Monday, December 26, 2016

December 26, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I hope you all had an amazing Christmas yesterday. I really enjoyed mine because I got to talk to my family again. Crazy part is that was my last time before going home, not to get trunky or anything, haha. Even more crazy than Christmas was Christmas Eve. In the Hispanic culture, Christmas Eve is the big huge celebration rather than Christmas Day. Everyone stays up late with their families until about midnight. Right at midnight is when all the kids are allowed to open their presents. Of course we weren't able to stay out that late but it was still fun to hang out with members until we did have to go home.
Right after church on Christmas!
Baptism of Mireya on Christmas Eve

I loved how Christmas was on Sunday this year. What better way to celebrate Christmas? Sacrament meeting was super special because all we did was read some scriptures about the Savior’s birth and sing Christmas hymns.

Also, WE HAD A BAPTISM! On Christmas Eve! And I had the privilege of baptizing her. She isn't our investigator, she is being taught by the Hermanas but we still have done quite a bit of work with her to help out. Another awesome thing about this baptism is that at the beginning of the year the mission set a goal to baptize 300 people. And I baptized the 300th person on Christmas Eve! I think that is just so awesome and so special. I've never been to a baptism on Christmas Eve but what better gift to get on Christmas than the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Last, but certainly not least; In fact definitely not least, but probably the most important thing. Saving the best for last! Last night we had a conference call with our mission president where he informed us as a mission that we accomplished our goal of 300 baptisms, but then he dropped a bomb shell on us. This upcoming January, so next month, we will be having another General Authority visit. It will be from Elder Gong of the Presidency of the Seventy, but he wanted to bring some others with him too. So it turns out that Elder Ronald A Rasband and Elder M Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will BOTH be coming to our mission to visit. Like this is crazy news! In two years of serving a mission here I have never had an apostle visit. Heck, I've never even met an apostle in my life! And two of them are going to be coming next month! This is so awesome and the whole mission is freaking out right now! Haha, so I'm super excited and it'll definitely be an awesome thing to experience.

So that's it for this week. Awesome news and a great Christmas. Also, I'm going to be going to DC today with some other good buddies in the mission. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and see if I can send them today.
Love you all and have an amazing week!
Elder Biehn

Monday, December 19, 2016

December 19, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everyone!
Fire alarm in the middle of studies!

This has been a very strange week for me, including this morning. We had the fire alarm go off right in the middle of studies. So we all had to go outside and it wasn't fun considering it was like 30 degrees. To say the least, we weren't too happy.

BUT it was a pretty fun week. We had our Ward Christmas party on Friday and then a Charla Fogonera (fireside) yesterday. I enjoyed the Ward party because of course they had good food there, but then also it was a good chance to talk with the members. We had a lot of the less actives that we are working with show up to it along with one of our investigators, so that was super awesome. We also had Santa there but I forgot to take a picture with him.  Sorry!

As for the Charla, it was ok. There weren't a ton of people there but what was good is that I got to go and we had our investigators go as well. What was also nice was that this is Elder Justesen's last Charla because he goes home in less than two weeks. So it was good to see him again before he heads out.

Last but certainly not least, I had the opportunity to interview one of the investigators of the Hermanas in my district for baptism. She passed and what's awesome is that she is going to be getting baptized on the 24th, Christmas Eve! And even more awesome is that she asked me to baptize her! So we are going to be having a white Christmas! (It doesn't look like it's going to snow before Christmas but that's ok, this is SOOO much better!)

Love you guys and I'll talk to you next week! And MERRY CHRISTMAS! I'm looking forward to being able to talk to my family this Sunday. It'll be the last time on my mission! Crazy how fast it's gone by.


Elder Biehn

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

December 13, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody!

Crazy busy day yesterday. Elder Bennett from the seventy came to visit our mission and so we had a half mission conference yesterday. Man, this training lasted FOREVER. We got to the chapel at 9:30 and we didn't get back to our apartment until 6! It was so long and kinda rough because Elder Bennett is known for how much he chastises missions. Ours wasn't as bad because we've been doing good but he made sure to call us out on what we weren't doing right.

Running the camera at the Mt Vernon Christmas Festival
Anyways, in brighter news we also had interviews with president this week. Interviews are always nice because it gives you a chance just to talk to president so that way he sees how you are doing.

