Monday, March 18, 2013

Grand Junction Diaries

I've had a good week this week. I had an adventure putting in one of those Presta Valve Tubes dad sent me. There was a little tiny piece that I didn't see, but all in all I got them in correctly.

We also had a run in with a pretty angry person while tracting. My companion wanted to try this house with a big fat "no soliciting" sign on it, and I knew pretty much off the bat how this was going to go. Anyway some older lady answered the door and we introduced ourselves as representatives of Jesus Christ, her response was "I know who you are, you are the Mormons. I'm a Pentecostal and I don't believe what you believe and ask that you get off my property." Well she went in to close the door and my foot was in the way, so she thought that I was trying to "put my foot in the door" so she started fuming, followed by her drunk, livid, vein popping husband who came out and started cussing and threatening to call the cops. He was absolutely crazy. After leaving that house I thought, "Wow, those people really do have Christ in their home." It was sad. I thought people were starting to get past that approach to us, but nope, we are still thoroughly persecuted.

Elder Nielsen had a "greenie" moment.  We were teaching some less actives, and he pulls out a scripture and tells these people that we have potential to become Gods and the evidence is in the Bible. Talk about opening up a can of worms. I had to wave that one down by saying that we need to be more concerned about what we should be doing now than the specifics of the next life. Crisis averted.

Also we had a great gospel principles class. There were a lot of new people in there (one of them was a less active who had not been to church in nearly 7 bishops ago).  I wanted to lighten the atmosphere and make a couple funny remarks before the lesson, and I must have been funnier than I thought because they were rolling on the floor. Well we started the lesson and had a wonderful lesson. Even that interesting lady who comes didn't make any outrageous remarks.

I've learned how important it is to be bold on my mission. We contacted this less active guy, a really quiet, mid 20's guy who has no motivation to do anything. So I was pretty bold with him. I told him "you know, the church needs you, and you need the church, and we are waiting to receive you with open arms, but you need to come back. I can't force you, but you need to get off the fence." I was surprised at my boldness, but he responded like "Yeah, I know, but I just have a hard time getting into that routine." It was neat. Hopefully we will get somewhere with him.

Well that's all I have for today, the weather is a lot nicer, but boy is it windy today!

Elder Bringhurst




Missionary LIfe

March 11, 2013

So we have had an okay week.  A lot of people couldn't be home this time around for reasons I can't explain, but we had an interesting experience this week.

One of our investigators is very much into the Baptist church, and he invited us to a Wednesday night service over at his church. So we actually got to attend his Baptist church. It was pretty different than I expected. They didn't sing "hymns." More like Christian rock music with lots of "yes yes Lord" thrown into the lyrics. You'd also be surprised how many of the hymns in our hymnbook are also in theirs. They have "How Great Thou Art" "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" and a lot of others. They probably don't sing them too often though. Anyway, the pastor wore regular clothes, nobody wore Sunday clothes, and they basically talked about not saying the same prayer over and over. They told us to imagine what would come out of our mouths if we were to see God. (which I don't know how they believe that you can "see" God in the first place, as they believe God is a spirit that exists everywhere simultaneously). It was different, and I left being really glad that our church has the truths that we do. Anyway, hopefully by us doing that, we can get this guy to come to OUR church :)

We are also teaching this lady who believes that the church is true and that she needs to get baptized, but because of smoking and a lot of other things she told us she will get baptized "when God tells her to do so." Well, I hope we can tell her that her fence sitting philosophy won't really get her into the waters of baptism. But she's one of those people that just talks and talks. It becomes really difficult to talk to her and teach her because we are only allotted 5 to 10 minutes each time we go over there! Anyway, we are praying to find a way to take control of the situation without offending her.

Also, we have this lady in our ward who comes with her daughter. She has a lot of "strange" philosophies. She's trying to create this hybrid catholic-mormon religion. All of this may not seem too much of a problem except, she attends the gospel principles INVESTIGATOR class. Boy is difficult. She'll say things like "I really don't like how this church condemns suicide! It is a mental issue that is due to abuse as a child! I hate how only the "leave it to Beaver" perfect families get into the celestial Kingdom and the troubled people are condemned!" She said this in class yesterday. It’s completely not what the church teaches.  I’m afraid she is scaring our people away!

