August 29, 2016

1 Month Down:

I'm really busy rn so this weeks letter is going to be short.

I got to spend Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday with Elder Pace. He is
one of the Zone Leaders. He's one of the Elders I took a photo with in
front of the temple. He's such a funny guy. He's just awesome and
really cool. While on exchanges with him this really awkward Elder
told the Sisters that all the Elders in the Zone hated them. He did
this multiple times. It was the weirdest thing ever. He did it while

we were away so we didn't find out till later. Apparently it was dead
quite and so he thought it would be a good idea to make that stupid
comment. The next day while doing service we broke the back of a truck
window. Shiz just happens. It wasn't my fault though.

I gave myself a haircut. It turned out to be alright. I had to have
Elder Agad fix some things but it's the best I could do.

Elder Agad and I went up to Hatchers Pass with Elder Leland and Elder
Beazer. We saw some people up there hang gliding.

We visited this man named Tim. He's not LDS but loves having the
missionaries over. He's a huge fan of American history and guns. He
seriously knew everything about American history. He collects guns.
I'm not joking. Every foot in his house was covered with guns. I asked
him how many he had and he said "more than 10 and less than 300". No
joke I saw at least 200 guns. I'm really not exaggerating. It was
absolutely crazy. He spent 45 mins just showing us a few guns and
talking about its history. 

Elder Ogden

August 22, 2016


Monday. At a zone meeting we ate lunch at a members house. Really nice couple. They didn't have enough chairs so we mostly sat on buckets. They had a million bunnies, a parrot, big goldfish, and 20 picots. He also has an underground bunker. The thing is bigger than our apartment. We also went to a thrift store again. I got a helmet for my bike, sweet goggles, and a Jackie Chan poster. We also went to a horse ranch. They raise competitive horses. They had about 30 of the biggest and tallest horses I've ever seen.

Tuesday. We taught one of our progressing investigators with our ward mission leader. During the lesson the lady started crying. After the lesson he told me that's the easiest baptism I'll ever have on my mission. We have this other lady that just got baptized right before I came and whenever we teach her the new member lessons she's always drunk. One time she offered to say the closing prayer and stopped halfway through. Her somewhat sober husband came in and continued/closed the prayer. It was the weirdest thing. During the entire lesson he was quoting hymns. They were both wasted. It's sad to see it but the bishop said there's nothing else we can do.

Wednesday. We went to the temple. The temple here is crazy small but really awesome. You take off your shoes and coats at the entrance and there's heated tiles on the floor.

Thursday. Elder Agad and I gave a blessing to a less active member. He lives in a little house in the woods.

Friday. We helped a member move things around in his house. This man is really old but he's a legend. He seriously does and plays everything known to man. He lettered in three sports at BYU. He competes in the senior Olympics for skeet, pole vault, and shooting. He's got a million medals and trophies all over his house. We rode our bikes. It was pretty much just mountain biking because we stayed on a dirt trail the entire time. Later in the day we were visiting less active and one family had five puppies. These kids came out of nowhere and threw a dog on my lap. The dog pissed allover me. Seriously everywhere. I didn't even want to hold the stupid thing. And of course when we went to our next appointment their dog was shoving his face in between my legs. I was not happy.

Saturday. We taught the kid who just got baptized the beginning of the new member lessons. We showed the Because Of Him video. Half way through the video the kid started crying. And of course I got a bleary eyed because I couldn't believe that this kid was comprehending what the savior meant to him. When I was nine years old I barely new why Jesus was so important. I was so impressed with this kid because I could tell that he could tell that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love him. The best part is that once the video was over he looked over at us and said " I couldn't read the words". Once he said that I was just blown away. Just by watching the video and being able to read only a few words and still understand what the message was is just amazing. It was just really neat. He's an amazing kid with a really hard life.

Sunday. Once again we talked about cutting wood for a good chunk of time in our meetings.

Elder Ogden

August 16, 2016

First Baptism

Monday. Elder Agad and I went fishing at 4 in the morning at Jim
creek. It was so pretty. Across the creek we could see this massive
glacier field off in the distance. Unfortunately we didn't catch
anything but the people that took us did. They just packaged it and
will be giving us some soon. We also went to a bishops attic. I got
these really cool ties I'm going to make skinny. If I can find the

Tuesday. We taught this lady the first lesson and she also accepted to
be baptized. Elder Agad and I have been so blessed with many people to
teach and haven't had any time to go tracking in our area. We've only
spent two hours knocking on doors so far and it has been in the
sisters area because they keep asking us to help.