Then we also participated in a Christmas festival for the MT Vernon area. We all (as in the missionaries in the stake) sang Joy to the World. It was pretty fun considering we only had about 30 minutes to rehearse and we all know that my singing abilities are... well I just don't have any. But it was fun none the less! Then afterwards we got to control the camera for the rest of the show! That's what I enjoy doing for sure!

Yahhh! A Christmas tree!
Another good thing that happened. We got a little present from one of our less actives that we are working with. She was cleaning out her apartment and decided to give us this!
I was so happy!!! Like you have no idea. I didn't have a Christmas tree last year and being able to have one for this year made everything so much better and give me more of that Christmas season feeling.
A cool city scape

We were also doing some tracting and found a cool city scape. :)

Well, that's about it for this week. Just a little bit more before Christmas! I'm so excited and I hope everyone is remembering the true meaning of Christmas and doing the #LightTheWorld.

Love yah!

Elder Biehn

Monday, December 12, 2016

December 12, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update Postponed

Hey I have to change my P-Day to Tuesday because we are having a training. I'll be able to write then.

Elder Biehn

Monday, December 5, 2016

December 5, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

 Hey guys!

There's not too much to report on for this week. Nothing insanely crazy happened, it was just a normal week of working and finding and teaching. Something cool though was that my birthday was last Monday but Tuesday was awesome! We had a fun little district meeting and my companion made me a cake. It was pretty cool.

Celebrating my birthday with my district!
So that's my district. Oh I forgot to mention that I'm the district leader again.  That one kinda slipped my mind during the past couple of emails. But I am enjoying it! Old Town is a really good Ward and my district is awesome. It requires a decent amount of studying so that I can keep things interesting and my district up beat. So that means I've been having some really good studies lately. 21 months in and I'm still learning! Pretty cool how the mission works that way.

Dinner at Chipotle with recent converts from Bella Vista. 
Later on Tuesday I had a nice surprise as well. My recent converts from Bella Vista wanted to take me out to dinner. So we met up and it was great because it's been a while since I've been able to see them.

We went to Chipotle and it was super good! Definitely a fun night.

Like I said, other than that not too much really interesting happened. The weather has been kinda funky though. On Tuesday it was like 70 degrees. Yesterday was about in the mid 50s. Like it's December already, come on Virginia you're acting like California! Lol.

Hope you guys have an amazing week and remember, Christmas is coming! Be sure to be doing the activity the church is putting on #LightTheWorld

Elder Biehn

Monday, November 28, 2016

November 28, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey guys!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! I know I did. It was awesome because we had a family prepare a completely traditional Thanksgiving dinner which is something that they've never done before. You see, in Hispanic culture everything has rice and some kind of spice to it, and this was how it was for me last year. The last Thanksgiving dinner I had was basically the Hispanic version of Thanksgiving. Now don't get me wrong, it is still really good food, but it just doesn't have that traditional feel to it. But this time, with this family (well, I should say two families because they were both there) they prepared an amazing traditional Thanksgiving dinner (when I say they, I mean the one person there who grew up in an American home so she had all the traditions already). And for the first time in 2 years, I was teaching OTHER people how to eat the food. It was so funny because besides me, Elder Thompson, and the hermana who prepared the food, the family had never seen stuffing or cranberry sauce in their lives. It was so funny teaching them how to eat it, let alone trying to say the name of the food! They couldn't pronounce the names so they kept referring to it as "la cosa rara," translated is the weird thing.  Good news is that they enjoyed it and I enjoyed having a little bit of American culture back into my life.

Now, it's a tradition as missionaries (at least for me anyways) to go to as many member homes as you can on Thanksgiving and eat as much as possible. This year I managed to down 5 meals! Granted they weren't all the same serving size (one of them was literally a spoon full of mashed potatoes, broccoli, and some other stuff) but still it was a TON of food. My poor companion is definitely not as big as I am and has a small stomach so he was struggling by the 2nd meal, but he powered through it! I didn't have to eat breakfast or lunch the following day. We were able to visit lots of members and enjoy our time together, especially because they enjoy the company of missionaries. The family I was talking about earlier, the one that made the fully traditional dinner, was so sweet because they referred to us as part of their family since we weren't able to be with ours on that day. Truly an awesome last Thanksgiving in the mission and something I will remember for the rest of my life.

