Monday, August 29, 2016

August 29, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody!

First things first, we had transfers this past Thursday and I ended up getting transferred out of Bella Vista. I'll admit I'm pretty sad to be leaving Bella Vista, it is definitely one of my favorite wards. I've gotten to know a lot of good people there and Wednesday was especially tough because that's when I had to go around and say bye to everyone. One of my favorite families that we would always visit was the Aguilars. They are a part member family that we've been working with for so long and they are honestly some of my favorite people. So it was really tough to have to say bye to them.

So yeah, they are awesome and I look forward to being able to see them at Charlas and stuff like that.

But now I'm serving in the Sudley Ward in the Centreville Stake. I'm not even going to name the cities that we cover because this is literally the biggest area in the mission. It's quite a change for me because I've served in the city for pretty much my whole mission. Manassas is about as rural as it gets. Things are so spread out and there are way more actual forests now. It's SOOO different because we actually have to drive a decent amount to get to the other side of our area. Thankfully, a lot of our places to work are around us but it's still not what I'm used to. There are no tall building anywhere and the further away we get from the east coast, the more ghetto it is. It's awesome!

So my new companion is Elder Ramos. He's from Mexico and he's been in this area for a while now. But one of the main places we go is Manassas. It has a nickname that is "Ma-nasty" because, well I'm pretty sure you can figure that out. It reminds me a lot of the suburbs surrounding LA. Well, see for yourself

This is just one of the trailer parks we go to.

The ward here is AWESOME! So much member involvement and the Bishop is super cool! This Ward is super successful and it honestly surprised me because I'm not used to coming into a ward that is super effective. Now I just need to focus on keeping the fire going instead of trying to kindle it, which is really nice. Basically, missionary work is going good and we already have a couple of baptisms schedule for the next couple of weeks.

Odds are that this is going to be my last area and I'm sure glad that it is Sudley. So I'm looking forward to giving it my all for these last few months that I have and working like crazy!

Oh! I forgot to mention that I hit my 18 month mark this past Thursday. I still haven't burned a pair of pants yet but that will be coming soon! I just gotta find a good place to do it.

Love you all and I'll talk to you next week!

Elder Biehn

Friday, August 26, 2016

August 26, 2016 - Transfers

Hey everybody,

So I got transferred on Thursday from falls church. I'm now in Manassas Park serving in the Sudley Ward. Here is my new address:

9415 Elm Ct Apt 713 
Manassas Park, VA 20111

Monday, August 22, 2016

August 22, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody!

Not a bad week in my opinion, I admit it was kinda slow because our investigators that we are visiting are kinda stuck right now with different problems so they can't progress. So things aren't going exactly how I planned with them, like teach, testify, baptize and all but when does it ever go according to plans?? That's why I'm not too worried about it right now. I just need to make sure that they understand the importance of the gospel in their lives. That actually brings up an interesting point. One of the things that we tell people when we actually start to teach them is that if they start to follow God’s commandments then they will experience hardships, which is pretty weird thing to say right? But then we promise them the blessings that come from sticking to the gospel and overcoming the temptations of Satan. That's all those hardships are, is Satan trying to deter them from recognizing the truth by making it appear unattainable. But we know that's not true! That's what we have to help them understand, but it's difficult because at times they don't understand or see the light at the end of the tunnel. Which makes it even more sad when they drop us because of difficulty or distractions.

So we had a couple of cool things happen this week. One of them was Return and Report. That's just a meeting that all the trainers and trainees have about half way through the training process. It was a good meeting and I actually learned a lot of things on how I can be a better trainer because we had all the trainers in one room and all the trainees in another room. From there it really helped to be able to discuss issues that some people were having or success stories to give motivation which was really helpful. Afterwards we met back up and went on our way.

So last night one of the youth had his Eagle Court of Honor. And it was so cool to be able to be there for it because I haven't gone to one in more than 2 years! Like, we stood up to do the pledge of allegiance and I swear I had almost forgotten it, it was that bad! But I loved it, good ol memories from my boy scouting days.

So yep that about sums up my week. OH! One more thing is that transfers are this week. I'm not sure what going to happen for transfers because my mission president has dropped a couple of hints here and there but has never been super clear. So there could be a chance I get transferred. I wouldn't mind since I've already been in this area for a while, and it's looking like I'm only going to have one area left. Speaking of which this Thursday is my 18 month mark! I'm gonna have to do something pretty cool to celebrate.

Love you all and talk to you next week!

Elder Biehn

Monday, August 15, 2016

August 15, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody!

So I won't be able to do too long of a letter today. We went to Great Falls today and my gosh it was a long hike. Like we wanted free parking but it required us parking way up the trail. So we just started walking and it seriously took us like an hour and a half just to get there, spend 15 minutes at the falls, then spend another hour and a half walking back. So there's where most of my P-Day went and a lot of writing time too. But I do have a pic!