Wednesday. We went over to teach one of our investigators and after we
had gotten done talking about life he asked to say the closing prayer
but we hadn't even said the opening prayer. We pretty much assumed he
was a bit drunk. But everyone has their challenges and we haven't
gotten to the wow lesson yet. He actually is a really nice guy. His
life story is pretty sad. He is a forced retired veteran. He was a
sniper and on the way to a new area the car he was in exploded. Every
person in the vehicle died except him because he got thrown out of the
car. Because of this accident he has a learning disability but he
loves learning about the gospel. He has the nicest heart ever. He
spends so much time giving service. Nearly everyone here is a veteran
and it's crazy hearing all their stories.

Thursday. Elder Agad and I took a little field trip in the mountains.
I won't say how long we spent exploring because I know I shouldn't
have but its so hard not to. Our area is so big. It would take over
probably an hour and a half to drive to the other end of our area. We
have so many mountains and glacier fields in our area. I survived my
first interview with the president and his wife. Talking with sister
Robinson was more stressful than meeting with president Robinson. She
wrote down everything I said. I also can't get enough reading in for
the day so I spend and extra 30 mins each night reading. Right now
I've been reading the teachings of president David O. McKay a lot.

Friday. We got a new referral. They are a couple. They are Baptist and
apparently the wife wasn't very nice when talking to the missionaries.
The man gave them a 10 page paper on why he thought the 13 articles of
faith are false. I'm really scared to meet with them. I haven't even
bothered to read the paper. I just keep staring at it. Elder Agad on
the other hand has stayed up every night studying it. He's writing his
responses in on the side and plans on handing it back.

Saturday. Marcellus had his baptism. I did teach him some of the
lessons but not all. He's not one of the people I mentioned last week.
He's nine years old. He lives with his grandma, dad, and his little
sister in a small house. The dad isn't active at all. He smokes a lot
but it's good that he wants his son to grow up in the church.
Marcellus comes regularly with his grandma. We had the ward mission
leader baptize him because we wanted someone who would be an example
in his life and be there as he grew up. We also visited the less
active and once again we met a very interesting character. He lives in
the forest in a run down trailer house/shack. He went on for two hours
about conspiracy theories with the government and the Bible. To say
the least he was very interesting.the bishop keeps asking him to be
temple worthy but he said he won't give up his pot and coffee.
Seriously he had pot all over the table and a big flag with a
marijuana leaf on it. We helped a family a little in building their
house. They are so nice and gave us two bikes to ride around. They
have very little of everything. They live in a trailer right now with
two little kids. I can't believe how nice they were to give us these.
They don't even have enough money to buy church cloths. They come
every week in rugged pants and t shirts. I also put nair on my
armpits. Nair is this stuff that you rub on your legs and it burns
your hair off. Some of the elders have done it for fun so I thought I
would try my armpits. That was not smart at all. I thought it would be
funny but man it started to burn into my skin. Yesterday and today
have been so painful.

Sunday is always great. In ward council we talked about chopping down
trees and cutting wood for 20 mins. It's a serious thing here.

It's been pretty chilly in the apartment so I've started wearing my
snow caving boots around. It's pretty nice having that.

Elder Ogden



August 8, 2016

Working on My Alaskan 40

Alaskan 40 mark- 5lbs down. 35lbs to go

Monday was chill. I showed everyone in my zone scatterball. My
companion has really gotten into it. Instead of working out, he throws
the ball at the wall everyday. We all went to a thrift store. It was
so money. I wanted to buy everything I saw. It was 20x better than a
DI. I wanted to buy all the jackets there. I did buy some sick
sunglasses though.

Tuesday. Elder Agad showed me Hatcher Pass. It was so neat touching
snow in August. And we didn't even make it far up the mountain. There
was quite a bit of it too. It's so cool up there and the best part is
that its in our area. There's this little village at the top. We also
got a referral for a couple. We taught them the first lesson and they
both accepted to be baptized. So so awesome.

Wednesday was crazy cool. Elder Agad and I went to go visit less
actives and we came across this crazy hippie. We just wanted to say hi
and share a quick lesson but he went on for 30 minutes about his
beliefs on religion. After that he talked to us for another 45 minutes
about his life. He was getting way to into it when talking to us. He
was shaking his hands, walking around, kicking plants while talking to
us. He's probably 65. He's all organic. He runs with his fat little
dog that apparently runs with him when he skis. He started a company
called One Earth World Peace. He's building a van/tank thing to drive
down to the lower 48. He gave us a sticker though. We also got another
investigator. We taught her the first lesson and she also accepted to
be baptized. Crazy that three people already are on date for baptism.