Exchanges with Elder Everett
Now, that's just what happened on Thanksgiving. This has been a really eventful week for me. For starters I had the chance to go on exchanges with Elder Everett, my first companion back from the good ol CCM days. On the exchange was really an awesome experience to be able to look back and realize just how far we've come since stepping foot in Mexico. It was really an eye opener for me to help me recognize all the progress I've been able to make and our skills as teachers and Disciples of Christ have increased dramatically.

I know the picture isn't the best quality but it was the best my poor little iPad could do with what little light there was.

Service at the Christmas Tree Farm. 

We also had a chance to do some really cool service work the morning of Thanksgiving. We helped this guy named David, who really loves missionaries but is a part of the church that is right next door to ours. David is a roadside salesman and that's his business. Last month he had a full on pumpkin patch for Halloween, this month he is setting up a Tree farm for Christmas trees. He does this every year and it was super fun to be able to help him set up and to work with these beautiful trees. Did I mention I love real Christmas trees? It was us and the Hermanas in our Ward helping him so it was a good fun way to spend the morning.
I got to drive the tractor!

David also had a tractor and I got the chance to drive it!

So overall this was a REALLY fun week. The holiday season is the best and now I'm looking forward to Christmas! Helping everyone to understand the true meaning of Christmas which is Jesus' birth.

Birthday package from my family!

I also got a birthday package from my family since it is my birthday today too. Great way to top of the week! But I still don't know what I'm going to be doing today to celebrate my birthday. Probably just hanging out as usual, haha.

Love you guys and I hope you have an enjoyable holiday season!

Elder Biehn

Monday, November 21, 2016

November 21, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody!

Another long and hard week, but it was hard in a good way. I got my new companion and am back in my area which is great. We've been doing a TON of finding.
Eating at Olive Garden

At the beginning of the week we decided to go out to eat as a district (just the elders) because Elder Rascon was going home. He wanted to have a fun last meal together and just so happened to have some gift cards to Olive Garden.

Elder Hernandez, my first companion
Then at transfers, practically everyone was there. It was a blast to get to see old companions and even say goodbye to some of the missionaries going home. One of them is Elder Hernandez, who was my companion all the way at the beginning of my mission.

We also took a Spanish program picture. This is most of the Spanish missionaries in the mission.

Spanish program missionaries
So next up, my new companion is Elder Thompson. I was super excited to see that in transfers because I've already served with him once and I know we get along. Remember back to when I was with Elder Cottle in Bella Vista and he had to go home early? Yeah, so I've technically already been his companion before, but only for 2 weeks.  Our first day together went really good. After transfers we took his stuff back to the apartment and then went out again. We had a good night where we taught one of our progressing investigator families and then also found another less active family. They hadn't been to church in a little over a year! It's just too bad they live in the area that we are losing.

Ward Thanksgiving Dinner - Traditional American Food!
Our second day together was great and probably my favorite day out of this whole week. That's because we had our Ward Thanksgiving dinner on Friday. But the Ward changed things up a bit and decided to go classic American Thanksgiving! No more chicken and rice! There was turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn bread, pumpkin pie, you name it! It was awesome and SOOO good. Like I never thought I would miss American food this much! I was in heaven because I haven't eaten any of these things for almost 2 years! I was sitting with some investigators and they were making fun of me because of how happy I was.

That was all the fun moments of the week. The reason it was sorta difficult was because since transfers, me and Elder Thompson have been doing none stop finding, which basically means knocking doors all day. It's pretty draining and discouraging to be doing that all the time. At the beginning of the week I was super excited to start working in my area again but now I'm kinda ready for a break from finding.  Thankfully we were able to find some cool people and got some return appointments for this upcoming week! So it won't be knocking doors 24/7 anymore.

Well, I believe that's it for this week. Hope you guys have an amazing week!


Elder Biehn

P.S. It's starting to get really cold now. Winter is coming!

