November 28, 2016

Staying in Fishhook:

This week has been interesting to say the least. We went hiking at Hatchers Pass, we had Thanksgiving, we received transfer calls, and went to a Baptism.

On payday we went hiking at Hatchers Pass. It was pretty fun. Elder Bacon and I came up to a lake and decided to walk on it. It looked all the way frozen. We started walking out towards the center of the lake and all of the sudden we heard this deep crack. We immediately stood still. It sounded like the ice cracked on the entire lake. It was super freaky. We didn't go any further.

We spent Thanksgiving with the Deans family in the ward. They had a lot of friends over. It's a big thing in Alaska to spend the holidays with friends because nobody really has family near them.

We also had the opportunity of seeing an investigator get Baptized in the Matanuska ward. I was able to help teach her for multiple lessons simply because Elder Agad could speak Tagolag to her. She's the Philippino that fed us the nasty egg thing.

We also got transfer calls. We had to wait till Saturday morning. We were left freaking out all night because we had no clue as to what was going to happen. We'll to my surprise Elder Bacon is leaving and I'm staying. I'm going to be spending six months in Fishhook. Possibly seven and a half.  I honestly have no clue as to why I'm staying here for so long.

My next companion is going to be Elder Hoyer. Everyone who's served with him has told me I'm going to hate my life. One elder who I talked to broke his own hand out of anger because Elder Hoyer drove him crazy. I am so scared to serve with him. Sorry for the short email. I didn't have a lot of time this week.

Elder Ogden

Looking super cold in Alaska!

The District

November 22, 2016

Interesting Referrals:

This week has been great, as always in Fishhook. I got a jumpsuit, went on a three day exchange, have a new investigator who wants to be baptized, also had an interesting conversation with a Baptist Pastor.

Last Monday we went thrift store shopping. Again. This time I stumbled upon a bright orange jumpsuit. I immediately said to myself I have to have it. At the same time I realized it would be pointless to buy it because when would I ever wear it. But, I bought it anyway. I also found a hat that went with it so I had to grab that on the way out as well. It's probably one of the best things I've ever seen at a thrift store. The sisters in our district were giving me the dirtiest looks when they saw me. 

Elder Bacon took a trip out to Valdez for three days with one of our Zoneleaders so Elder Brown and I stayed back looking after both areas. It was very hectic. There was definitely a lot of work to be done. It was super fun serving with him for three days mainly because he's super chill and Elder Bacon's kinda the opposite.

We haven't been able to do any tracting this week. It's been getting freakin cold. On Saturday we went district tracting. Everyone wore heavy duty clothes trying to keep warm. Unfortunately we only lasted twenty minutes until we all agreed to head back to the cars. The worse part about it is that this is a really warm winter so far. There hasn't been an extreme amount of snow. Mild wind. The sun's kinda out. But for the most part it's just fetching freezing for no apparent reason.

We've been receiving a lot of referrals from other missionaries or members. We received one of a man named Phill. He seriously knows absolutely nothing about the gospel. He grew up in a JW (Jehovah Witness) family and at the age of 18 he decided to read a little more about other religions. Because of that decision his family disowned him, won't talk to him, won't acknowledge him or anything. It's super sad. But he's been feeling a lot of love from the members and finally knows what it means to feel the Holy Ghost so he's eager to come to church each Sunday. He's amazing. All of our investigators are amazing. I seriously cant believe how lucky I got with my first area. Our investigator Dawn Dominico has been setting up her appointments and bringing her own fellowshippers as well as reading all the material we ask of her. I wish I could stay here for another four months but, unfortunately transfer calls are coming up and I'll most likely be sent down to Anchorage. It's bound to happen sooner or later.

Another referral we received recently was a man named Bill. We knew nothing about him other than his address. So we stopped by Saturday, not thinking much about it. Maybe share a quick message. Bill turned out to be a Baptist Pastor. He has written six pages of reasons as to why the 13 Articles of Faith are wrong. He had actually met missionaries before and handed them these papers a while ago. Well . . . the missionaries gave us these papers in first transfer and they've been sitting under my books for months now. I never planned on meeting this man because the papers were full of contention. But this random referral we had just now received was this man. So we went through the Articles of Faith with him. It took over three hours. I never thought I would talk so much on such a simple thing. The worse part was the fact that he didn't agree with the third Article of Faith. He thought all you had to do was accept Christ and your saved. According to him you can say you've accepted Christ then go sin all you want as long as you confess Jesus Christ is your savior and redeemer. I can't describe how frustrated I was. It was unbelievable. But we did leave him with a Book of Mormon. So that's good.

