hardly any work. If we wanted to, we would have to walk. And pretty much everything and everybody is at least an hour way by walking. It wasn't looking too promising. Well, on Tuesday, I went on an exchange with Elder Peterson, one of my zone leaders, and he came here to my area. Well without a car we didn't have much to do, so we said a prayer to ask Heavenly Father to help us remain productive and still be able to work, even without a car. Then, we begin walking. After about 45 minutes, we get a call from Elder Lowe, a senior missionary who is in charge of the cars. He tells us the car is fixed and ready to be picked up. That was definitely a miracle in every sense because not only did they finish it within a day when they said it would take 5, but also they finished it just in time for a huge rain storm that hit. We got our car back right before it started pouring rain and we were able to get some real work done.

It's getting colder here. It is in the low 50's now on average and showers here and there. I've had to wear a jacket every day this week, so now it's time to start busting out my winter gear! Only a few things though, like sweaters and jackets. It's funny, me and Elder Bernay are both from California so we are totally used to the heat, but Elder Bernay has absolutely no cold resistance at all. The way he is dressing right now makes it seem like he is about to go face a blizzard. And it hasn't even started snowing yet! I'm super excited for winter because I love the cold and I'll finally be able to have a white winter!

Love you guys and you'll hear from me next week

Elder Biehn