Monday, November 14, 2016

November 14, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey guys,

It's been a rough week and I really don't feel like writing everything about it, so I'm just going to summarize. We had 2 missionaries from my district go home this week on 2 separate occasions, one of them being my companion Elder Artinger. Both of them went home for health reasons. It's not easy watching missionaries go home early, especially when those missionaries are your friends. And I was really good friends with both of them. So yeah....

My district before it got wiped out
Right now I'm in a trio with the other elders in my district. They are basically babysitting me right now since I can't be in my area alone, so it's just sitting there with no one to take care of it. Speaking of my area, due to a recent 70 visit, the boundaries of the stake are changing. Which means my area is getting cut in half, and I'm losing the half with all my investigators.

Pretty crazy week

Elder Biehn

They say a picture is worth 1000 words right?

Me and Elder Artinger enjoying his last day at a Peruvian chicken place

I got to go to the temple with Elder Everett, my MTC companion

Monday, November 7, 2016

November 7, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody!

I actually had a pretty good week this week. We hit a couple of our goals we had set which is a HUGE deal for this area. Normally we set our goals higher than we expectedly can reach 1. Because it stretches us to try and work harder and 2. Because those are the standards of excellence in the mission. Basically means "you should be doing this much every week." And the good news is we hit 3 of the goals we had set! I'd call that progress considering this area has been struggling in the past to try and get lessons and people to teach. We managed to find 5 new investigators just by working through members and trying to teach the part member families that we are already visiting. We also found another potential family we could teach just by knocking doors.

We also had an awesome experience with the family we were teaching who had seemed to really freeze in their progress. Let's just say God finds a way to humble his children, and when they do get humbled, missionaries are bound to be knocking on your door. It's been about a week since we had a chance to visit our family we are teaching, which worries me because a week is a long time and a lot can happened in a week. Well, a lot DID happen in a week but this time for our benefit. They have been going through some rough times with family situations, medical issues, etc. Basically they had a hard week. Then we come on over knocking at their door on Sunday night and the father answers the door. You know what he says to us? "Somehow I knew you guys would be stopping by today." Perfect! The words every missionary wants to hear. Then he said the words no missionary ever wants to hear. "I need to talk to you guys." When that phrase comes out of an investigators mouth, it could mean one of two things. 1. They have had a super rough time and need help or 2. They don't want to take the lessons anymore. Thank goodness it was the first one because he then goes to tell us about the crazy week him and his family have had. After this experience, I really believe we could be looking at baptizing a family before the end of the year. WHICH WOULD BE AWESOME!

This I believe has really been a testimony builder to the fact that God cares for each of his children and he prepares them in his time when they are ready. Then he sends his missionaries, (hey that's me!) to go and teach them the way, the truth, and the life. I just can't get over how perfectly planned everything is in missionary work. It truly is awesome.

Hope your guys' week was as great as mine! Love you all and you'll hear from me next week!

Elder Biehn

Only one pic this week, sorry.... But anybody seen the movie Remember the Titans? Cause I sure have!
Remember the Titans!

Pretty awesome if you ask me!

Monday, October 31, 2016

October 31, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey guys!
Sonic the Hedgehog

So this has been quite the eventful week. A lot of things happened that were pretty cool. First of all, I hit my 20 month mark this past Tuesday so that is super exciting! Then also today is going to be a fun day since it's Halloween! We aren't allowed to go out so we get to hang out in the church and watch a movie. Wow, I remember last Halloween and I can't believe it's been a year already. Pretty awesome! Our ward also had its Trunk or Treat this past Friday and it made me miss being able to dress up so much. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays just because it's super fun! I mean, how often do you get to dress up in some weird costume and people don't look at you funny?? Oh well, next year I'll be able to enjoy it anyways, at the trunk or treat there some cool costumes. This one goes out to my brother who loves sonic the hedgehog.

These are the kids of a family I worked with a lot back in Little River. They ended up moving and are now in Old Town so it's really cool to get to see them again.

"Your Trunkies"
Another cool thing that happened is that I got a really important letter in the mail on Wednesday from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This specific letter is something the mission calls "your trunkies." Basically a letter telling you that you are almost done with your mission and that you need to stay focused during your last weeks in the mission. Trust me this is a huge deal for any missionary.

