Saturday, October 3, 2015

Week of April 26 - The power of fasting and prayer


This week has been pretty good. Our teaching pool is still really small. This week we were able to teach Evelyne again. We just taught her more about the commandments (lesson 4 in Preach My Gospel) and really emphasized fasting. She told us that she knows the Book of Mormon is true and she even told her husband that she wants to go to the temple! He is still the only stumbling block for that family. I fasted this month for the situation (the obstacle of the father's attitude) to somehow be dissolved.  At our next lesson she said that her son, who we had not taught, told his dad that his prejudice was unjustified because he had not even been to our church. The husband acknowledged his mistake and commented that he will come to church in the future to check it out. Her whole family came to church and she said that she really wants to be baptized and has felt ready for some time, She just wants her husband to at least accept her decision. 

Other than that one of our other investigators went to enrichment and loved it. Up to this point, she has not really had the desire to find out if the church is true - hopefully, this was a step in that direction. We are teaching another man (kind of). We go and drop in on him and just answer his questions at the door. Other than that, we just do finding. 

This week we have been trying something new. We have been just going around and cleaning peoples windows and telling them that we are the missionaries for the Church. Lots of people have been more willing to talk to us about what makes us do what we do and what our church believes. We haven't gotten any concrete teaches from it, but I feel that it is a lot more effective and people actually appreciate what we are doing a lot more. 

Happy birthday dad. Thanks mom for those magazines. The mission gives each companionship the ensign each month. I kind of wanted some more meaty discourses, My bad for not making it clear. thank you for your effort. 

Elder OTterson

Week of April 19 - Service opens doors.


This has been a pretty good week. This last Wednesday it was pretty sunny outside so we decided to go and wash peoples windows. We sure got a better response from the people than if we were knocking on their door to talk about what we believe. They were super pleased to have us do something for them and actually came out while we were doing it and asked us why. As a result, we were actually able to have some legit conversations instead of them just trying to get rid of us. 

Interesting thing happened to us this past week.  Some old guy told us that there were 23 billion people in the world and that only 7 billion worshiped Jesus Christ and that 18 billion worshiped Buddha. He also asked why he couldn't just go around the gates of heaven. Besides his math and numbers being WAY off, he sure is misaligned with what's important.  Man you meet some really ignorant people while serving. All is well. 

Elder Otterson

Week of April 12 - Time constraints in writing home and insights on conversion

I know some of my E-mails have been pretty slack, but on P-day, we usually do our studies and then go to the library to e-mail. The mission rule is only an hour on the internet, so that includes downloading chrome, which takes a couple of minutes, entering stats, and e-mailing president which I usually do before getting to your e-mails. This combined with the fact that I am not the best at making small talk conversations is where I point the slack e-mails home. I guess I can start giving a blow-by-blow report on my often pretty routine weeks though.

On Monday, our investigator was supposed to bring her family to family home evening at one of the member's houses. She texted us a little before and said that she wouldn't be able to make it because here husband was acting up meaning he didn't want the kids to go. Tuesday we tried to visit a lot of the less active people and invite them to General Conference, and then we taught this guy named Rob about the Book Of Mormon. He has a lot of questions about it but we haven't had a really formal lesson with him because he is always on his way out or similarly busy. On Wednesday we had Zone Meeting, which was good but took out a large chunk of time and then I got  massive, debilitating headache which is hard to get rid of on a bike. Thursday and Friday we tried to make contact with some people we had met previously and then did some "tracting" (door-to-door contacting). Friday, I started to get a sore throat which stunk majorly.

So then we had conference on Saturday and Sunday which was awesome. I left my notes, so next week I'll try to add what insights I got out of it. I was mainly looking for revelation as to how to change your heart in order to make conversion part of human nature and not so much a choice you have to make at all times. I don't know if that makes sense, but I learned that that question (of choice) is quite irrelevant unless it becomes a habitual one as you practice it over and over again.

I hate being sick and this is the first time I have been so on the Mission which stinks really bad. It is getting better though and also our investigator watched all sessions of conference and loved it, but her husband really doesn't want the kids to participate which is lame.

Love ya. 

Elder O

Week of April 5 - Obedience and Diligence Yields Miracles

This has been a fun week. Our investigators are awesome and dedicated. Their little girl even sang in the Easter program! I am convinced that through obedience and diligence miracles will happen. I am super excited for conference this week. We had our investigators come and attend sacrament meeting, which was awesome. There were heaps of nonmembers and less active people who were there, and the spirit was super strong. The members are definitely more on board than before. Last one we had, only one non member was invited...Sad. I love the lord and serving Him. The Atonement is real. I love you all.

Elder Otterson

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Week of March 29 - The Church is Perfect, the Members and Missionaries Aren't

Hello Everyone.

