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

Monday, September 19, 2016

September 19, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody!

Not much happened this week. It was kinda slow so I don't really have that much to talk about. However, we were able to find a new investigator and she seems pretty interested. Like we were out tracting and she was outside her house so of course we are going to go talk to her. We taught her about the restoration, nothing too different, just a usual restoration lesson and we left her a Book of Mormon to read and set up an appointment for the following Friday. (This happened on Tuesday). So Friday comes along and we head over to her house. Now, I've seen this 1000 times before where we have a really good first contact and we set up the return appointment then when we stop by we can never find the person ever again. But that didn't happen this time! Not only was she there, but she actually read in the Book of Mormon and remembered we were coming! Those are two huge things! So I'm pretty excited about this investigator, pretty sure she's going to get baptized 

So what else?  oh yeah we did this pretty gnarly service on Saturday. So we had a couple of Wards get together to try and clean up the area surrounding the church building. There is a little water ravine that has been completely overgrown due to neglect and being in Virginia where EVERYTHING grows anywhere. So we got together to do that and clean out all the underbrush and whatever dead trees there were. It was actually fun work because we had chainsaws and Machetes and it is so fun to watch a tree fall down and everyone shouts "timber!" We even had a wood chipper there and that thing was running nonstop to try and shred all the wood we were cutting down. I didn't take any pictures of it BUT we are going back Saturday to finish up so I can take some then and show you. It's a huge difference. Like we clear it out and I had no idea there was a huge field on the other side of the tress! 

Last but not least, our investigator had her baptismal interview this past Sunday, and she passed! So we are getting ready for another baptism coming up on the 25th. Her whole family is coming to see because a lot of her aunts and uncle are already Mormon, so they are super excited for her. But man, she is awesome!. Her and her family, they were honestly a miracle because Elder Ramos was teaching them before I came here, he told me that they just showed up one day in church because they felt like it was the right church to go to. Like, seriously?? It doesn't get better than that!

Well, that's it for this week guys! Love you and have a great week!


Elder Biehn 

Monday, September 12, 2016

September 12, 2016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody!

So I had a great week! First off, let me show you why...

WE HAD A BAPTISM! Man, it's been a while since I had one of those, haha. But seriously this guy here is awesome. His name is Pedro and he was SO excited to get baptized. Like, he would call us on the phone every day just to tell us how happy he was that he was getting baptized this week. Then he had the biggest grin on his face after he was baptized. He is just so excited to have found the true church because he was originally studying to become a Priest in the Catholic Church. So quite a miracle if you ask me.

Yesterday, I had another one of those "last door" experiences. So it was just after church and our correlation meeting with the Ward mission Leader, and we were out looking for people. We were going through our Area Book trying to figure out who some of the people were because there are just a lot of random names in there. Well, we were in Centreville and it was literally the last person on our list before we were going to call it and go have some dinner. We knock on this last door and of course the guy we were looking for doesn't live there. BUT the guy who did answer the door has seen the missionaries before back in his country of Colombia.  He's also seen the temple as he's been driving on the 495 freeway and was really curious. (That was excellent positioning by the Church to put the 3rd biggest temple in the world right next to the freeway! I've gotten so many questions about it throughout my entire mission because EVERYONE has seen it and it works out perfectly!) Anyways, he invited us right in without even waiting for us to give our typical door approach and an hour later this guy now has a brand new Book of Mormon and has promised to read it and come to church. I LOVE IT WHEN WE FIND THE PREPARED PEOPLE! It makes missionary life so much easier.

So I'm pretty excited to be in this area because we've got a lot going right now. People on date and lots of others that have potential to be put on date and be baptized. Then of course, going out and finding the prepared!

I'm loving my mission right now and being able to teach and testify of Jesus Christ on a daily basis. It really is the source of true happiness once you have a basic understanding of the Gospel. I don't know everything, but what I do know I'm sharing with everyone.
Spanish forum with all the Spanish missionaries in the mission

Love you all and have a great week!