Also this week I had a pretty firm reminder of just how difficult it is to be a missionary when you try to judge your effectiveness off of how many people you try to baptize. You see this week we had a pretty decent plan of who we were going to visit and which of our people we were going to put on date. Every single thing we planned fell through. Everything. Like it was one of the hardest weeks I've had in a while but on Saturday I realized that I can't judge myself based on other people's actions. My purpose as a missionary is to "invite other to come unto Christ," not to go and 'baptize everyone.' This especially rang true to me as we were driving home Saturday night. It was just "one of those days" because literally every single plan we had fell through. But you know what, I didn't feel bad about it one bit. I came home tired because I had worked my tail off. Planning, confirming plans, tracting around where we go, adjusting plans when lessons fell through, more finding. When something would fall through we would just knock doors in that area. It wasn't all a waste. We were able to manage 2 return appointments for the upcoming week.

Overall it's hard to determine success as a missionary because 100% of the success you have is determined by other people. They have to be home, they have to let us in, they have to choose to act on the message. I came home feeling like a successful missionary, not because I got a ton of lessons but because I knew I tried as hard as I could. That is a what makes a successful missionary. I'm grateful for the experience I had on Saturday to realize this once again. I know that this is the Lords work and that it will move forward, I just needed to relearn a lesson I've already been taught so many times so that way I don't focus on how much I'm not getting but how much I am able to accomplish. Preach My Gospel says no effort is wasted as a missionary and that is so true. Now I'm looking forward to this upcoming week because I'm ready to work!

I love you guys and have a great Halloween!

Elder Biehn

Signs in Spanish

This is how ghetto my area is.  The signs are all in Spanish rather than English. Remember I'm still in VIRGINIA.  

Then there's this. This is my absolute favorite.

O'Henry Bars!

I got a Halloween package from my parents as well. With a little piece of home included. Delicious O'Henry bars!

Probably my favorite part of that whole package.

Monday, October 24, 2016

October 24, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey guys!

I'm gonna start off by saying that this week seemed to drag by. Like some of the lessons we had this week seems like we had them a month ago. I don't know why, it just felt super slow!  Anyways, it was a good week. We had a lot of success when it came to our less actives and investigators. I think we had a total of 12 lessons this week which is pretty good for a week. One of the lessons we planned out was for our investigator family, La familia De Leon. They are awesome! Basically the definition of "dry Mormons" haha. We are almost always over there. Now, about the lesson we had, it was focused on the apostasy and me and Elder Artinger made a neat little surprise for them. We had......
Apostasy Cups
BAM!! APOSTASY CUPS! This is probably one of the best object lessons I know of and for such a confusing topic as the apostasy too. It took me and Elder Artinger two days to put these together. Let me just say many Ensigns/Liahonas were destroyed in the process of making these.

But you know what. These are best apostasy cups I have ever seen! Now getting to the lesson, it was an awesome lesson. Probably one of the best apostasy lessons I've had my whole mission. The De Leon family has 3 little kids that are 10 or younger, so you can imagine how energetic they are, but they are all super well behaved too! I was pretty surprised at how involved in the lesson they were because they were paying attention and answering all the questions! It was awesome. The cartoon images we put on really made it fun for the kids and then to build the tower, see it fall down, then rebuild it was super fun for them. Not only did it help the kids but the parents seemed to really get a good understanding from it too. Like I said, one of the best apostasy lesson I've had in my mission.
Beautiful view of the city scape!

Hmm what else....oh yeah. We had a crazy wind storm pass by a couple of days ago. It was so windy and it didn't help that it was like 50 degrees and the wind chill factor made in even colder, and I was wearing a short sleeve shirt! Haha. But windy days are my favorite, especially being in the city because it blows all the smog away and leaves you with this...

Beautiful view of the city scape! Really clear and overall awesome! The leaves are starting to change color and so in the next few weeks this place is going to be looking nice! Fall is definitely my favorite season.

