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!