September 26, 2016

Let it Snow:

I went on exchanges with Elder Belmonte for a day. He's also Philippino. He's so freakin funny. He's one of those people that doesn't try to be funny but everything they do is hilarious. We had trainer/trainee meeting. It was so fun. They seriously are the best. I love seeing everyone I came out with and the other friends I've made. Elder Paulson arrived into the mission. So freakin fun catching up with him. I still can't believe we got called to the same mission.

It's been snowing up in the mountains. The Cottonwood Elders joined Elder Agad and I in a trip up to Hatchers Pass. It made me really homesick seeing snow. I want to go skiing so bad. The truck couldn't even make it all the way up. We had to so some hiking. I chose to run out in the snow off a trial. I got to a sweet point but no one was willing to follow me so I had to take a selfie. The Elders are pretty wimpy when it comes to playing in the snow. The craziest thing is that we saw a guy drive his motorcycle all the way to where we had made it. He was trying to look really cool and pass this car but totally slid out in the snow. We had to help him up and get back on his bike. We also found an abandoned truck that crashed into a ditch. That was neat.

Jessica got baptized the other day. She had a great turnout from her family even though she doesn't have any relatives that are LDS. It was amazing to hear her testimony. She started investigating the church a year ago. She said she started out by looking for any reason to say no or prove the missionaries wrong but ended up getting baptized. Her husband really isn't interested but we got him to come to the confirmation and attend the rest of church services. He wants to get baptized he just doesn't know it yet. I'm really confident he'll want to start taking the lessons.

Elder Ogden


September 20, 2016

Apparently Moose is high in Calories:

Alaskan 40 mark- 10lbs down 30lbs to go

Elder Agad and I have been eating a lot of Moose for dinner. It's the hunting season so everyone's been feeding us Moose. Yesterday the Bishop, the First Counselor, and a quarter of the ward was gone hunting. The members have also been giving us a lot of fish. We have about ten fillets in our fridge. So we eat salmon and rice everyday for lunch. Last P-day the Elders in the Zone hiked part of Lazy Mountain. We only made it about three miles. The Elders in this zone are really out of shape. I felt sorry for some of them.

We visited that crazy member again, the guy that thought I was his son. He said it would most likely be the last time we saw him because he was leaving for Washington. Apparently he's been in a lawsuit over his house with these crazy Mexicans so instead of going to court he decided to run away. He built a massive van and is having it shipped to Washington but he can't drive it. He's had his license revoked for the past six years. The only state he's able to drive in is Colorado so that's where he's heading. He doesn't know how he's getting there but he's going to do it. He gave us shirts and showed us this trick his dog does. She sits up like a penguin. The dog does it all the time just a casual position for resting.

I had my first Zone Conference with the Wasilla Zone and Chugach Zone. It was crazy long but fun seeing the other missionaries. The departing missionaries gave their testimonies. It was odd hearing some of the Elders testimonies. You could definitely tell a difference between those that actually served a mission and those that didn't try. Some of them needed to extend their mission for another six months. But the ones that were actual missionaries had amazing testimonies.

Two of our investigators are still progressing so that's all good. Its amazing to see them change. At first it was so hard to get this certain one to pray at the end of the lessons. We been having her pray a lot. It's amazing to see how she went from not knowing how to pray to saying some of the most sincere and heart felt prayers I've ever heard. You can tell that the gospel is truly changing their lives. There's this older couple in the ward that everyone knows. They are Brother and Sister Obergs but everyone calls them Grandma and Grandpa. They feed us so much. They are such amazing people. They are so old but they are always outside working and giving service to others. I have no clue how their age hasn't caught up with them. They grow all their food in a little garden. They are absolutely amazing. They actually are going to be leaving on a trip for the next month and a half so we took a photo with them.

 Love Elder Ogden


September 13, 2016

Go, Go, Go Joseph:

This week has been fun. Once again we visited an interesting less active member. She and her husband are both less active but they're super nice people. They have 60 chickens roaming around in their backyard. It's pretty much their second job they said. They gave us a dozen eggs, so that was really nice.