Zone Conference
One more thing. We had zone conference this past week, and the ENTIRE meeting was focused on MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK. I cannot stress the importance of this topic. It especially applies to us because working in the city is basically nothing but member work. Most of the apartments here are lock outs, we have a list of 100 million less actives, and the only way to get to these people are through the members. Not to mention that when we, as missionaries, work with the members to find and teach investigators they have so much more potential to stay active after baptism. I'm going to let you all in on a secret. A secret that I've discovered over the course of my mission. The key to missionary work is.... THE MEMBERS. 😲 whoa! No way, really?? Yeah! This is nothing new, it's been said by missionaries, leaders, preach my gospel, even President Hinckley, the prophet, said that was the key to missionary work! It was quite an awesome and encouraging zone conference. It really made me want to get out there and get to know all the members in this Ward, because if I can do that things will be going good.

Here's a little pic of the lunch we had as well.

Love you guys and I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Biehn

Oh by the way. I messed up on my address. It's actually

3602 South 14th Street Apt #207
Alexandria, VA 22302

My bad

Monday, October 17, 2016

October 17, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody!

This was a bit of a slow week. It really seemed to drag on because we were doing a lot of finding. And I mean A LOT of finding. We have about 4 solid people that we are teaching right now and a lot of less actives. Don't get me wrong, I love less active work because some of these people have had the worst experiences but we are helping them to experience miracles. There is just so many of them here. Like honestly, "Welcome back to the city Elder Biehn, here is your list of 100+ less actives in your area." Being a missionary in the city is mostly less active work 😂 but I do love getting to know these people. I'm so thankful that my mission has really taught me how to be a people person so that way I can connect with these people and be their friend rather than just their missionary. There are some elders in my district who are nothing but missionary robots and it's honestly pretty awkward being with them because they don't know how to talk to people about anything besides the gospel, ha! Anyways, back to the finding. Me and Elder Artinger have been wanting to grow our teaching pool of investigators so we've been hitting the streets a lot. And as we all know, every big city has its slums. Well, that's where we always go, you find some of the most humble people there.

Tracting in "Chirilagua"
For example here's me tracting in a place called "Chirilagua." I honestly felt like I was back in Mexico when I go here. I don't know why but I just love being out in the ghetto areas and talking to everyone there.

Then Sundays are always the most stressful days for missionaries. Want to know why? Well, when a random person gives you a call the morning of and says he wants to go to church and you don't know where he lives or how he's gonna get there. Then you scramble to try and find a ride only to find out he lives outside of your area but it's already too late because he is ready and the member is there to pick him up. So you just go with it and then this is also his first experience going to a Mormon church so you are trying to make sure everything works and are answering all of his questions. Then making sure he has a ride home, it all adds up to a pretty stressful day. There is a reason P-Day comes right after Sunday... haha, then me and Elder Artinger had a missionary correlation meeting with our Ward mission leader right after church.
Eating our to-go meal

Here is us sitting down for the first time on Sunday so that way we could eat our to-go member dinner and then head back out to our appointments 30 minutes later. Only to come to realize that every lesson we had planned fell through and we were stuck with more finding and contacting. Yes, Sundays are stressful as a missionary.

But other than that things are good. Stress is just a part of missionary life and when things actually work out for once, it's the greatest feeling in the world.

Another mildly shocking/scary experience we had. We were giving the other elders a ride to their apartment after our correlation meeting. As we were driving there was this lady and her dog walking on the side of the road, but the dog didn't have a leash. (I think you can already tell where this is going). Next thing we know the dog darts out into the middle of the road right in front of us, and this lady tries to grab it. Thankfully she realizes it's stupid to jump in front of a car to try and save a dog and she just watches in horror as she realizes she is about to watch her little dog get murdered. Luckily, Elder Artinger was able to slam on the brakes and swerve in order to avoid the dog. The lady was in shock but thankfully everything was ok and no one/thing died. Just a close call is all.

Well, that's basically the most of my hectic week. I hope everyone had a bit more of a relaxing week than I did. But hey that's all a part of the mission! Close calls and people's salvation!

Love you guys and talk to you next week!

Elder Biehn

Monday, October 10, 2016

October 10, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody!