 I also drove past the five time Iditarod champ while he was training again. This time I got a video. 

Elder Ogden
The Orange Suit                                            One of the roads we drove on

November 15, 2016

Don't mix Dinner with Politics:

Alaskan 40 mark: 20lbs down. 20lbs to go. I don't know if I was already at 20lbs but I weighed myself the other day and saw that.

This week was eventful in a way. Trump was elected president, we had interviews with President and went to the Temple.

We don't hear a lot of info being out in the mission field. The stuff that we do hear is all biased from people we talk to. Alaska is really into politics so they all try to bring it up in any conversation. The night Trump was elected we had dinner at a crazy members house. He is a HUGE Trump supporter. It was the weirdest thing. He started out by telling us about the election then somehow started talking about Muslims and other Middle-Eastern groups and how evil they all are. He started yelling about the Tribes of Israel and how the Muslims are horrible people. In all this his family was just laughing and cheering him on. He was cussing left and right. Elder Bacon and I had no clue what to do. We're not allowed to talk anything about politics. I seriously can't describe how weird it was because he's talking about a horrible thing yet he was using scriptures. Alaskans really get into their politics.

We also went to the temple. It's always amazing going there. I love the Anchorage temple so much. It's so cool how small it is yet it's still really functional. And it helps that the paintings on the walls are absolutely stunning. Interviews were chill. Nothing crazy happened. Except our zone have some Elders that are pretty bad. I asked them how it went. They both said President and his wife were crying because of the things these Elders have been doing. I don't know how it is in other missions, but there's a lot of missionaries that do apostate things here. 99% of the reason for that is because all the missionaries are so spread out. President is literally flying all over Alaska each month. We keep visiting Chickaloon. It's really pretty out there but the people are absolutely crazy. Every time we mention it members tell us to be extra safe out there. We've been good so far. Here's a fun scripture a member showed us in regards to the election.

Helaman 5:2-3 Helaman 7:4-5

Elder Ogden


        Zone Temple Trip                                               Bennett & Elder Bacon

                                                                Road Kill

November 7, 2016

No heat, no microwave, no fridge...
but he has Mormon Ads!

This week has been great. We had day-light savings two nights ago but it doesn't do very much up here. It seriously was so pointless. We still wake up and do studies in the dark and now it gets darker faster at night. It's hard staying out after dinner visiting people because it literally is pitch black when we get done with dinners.

The Iditarod is coming up so people have been getting out their dogs and training them. Near where I'm serving lives a five time Iditarod champion. Just the other night we saw him training. A lot of the roads in Alaska have dirt trails just along the side for atv's and what not. The other night we were driving home going about 50 mph. We looked to our right and saw this guy in a 4x4 getting pulled by sled team dogs. It was such a weird thing to see. The dogs all leave their mouths open when running so their tongues just hang loose. Apparently its really hard to raise those dogs because all they want to do all the time is run. It's the only thing they live for. Some members say they go up to Nome to watch the finish line. They say after the finish line the sled driver has to put on a break because the dogs continue sprinting. It's crazy to think about that because the dogs just got done running over 900 miles. Crazy.

We finally met the investigator in Chickaloon. He's a native. His family is Baptist but for some reason he believes he should start going to the LDS church. We taught the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ as well as the Book of Mormon. It was the coolest thing to see his face light up when we told him that Jesus came to the Americas and visited the natives. His eyes got so big as we said those words. A lot of the natives up here have a lot of stories of a white man visiting their ancestors. Elder Bacon told me that a lot of natives grow up hearing these stories then come to read the B of M and are amazed it tells of similar things. It's pretty awesome. Unfortunately not a lot of them get baptized because of the WOW (Word of Wisdom) and other standards. But still neat.

Elder Bacons and mine apartment is slowly falling apart. We have no clue as to what to do. First of all our heater doesn't really work so we have a little office heater on max 24/7. Our microwave broke. Half the power outlets went out. The worse of all is that our fridge broke last night. We seriously have no clue on what going on.

The other day I downloaded over 200 mormon ad photos onto my ipad. I had to do it one by one but they are so money. That was definitely one of my happiest moments this week. Seeing those ads. 

Elder Ogden

Driving on Icy Roads

One of Bennett's favorite Mormon Ad's