Elder Biehn

Lunch at Cafe Rio after SED Spanish forum

Monday, September 5, 2016

September 5, 3016 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey guys!

I want to start off by saying that I'm loving it out here in Manassas. The Sudley Ward is awesome!  There are lots of great members that are really involved in the work and trying to help the missionaries.  Speaking of which, I had forgotten how hard it is to try and get to know a brand new Ward, since I've only had to do it 3 times in my ENTIRE mission. Yeah, after 18 months this is only my 4th Ward. Two weeks ago I was telling Elder Walker how hard it was to pack because I've only been transferred out of an area like 3 times, so I've almost NEVER have had to pack.  But it's a fun experience trying to learn a whole new area. After just a week and a half I'm already starting to figure out where everything is at. And I'm already starting to get some good relationships with the members. That part is key!
So here's an update on how thing are going for my area. The thing that probably surprised me the most is how humble the people are out here. It might be because of their condition or it might just be because the Lord has softened the hearts of this people, I don't know. But what I do know is that we are having a lot more success here than I ever did in the city. And I say in the city because it is so country out here like you wouldn't believe! Half our area we can't even go to because it's just all farms. Like look at this!  

Suddenly Elder Biehn finds himself tracting through the Bamboo forest of China.  This is actually the backyard of a member, but still, you get the idea.  

Then there's also these awesome horizons
But the reason I say these people are humble is because a lot of them are willing to listen. Now of course there are a few exceptions and I'll get into that later. But! Good news is that we have a total 3 people on date right now for the 10 of September. Yep, this coming Saturday. So me and Elder Ramos are running around scrambling to make sure everything is prepared for the baptisms. It's gonna be an awesome weekend, I can tell you that much!

Now as to those exceptions I was telling you about. This week seemed to be full of Bible Bashers. Like unusually full. Almost every other person that we talked to was a devoted Catholic that just started throwing out bible references left and right. Now, we aren't supposed to bible bash but sometimes it's just fun because some of the things these people say crack me up. And me and Elder Ramos both have been out on our missions for a year and a half so we've had plenty of experience with bible bashers. Me, personally, I've spent quite a bit of time studying the bible because I wanted to know exactly what these people were talking about and how to respond to these assaults, but it has ended up helping me get a better understanding of the Savior and how the church was anciently. So now, I don't think there is a single lesson where I don't use a scripture from the bible, which really helps because the bible is what these people actually believe in!  However sometimes, no matter what you do people just want to argue. For example this one guy Elder Ramos had talked to before. He wanted to go back and apologize to him if he offended him in any way because it ended up being a bible bash for more than an hour. You know what he did? He took his apology and threw right back in our faces! He said, and I quote, "Bring out your bible. Let's read a little bit." At this point I was thinking, oh boy here we go. And after 20 minutes of nonstop bible bashing where we were proving him wrong point to point, we tried to leave because we knew he wouldn't listen. So we tried to politely excuse ourselves and he denied us leaving. Like, legit he said "No you can leave yet until we've figured this out" which actually means 'until I've proven you wrong.' We didn't leave and so we tried again this time a bit more forceful. Still the same result. I wasn't in the best of moods by this point so I got up grabbed my bag, said have a nice day, and left. That was it. It's sad to think that people just use the Gospel as another topic for argument rather than actually paying attention to what the scriptures say and applying it to their lives. But, if it wasn't so then Joseph Smith never would have had the impression to go pray in the garden about which church he should join. The most important thing to remember is that we have the restored gospel on the earth today with all of the priesthood and ordinances that were in Christ's original church. It is even the same exact organization and everything can be proven by scriptures. But it's not the proof that's important, it's the impressions of the Holy Ghost telling someone that this is true. That's the key to conversion, a witness from the Holy Ghost.

Love you guys and I'll talk to you next week! Look forward to a weekend in white!

Elder Biehn