We were with Kwinn, a returned missionary that does a lot of work with us since he served Spanish speaking. But he goes back to school in a week so he wanted to do something with us before he left. Well, this was it. He's a really cool dude and man we had some fun conversations while we were hiking. We actually got a little lost but not by much which was interesting. The funniest part was that we kept getting assaulted by tons of spider webs. By the end of it we were all carrying sticks in front of us to catch the webs before they landed all over our faces.

Next week will be a better email because we've got a lot of potential for this upcoming week! Our investigator came to church for the first time and I really hope she liked it. I think that was pretty key to getting her baptized.

Love you all and talk to you next week!

Elder Biehn

Monday, August 8, 2016

August 8, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hola a todos!

This week hasn't been too eventful to be honest. Just another week in the life of a missionary. We did however get a good amount of lessons with people which is always a plus. So I don't have too much to say but I do have a couple of pictures to show you guys.

WE HAD A BBQ! This was at a member’s house who absolutely LOVES the missionaries. His name is Rudy and we are practically his best friends. So yeah, we are always doing things at his house and this time he wanted to feed us, so he asks us what we want and I say hamburgers. Next thing I know he's going to Costco to get hot dogs and hamburger meat and we have a full on BBQ. You can't believe how happy I was to be able to cook those hamburgers, they turned out SOO good and there was a ton. It was awesome!

Now this is a picture of us in our English class that we do. As you can see we have pretty good amount of people that come every Thursday night. It's really helpful because this way we have some way to help out our investigators AND members all at the same time with something that they can use in their daily lives. The one all the way to the left in the blue shirt is our investigator Nelson. He is awesome and has been a champ these past two weeks ever since we found him. He's been listening to the lessons, going to English class, and just yesterday he came to church for the first time! It was
awesome to see that and we are hoping to be able to get him on date for baptism soon. He's coming along great in the gospel and it's awesome to see that he feels the spirit. We took him on a church tour right after the English class and we showed him the Chapel. What a coincidence that someone was practicing the organ right when we walked in, which set the mood perfectly! The person was playing families can be together forever and you could just see it in his face how much he felt the spirit.

Well, that's it for this week. Love you guys and I'll talk to you next week!

Elder Biehn

Monday, August 1, 2016

August 1, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody!

Boy do I have a story for you! But first I'm going to start with what happened at zone conference. So it never ceases to amaze me how much I can still learn as a missionary even though I've been out for nearly a year and a half now. This past zone conference really testified of that because I am still learning ways that I can keep improving my teaching skills as a missionary. It's not so much what I learned that impressed me (even though it was very helpful) but more so the WAY that I learned. Preach My Gospel mentions that our purpose as missionaries is to "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end." This is nothing new to missionaries as in we recite this before every meeting that we have whether it is district meeting, zone meeting, zone conference, etc. Bottom line is we say it so much it should be ingrained in our head. But this past zone conference really hit me hard on two key points of our purpose that I always seem to overlook, no matter how many times I recite this phrase by memory. It is that we are to INVITE others to come unto Christ by helping them... REPENT. No matter how many times I recite this line, it never occurred to me in my 17 months of being a missionary this is EVERYTHING I should be doing. I remembered (<--take note of that word because it is really important) that I need to be helping people to repent of their sins through invitations! Something I had started to slack on because I thought I knew what I was doing. But the important thing is that now I remember what is the perfect way to help others. I really enjoyed this little call to repentance because I realized the way the Lord teaches us, which is by helping us to remember his doctrine. As members of the church I don't think that there is hardly anything actually NEW that we learn just because we have had lots of experience in the gospel, so why is it that we are always faltering on the things of the church? It's because we are forgetting the most important things which simply become routine. The word most used in the scriptures isn't faith or repent or love (but these are all very important), but it is remember! We can learn the doctrine all day if we wanted to but if we don't remember what it says or remember to apply it to our lives, it profiteth us nothing! We need to always remember what the savior taught and the direction of the prophets if we wish to live the way that Heavenly Father wants us to live. Remembering is key to salvation! So that was my little spark of revelation that I had during my training which I think is pretty key to the gospel.

Now onto my next story. So we were just doing some regular tracting late at night and it was getting to be about that time to call it quits. But we decided to do one more door right at 8:55. And that was an amazing idea! We met this awesome lady named Melissa. And she is SOO prepared, like I can't even tell you how excited she was to see that we had knocked on her door. So she is a Catholic school teacher and knows a ton about the bible, but she has always had questions about the Mormon religion and Christianity in general. Long story short, she was super excited to have us over and even more excited when we gave her a Book of Mormon. Keep in mind this was all English and I think I've talked to people in English probably a total of one week during my whole mission. So I was more than a little worried about how it would go. But it was awesome and definitely something I will remember.

Well, that's the highlight of my week. Love you guys and talk to you next week!

Elder Biehn