While visiting some members a little dog came running at me and Edler Agad. I jumped out of the way but Elder Agad didn't see it. The dog ran straight towards him and bit his right ankle. So that was funny. Elder Agad said if the owner wasn't watching he would have stabbed it. Lol

We ran into that guy that gave us those world peace stickers again. He is absolutely insane. It's not ok. He talked to us for an hour and a half about the fall of Adam and Eve. Also he told us a little more in depth about his life. He thought for a second that I was his son. Yeah crazy. He said after our first visit he was thinking about an affair he had with this lady in Anchorage. Apparently she was planning on naming their son a name like Obren. So he thought the Lord sent me to come find my dad.  I assured him I wasn't his son. He said every time I speak it's like I'm reading his mind. Lol.  He said he wanted to visit more often though and start coming back to church so that's all good. He also might give us a free world peace shirt.

We've been listening to Elder Agad's music a lot. He's gathered a bunch of stuff from past Elders. He was scrolling through a playlist and the soundtrack for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat came on. I was so freakin pumped. He has never seen the movie before but I've been making him listen to the soundtrack while I'm trying to describe what's going on. The soundtrack is so freakin sick. I forgot how good the songs were. I've been listening to it in the shower every day.

I had my first real baptism.  Meaning I taught them from the first lesson till the end.  The Millers finally got baptized. They also had a baby blessing for their daughter. It was incredibly spiritual. They had family come up from Utah to preform the ordnance and give the baby blessing. They both are such incredible people. I don't think I'll find more Christlike investigators.

Elder Ogden

September 6, 2016

Bennett's staying in Fishhook:

The state fair has been going on for the past two weeks now. We finally had the opportunity to go on Monday last week. Apparently there was going to be monkeys riding dogs but the monkeys didn't catch their flight. The State Fair up here was really weird. The sun finally came out for the first time. It literally had been all rain and clouds before that. I went on exchanges with Elder Brown. That was really fun. He's awesome just like Elder Pace. I got really lucky with both of those exchanges because those are the only two people that I wanted to go on exchanges with. We ate our breakfast at a McDonalds. I couldn't believe the prices. They don't have a dollar menu here. They don't even have a value menu. Something that cost a dollar in Utah would be three dollars here.

We got transfer calls. No surprise I'm staying in the same area with Elder Agad. Unfortunately Both Elder Pace and Elder Brown are leaving the Zone. I guess I'll actually have to start talking to people I don't really want to. Jk. I still have Elder Leland in my Zone. But he's my last hope.

We have a bunch of trees right next to our window. And there are these squirrels that live in them. Elder Agad named them George and Jane. Every morning when I'm eating breakfast they start fighting. They go absolutely crazy. They jump tree to tree running around. They seriously shake the entire tree when they start fighting. Sometimes their friend James joins in but he doesn't really go crazy.

I've been watching a Mormon message a day. This past week I found these two. I've been sharing these two with the members. I can't explain how strong the spirit was when I first saw these. They both are some of the best Mormon messages I've seen. The second talks about having faith even in the hardest times of life. The first is about how we don't understand the influence we have on others.

President Henry B. Eyring say are true. I testify of "That particle of faith most precious and which you should protect and use to whatever extent you can is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." I have earnestly been trying my hardest to follow these simple words. In doing so I have seen too many blessings in my life to count.  I am forever grateful and indebted to my Heavenly Father.  Not because of what he has given me so far but because of the things I know he knows I can accomplish. It is only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that I am able to become the man he wants me to be. It is only through "serving God and others persistently with full heart and soul that turns testimony of truth into unbreakable spiritual strength." And that is what he wants of me, you, and everyone. For when we have unbreakable spiritual strength we can accomplish anything the Lord asks of us. I testify the Lord works miracles in times of need. Often times he strengthens us by stretching us to our very limits. In doing so we realize the greatest gift of all. The Atonement of our Savior and our Redeemer. I leave with you these things in the name of my brother, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Elder Ogden