The first one: Kids Never Lie. Pretty self-explanatory, but here's the story behind this one. So me and Elder Ramos had gotten quite a few referrals from the Temple Visitor Center that was just across the river in Maryland and we had been trying to contact all of them. This is a lot harder than you think because these people seemingly are never home and don't know how to answer their phone. But we were able to get in contact with one of them and schedule a lesson, the Hermana that had met them in the Visitor center also was talking to her. So we stop by but she was busy, however her "husband" (not actually married but just living together and had kids 🤔) was home and so we taught him. It was a pretty good lesson and we had high hopes for them. We set up a return appointment and head off. Fast forward a week and no one answers for our return appointment BUT it was General Conference weekend and the hermana from the Visitor center got them to commit to coming to see a session. She has been talking to her on the phone this whole time. So we go Sunday morning to check on them and help them get to the church. She answers the door and promises us she will be coming and we set up a return appointment for next Tuesday. Well, once again a no show. She bailed on us so we go back for our return appointment on Tuesday. We knock on the door and there is no answer for a little bit but we hear people inside so we keep knocking. Eventually her little girl answers the door with her mom chasing behind her. I'm thinking, ok finally we can get a lesson with them. This is where it gets good. We ask if her husband is home and she tells us that he still hasn't gotten back from work. Then all of a sudden her little girl turns to her and says "Mommy you're lying, he's in the shower right now." Then she turns to us and tells us, "He's in the bathroom because he's showering. Mommy is lying to you." I heard the shower in the background as well. BUSTED. So me and Elder Ramos just look at her and she had this look of a complete child who got caught with their hand stuck in the cookie jar. Needless to say we were not too happy about that. But I won’t know what happens with her because that leads into the next bit of news.

We had transfers this past week and we'll, I GOT TRANSFERRED. Yet another one and done in a really good Ward. I admit, I was pretty upset to see that I was getting transferred but the good news is I'm in another really good Ward. I'm saying goodbye to the ghetto of Manassas and heading back to the city! I'm in Alexandria now serving in the Old Town Ward. I've heard a lot of good things about this Ward so I'm super excited to be here. And my new companion is super cool  too. His name is Elder Artinger and he is from Reno, Nevada. Here's

Elder Artinger
My old district from Sudley

To be honest I'm pretty excited to be back in the city because I've spent the majority of my mission in the city so it's pretty nice. And here's my old district from Sudley, I'm definitely going to miss them cause we were super close.

But now I'm in Old Town and I'm looking forward to this next transfer.

So the last story is actually a pretty crazy one. It basically shows that I'm serving where all the crazies are at. Ok here's the story. After church we had a dinner with a sister in the Ward and she invited all 6 elders in the Ward to dinner. Well two of them couldn't make it so we had to drive all the way down to the south area which is like a 30 minute drive to go pick up the other 2 elders. Those guys are on bike and then can literally get nowhere. So we went to go pick them up at a clinic because one of them needed to get a tick bite looked at. Long story short we exchanged and the other elders left to go to the dinner and I stayed with the elder in the clinic. Well, 5 minutes after they left, we finished and so I send a text to the other elders to tell them to come back. Then I hear their phone go off and I realize we have both phones and no way to contact them. So we are stuck with no car, no dinner, and both phones. Then the crazy part happens. So me and the other elder are in the most ghetto part of the city and we are out walking at dusk. That's when all the crazies come out. Like, we literally were walking down the street and this guy just kneels down and starts bowing to us. And this happened like 3 times just walking down this one road.

Well, there's my extensive letter. Probably one of the longer letters I've written but man a lot has happened this week.

Love you guys and have a great week!

Elder Biehn

Monday, October 3, 2016

October 3, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey Everybody!

I hope you all had a good General Conference! I know I did. I loved the speakers that were there, they all gave great talks. They answered a lot of the questions that I had which is why it was such a good conference for me. This is why the gospel is so amazing, we get to listen to the prophet and apostles who receive revelation for us every six months! Who else can say that?? I love Conference because it's always a revelatory experience for me of how I can improve and what I can do better. This one was especially special because it's number 4 of 4. Yep, my last Conference of the mission. Man, I remember sitting in the Mexico MTC watching my very first Conference of the mission, thinking "wow I still have 3 more conferences after this." Well, they're all done now! Now I'm more determined than ever to make the last 4 months that I have some of the greatest on my mission. 

We ended up watching conference in almost all Recent Converts homes. The session on Saturday we watched with Pedro, the guy that got baptized 4 weeks ago, where he is living. Then Sunday morning in the church, and Sunday afternoon with Luis and Kathy, the family that got baptized last week. So this was a great weekend.