Anyway, that's all I have this week. We really do have an awesome ward! I love it here!!!!

Elder Bringhurst



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

There and Back Again

Well, well, I'm writing from the lovely abode of Grand Junction Colorado once again! I have been transferred to the Grand Junction 10th ward, a tiny little area of about 2 1/2 miles wide and 2 miles tall. It’s actually quite lovely.

So I love it here. My companion is Elder Nielson, who has just finished his training and on his 3rd transfer of his mission. So he is pretty new but he is an awesome missionary. He is kind of a timid guy and agrees with just about everything you say, and it's awesome. The ward is great, but they don't feed us as much as previous wards. We live in probably the best apartment yet. It is a large garage that has been converted into a place to live. So it’s really clean and we even have our own washer and dryer! So that's pretty neat. It’s also warmer than it is in Denver. But I hope I stay! I loved this area from day 1. I've really connected with the people and I introduced myself on Sunday to the ward and they seem pretty happy to have me there. I cannot imagine a better situation I could be in!

Another cool thing is Elder Nielson and I set a personal mission record for number of lessons in one week for him. We got 26 lessons on week 1, 5 more than his previous record of 21. So that felt pretty good. I've also decided to try and take more pictures. I've decided to try and send one a week that's pretty funny. I'll caption them because Grand Junction gets pretty redneck! I hope I stay in this area for a while, because I love it. Can't wait to see miracles!

Elder Bringhurst

News News News

February 25, 2013

Well we received transfer calls and I am leaving Littleton! President is going to transfer me into a new area as senior companion because the missionary there hasn't been out that long. Elder Fischer is going to be training a new missionary here. So lots of things happening.

We also have the new mission president announced. It's President Blake and Julie Murdock from Bountiful, UT. They will be our new mission president starting July 1. Also as you know they are opening a new mission in Fort Collins starting July 1. Our mission will be affected by it. There is a possibility that if I'm serving in the Denver or Arapahoe Stakes during the change of the mission, I will be reassigned to the Denver North mission for the rest of my mission. That's the main news.

We were able to teach someone who is living on campus of the Denver Seminary (no not our seminary, a place where people study to become pastors). He is studying to be a non denominational pastor. He wanted to find out more about our religion so he invited us so he could learn from us. It was an interesting lesson. He was asking a lot about God and his body and the whole saved by works vs. saved by grace thing. I basically told him that we don't believe that our works will save us, only the Savior's atonement can do that.  We can't do anything of ourselves. He was very intrigued and wanted to have us come back. But I am leaving tomorrow so I will not exactly be doing that personally, but it will be interesting to see how it goes.

Also we had a massive snowstorm yesterday that piled about 11 inches of snow on the ground. It was a fun day. Easy to find service opportunities.  My arm is super sore right now from shoveling all of the snow. But I am sad to leave but not that sad. I haven't been here that long so strong relationships haven't really been formed. But I have gotten to know a few people. So a new adventure awaits as I move to another area of the mission.

Elder Bringhurst

The Life and Times

February 19, 2013

There seems to be a bit of a drag here in Colorado. It’s winter, there are no real holiday's coming up (except St. Patrick’s day, woo hoo...?) and no Denver Broncos Football haha.

Anyway a bit of sad news. Lucas, the guy we miraculously ran into on the street, we went to his house and he said his parents didn't want him talking to religious people and that the only reason he talked to us was because he was really having a bad day. Oh well, the Lord intervened and he was given a chance. Hopefully someday in the future he will see the light. But enough of that.

This week was pretty uneventful. On Sunday I was able to play an arrangement to "Our Savior's Love" that I put together in about 4 days.   Must have been pretty good though, because I swear every single member of the ward came up to me and told me how good of a job I did. Several asked where I got the arrangement, and when I told them that I wrote it, they couldn't believe it. So that went pretty well.

Anywho, not much really happened in the missionary department. A lot of people weren't home, and Natasha couldn't meet with us this week. I also heard the Pope is resigning, that's kind of interesting, I wasn't aware they could do that. I also learned they are having trouble finding sister missionaries who can train. Too many sisters are leaving and coming in at the same time that they don't have enough sisters who are in a position to train. Crazy!

Well that's all I have for this week. Thanks for the Valentines!

Elder Bringhurst