Thursday. Elder Agad thinks I'm obsessed with mountains. Some member
saw us at Costco and paid for $100 dollars worth of food and stuff.
What's even more crazy is she said she does this a lot and
missionaries usually spend more. We also started eating very little at
breakfast and lunch and plan on eating a lot at the members houses.
We're trying to save money because we get so little.

Friday. For music we've been listening Brandon Heath a lot. He's
actually pretty good. Elder Agad taught me how to make a skinny tie.
All the elders give him ties requesting him to make them skinny so I
asked if he could teach me. It took over an hour for one tie. You
pretty much take every thing apart, trim it, iron it, put it together,
iron it, then lace it back up.

Saturday was my first click day. I've come to realize everyone here
has a dog. And all the dogs are massive. They're so scary sometimes.

Sunday was Sunday.

This morning we woke up at 4am and went fishing.

Anyways it's all good and better than good.

Elder Ogden

August 3, 2016

Landed in Alaska
Assigned to Fishhook:

Thursday was not fun at all. I was sick all day and the dryer at the MTC left black marks all over my white shirts. 

Friday was the most boring day ever. We sat in infield orientation all day. I fell asleep like five times. I also poked two holes in my fingernail. So much blood came out. I took some photos but the computers here aren't working so I don't know when you'll be able to see them. 

Saturday was just Saturday. I actually started talking to my roommates ( Elder Leland and Elder Freestone) they are actually really funny. They both are very sarcastic. They can be racist at times and they aren't politically correct. It got a bit awkward at times but I came to really like them.

Sunday was horrible. I lost my voice completely. Elder Jones and I had to teach district meeting but elder jones taught the entire thing because I literally couldn't say anything. It sounded like I was going through puberty. The worst part was that it was my branch presidents last sacrament meeting in the MTC so the MTC president was presiding. Of course I got called on to give my talk. I had to whisper into the microphone. It was so bad. Everyone was giving me this pity/ discussed look on their face.

Monday was good.

Tuesday was very long. I woke up at 1:30 for my flight. We had a layover in Oregon. It was so pretty flying into Alaska. The clouds are very thick so all I could see was mountains shooting into the sky.

Wednesday. My first area is Fishhook. I got my first companion. His name is Elder Agad. He is from the Phillipeens. He's short but he's a cage fighter so that's cool. He acts like he's 12 when he's actually 21. He speaks English and tagolag on his mission. I also got my iPad. Elder Agad can't drive so I am the driver. We drive a Nissan frontier truck. I have no clue where anything is. Everyone here owns a truck. Our apartment is one of the biggest in the mission. We have our own workout room. Everyone here loves to cross country ski. They all wake up early and do the land cross country skiing. I can't believe how long the sun stays out at night. We never use the lights in our apartment even at 10:30. It's always overcast here so when the sun comes out it feels like you are getting fried. We also have to take 1000 IU vitamin D pills each day. 

Thursday. We did some service for some members. We pulled weeds but we had to cover all of our body because a lot of the plants here mess you up if you just touch them. We are supposed to never touch devil clubs. We also have to limit our service to two hours a day because we do so much. All the house here are way small and made out of anything they can find. The houses in my area are either cabins or trailers. The trailers and most houses have trash all over the place. Some people make fences out of the trash. There are also a million spiders here. I've already seen five moose. They are everywhere. I'm next to this mountain called pioneer peak. I want to hike it so bad. The mountains in my area are kinda a mix between the Tetons and the Wasatch front. We have a list of people in our area. It's pretty funny because we have a do not contact list with around 15 names. Apparently if we go to these house we will for sure get a gun pulled on us. I don't want to test my luck.

Friday was good. I noticed there is this one area in our mission where these people live next to an airstrip. They all own personal planes and just park them in front of their house. 

Saturday. We went tracking. A lot of people would open the door see us then immediately shut it. Nearly half the people here have private property signs and they mean it. When they have one sign they usually have four. There are a million bees here. Apparently you can't kill Ravens. Natives will shoot you if you do. All the missionaries keep telling me about the Alaskan 40. On average missionaries gain 40 pounds in Alaska. One missionary gained 100 pounds. 

Sunday. The ward is really small. It's less than half the Highland ward. That surprised me. What surprised me even more was the youth speaker said this was a lot for them. 

Anyways it's all good.

All the new missionaries and their companions 
in front of the Alaska Temple

Bennett with President & Sister Robinson

Bennett with his new companion Elder Aged