Some other stuff that happened this week is that is official Fall! No more hot weather! It's been so nice lately with the changing of the seasons. The last week has been almost nonstop clouds and rain. But the past two day have been sitting at a nice mid-70 degrees. We had a pretty huge rainstorm on Wednesday where we literally couldn't even get to our car without getting drenched. So one brave elder sacrificed himself to bring the cars to us!
 We also recorded the whole adventure of trying to get the cars off of the patio of the church which was super funny. It was raining so hard, haha!

Let's see here, something I've been studying a lot about lately has been the Savior. I wanted to know exactly how the atonement works and applies to everyone even when people don't want to live the way God has commanded and still think they will be saved. Well, Alma 42 summed that up really nicely. Basically, the atonement is there for us to apply mercy, so that way God is a merciful God. But he can't be that way with everyone because he still needs to be a just God. So how do the two co-exist? Well, it's through the atonement. Because of the atonement Jesus has already suffered for our sins and all we need to do is ask for forgiveness. It's readily available because the price has already been paid! But then there are the people who are too proud to repent, thinking that God will save them no matter what. Doesn't work that way! We have to live according to the rules and guideline he has placed for us, and if we don't, then we are denying ourselves the blessings and overall salvation. So don't go through this life thinking that God will save us anyways, or that we can just repent later. What happened in the parable of the 10 Virgins? 5 were ready to meet the bridegroom, 5 were not. These 10 virgins each apply to us as Latter Day Saints. Some saints will be ready for the Second Coming, others will not be because they haven't been living in accordance to all of God’s commandments. Not everyone will be placed into the celestial kingdom, we have to do our part in order to earn our salvation. It's such a simple idea but such a complex process. What we need to do as Latter Day Saints is live ALL of Gods commandments. Only by that can we be happy. And God is there to help us along the way! He wants us to succeed! He wants to bless our lives. We just have to trust in him and his plan and use the atonement to better our own lives.

Well, that's what I've learned over the past 19 months. There's my rant because I'm tired of seeing people who say they believe in God and Jesus Christ but literally do nothing and think grace will save them in the end. Doesn't work that way.

What brings this up is that we've been doing pretty much non-stop finding this past week. We kinda accidentally baptized all of our investigators so now we have no one to teach. Weird situation, I know. First time I've come across it in my mission actually, but that's a story for another day.

Love you guys and pray for us to find more people to teach and that we can receive miracles!


Elder Biehn

Monday, September 26, 2016

September 26, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody!

This week has been an awesome week! A lot has happened but the best of it all was that we had a weekend in white! We were able to baptize a FAMILY! Our investigators Luis and Kathy, who are an amazing family. They are going to be super strong members in the church. 

It's them and then they have their two kids who are 7 and 3. So one of them is going to be getting baptized next year too! Too bad I won't be here for it. But hey, they are in an awesome Ward. And their whole family even came as well! Kathy has family that are already members and they drove all the way from Florida to come and see her baptism. Everyone was super happy for them.

That same Sunday, our recent convert Pedro who got baptized two weeks ago, received the Aaronic Priesthood. He was so excited for it he even went out and bought a brand new white shirt and tie that he could wear to church. So overall I would say this was a REALLY good Sunday. 

Hmm, what else happened this week?  We crashed a party in the ghetto part of our area, that was pretty fun. Haha. Our investigators family that doesn't live in the best part of town was throwing a party for their daughter’s birthday. And I kid you not, I'm pretty sure the entire neighborhood was there. It was huge! 

We also got dinner from one of the rich members in the Ward. He signed up on our meal calendar but he got called in to work on the day he was supposed to feed us. So he dropped $100 dollars on us to go out and eat on him! We kinda spoiled ourselves 
That's right! Red Lobster baby! Crab, Lobster, and shrimp! Probably the first and only time I will ever eat at a restaurant like this on my mission. But dang it was so good, 

So yeah, an overall awesome week. This week is going to be great as well since General Conference is coming. I'm totally looking forward to listening to the prophet and apostles and other leaders of the church speak. Conference always just puts you on the spiritual high, even as a missionary. And it's going to be the last one of my mission! How crazy is that??

That's it for this email. Love you guys and talk to you next week!

Elder Biehn