Sounds like things are going well in Colorado. Transfers were pretty good. I got a new companion who is from New Zealand. His name is McPherson. He is a solid guy who has been out about 16 months. He is very confident and I feel more confident in myself when we go out and tract and teach. He just spent 7 months down in Tasmania. I still feel like I have lots to improve in, but I think that the hardest thing for this transfer will be to try and break some old habits without being too "holier than thou". Sadly our investigators have been hit with some opposition from the most likely of candidates, the father. Apparently, he has been feeding the boys anti-Mormon literature and stuff and is against Evelyne being taught in his home. They still are coming to church though and really love it so I have resorted to just praying hard. This is a first for me, but I imagine it is not going to be the last. It's just sad to see a family that is so keen and ready for the gospel be hindered by someone who should be looking out for their happiness. 

My new companion and I are really close friends. I feel like we can get some work done and get the members to enjoy our personalities more than the last couple of transfers.  I plan on us continuing to work hard, while still maintaining and being true to who I am (I have found that those who put on a false persona often drive me crazy). 

Adam's New Companion - Elder McPherson (Big and Small)

I am very much like David (Adam's cousin) in that I dislike hypocrites in the Church. They are everywhere. The only thing that matters is that you are true to your personal convictions. There are many missionaries who are hypocrites themselves. They preach about change and conversion when they don't even have the personal strength to go out and work. Many of them also have not let go of their old lives and still resent the rules and then break them, but teach others about changing their lives. It is a sad thing to see and sometimes I feel like I am a hypocrite whenever I do not work my hardest each day, or when I encourage the members to share the gospel, but sometimes feel apprehensive about sharing the gospel myself and also the fact that I did not do it back home. I have felt that most people do intend to do the right thing, but lack the conviction to do it. People are imperfect but as long as personally we our true to our beliefs, I feel that God is pleased with our decisions. Perfection is a process, and I am far from it. I know that I have changed incredibly while on my mission, but I recognize that I am not at the level I hoped to be at. I know that as we continue to put our trust in the Lord and then ACT, that is when we will have a change of heart. I would like to say that I have no disposition to do evil, but that would be an outright lie. Missionaries are not perfect, but they are doing what they believe is what the Lord expects of them and by doing so hope to have that change of heart. My heart has changed, but there is still a long way to go. 

Love Elder Otterson

Week of March 22 - A New Resolve: No Regrets


To be honest, this transfer I have not been the best that I could have been and I did not do all that was expected. These last couple of weeks I noticed myself falling back into old habits and I hated seeing that happen. My companion is leaving the area and the ward really loved him. Like even the stake president said that I had big shoes to fill and the ward believes he is like the best missionary to ever serve there. It is interesting to see how the wards like missionaries who are good guys, but the harder workers and more diligent ones are sometimes less revered. He was a great guy, and the ward members did love him there is no doubt, but I know that we could have done more good and we kind of let each other slip up a bit. I guess the whole experience has made me think about what kind of legacy I want to leave, and I believe that it is possible to be remembered both as a good missionary who loved the members and a hard working, obedient one as well (without compromising one to obtain the other). It reminded me of the talk by elder Holland where he says people fashion gods to suit them (Jeffrey Holland: The Cost and Blessings of Discipleship), and they generally choose to reject the true God who requires them to change and repent. This transfer I will have no regrets. I promise you and the Lord.

Elder Otterson

Week of March 15 - The Dilemma: Stats or Effectiveness

Man your story is so legit (Dad - I had told him the story of a powerful conversion story that I experienced on my mission in France of Sister Barbier; I also shared with him story of Le Havre and it being a really tough area that had been "condemned" prior to the WWII). I have really wanted to dust my shoes after some of the people's reactions to us going around and knocking on their doors. It has been a real eye opening experience to see the rudeness people have for absolutely no reason. I guess I have learned that no matter where I end up on the socio-economic spectrum, I do not ever want to be rude to others for any reason. 

It has been a really good week here. The lady that we have been teaching is super awesome. She has been doing everything required to receive an answer to her prayers and wants and desires to be baptised after she receives the confirming witness of its truthfulness. I know that the answer will come it is just the waiting that is hard, and in today's instant gratification society, I pray that it will not take too long. Her son came to church again and he really loves it so we asked him if he would want to learn and he said yes, so we will be teaching him this week. I hope that we can do our part to help them become converted. It is hard to balance out trying to get stats and trying to do what is important. For example, we our supposed to teach 20 lessons a week, but since we don't have investigators, we only teach like 7, and most of them our member lessons. Also we are supposed to get 20 new contacts a week which is super difficult even in the city where we barely got 20 each week and they are a lot more receptive and willing to change and do something different. We know member work is the key and most effective way to move the work here, so we stop in on members and follow up with their missionary efforts to keep it fresh in their minds. Those visits don't count anywhere on the stat sheet, but is a way better use of time. I don't know if you faced a similar dilemma and what you did to resolve it?

It is great to hear about all of the kids.  [Speaking of Aaron's wrestling] Keep encouraging Aaron. I think one of the biggest things that I wish you would have done was force me a little bit more when I was younger. I know that is probably just myself wishing I would have been willing to be pushed at a young age and that I would have been happy and content with that. Show Aaron you are actively involved by filming everything and attending all practices and signing him up for all tournaments and chaperoning him. I think that as long as you show you are committed to him, he will be committed himself.

Elder Otterson