September 18, 2017

Facebook is coming to AK:

This week was super busy. We drove to Fairbanks and back for exchanges. We then drove to and from Fbx again for a special Zone Conference with Elder Foster of the Seventy. We also received transfer calls this week. One of our investigators has committed to baptism!

At the beginning of the week. Elder Johnson and I enjoyed spending P-day with the missionaries in Fairbanks. The next day we went on exchanges. I was able to come back to Delta with Elder Brown. It was super fun serving with him for those splits. Last time we served around each other was when I was in Fishhook (my first area). After splits we had to drive back to Fbx for a special meeting with Elder Foster of the Seventy.

Elder Foster gave an amazing training. He really helped the mission see how we can do more effective missionary work with members involved. Something really crazy and out of this world was that he believes the mission can be getting 100 baptisms a month if all the members and missionaries work together. The most I've ever seen is 35 so it looks like we're going to have to step up our game. Thankfully our mission president announced that the mission will be receiving Facebook. Now we will be able to proselytize online. I'm super stoked for Facebook simply because missionaries can go door to door sharing the gospel but it takes so long to talk to just 50 people. With online proselytizing a missionary or anyone can post some spiritual message they like and it's viewed by hundreds of people within seconds.

Elder Johnson and I will be staying another transfer here in Delta Junction. I'm super pumped bc I love this place like crazy. The people here are just amazing. I'm also stoked because our investigator, Andy, has committed to being baptized next month. It's so amazing seeing someone make this huge step in their life. He's going to be an amazing member.

I hope everyone has a solid week!




September 11, 2017

RIP Moose

Last week I saw a moose run into a vehicle. This week I unfortunately saw the aftermath of a vehicle hitting a moose. This week Elder Johnson and I were able to help a couple of investigators with service. We also were able to teach them one last lesson before they moved. The transfer continues to be full of hard work knocking door to door.

Elder Johnson and I saw another moose this week. No surprise since we see a handful a week. The thing that set this guy apart from the rest was that we found him lying on the side of the road. The poor moose was hit by a vehicle. I hope whoever was driving is safe because moose road kill is a serious thing in Alaska.

We are always getting told as we leave members homes to watch out for moose. It seems to be a way more dangerous hazard than drunk driving. So be safe when around moose and keep an eye out for them if you visit Alaska. We were able to have a nice switch up of things this week. We helped a couple of investigators with service. It was awesome spending some time serving them. The sad thing is that we helped them move. It seems to be the teaching pool gets smaller and smaller the more diligent work elder Johnson and I do. You would think that the more we work and the harder we try to be diligent, the work would improve but it appears to be the opposite. Hopefully as we continue to do our best the work will improve.

There has been a lot of tender mercies in my life right now. Since we have tracked the entire area, it is a blessing when we run into someone new. I'm excited for the coming week as Elder Foster of the Seventy will be visiting the mission. I will drive back and forth from Delta and Fairbanks for four days in a row due to exchanges and the special meeting. Wish us luck so we don't hit any moose.

 Have a great week.




September 4, 2017

Watch out for charging Moose:

This week was pretty cool. Elder Johnson and I were able to travel to Fairbanks at the beginning of the week. We also went on exchanges. We are always on the search for a new street to tract. Thankfully some people have been calling asking for help with service.

Fairbanks was fun as always. It was really good getting up there and playing some spike ball with the zone. It's a lot better than just me and Elder Johnson playing each other. Haha. We also went on exchanges. I was able to come back to Delta for the splits. We spent a good chunk of time driving around searching for streets to tract. It's been difficult since Elder Johnson and I have tracted pretty much all of Delta. Thankfully we found a golden street with ten houses on it. Haha. We're at the point where if a street has two or three houses on it, we have to jump on it quick.

Thankfully some members and nonmembers have been calling us up asking for an extra hand with things. We were able to help move a massive chicken coupe, cut down some trees, move a family, and load a semi truck full of hay.

Funny thing happened this week. While we were driving on the freeway. A semi truck was driving in the other lane towards us. Right as the semi got near us and we were about to pass by each other a moose comes sprinting out of the woods and runs straight into to semi. Thankfully the moose was the one hitting the semi. It was funny to see the moose run around in the road all dazed and confused after ramming into this truck. Who knows what happened to the Moose. He ran back into the woods. 

Have a great week.




August 28, 2017

All Tracted Out:
Hello. Hello.

This week was super solid. We got to drive to Tok. We had some really good lessons. We have tracted all of Delta.

Tok was really cool and fun. We were able to do a lot of finding for the couple of days.

What do you do once you've tracted your area and you still have a couple weeks left in the transfer? That's the question Elder Johnson and I are currently asking ourselves. Hopefully we can find some more streets that we just happened to miss. Wish us luck!

Sorry for the short email. We're currently in Fbx.


 

August 21, 2017

Winter's coming to Delta:

Hello everyone. Fall has come! Zoned conference was this past week. The work moves forward with hours upon hours of tracting.

The leaves are changing colors fast. Some of the leaves have already begun to fall off the trees. It's always scary seeing the leaves turn color in Alaska. Alaskans says that fall is only three weeks long before winter comes. It's been feeling like fall will only be here for the next little while. Some of the mountains surrounding Delta Junction have already received snow. It's scary thinking about how fast winter comes.

We had Zone Conference and interviews. It's always fun being able to travel up to Fairbanks and see everyone. We had a really good Zone Conference with a lot of motivating training.

The work here in Delta has been dying down unfortunately. But on the bright side, with less people to teach means more hours for tracting. Haha. It's been a really good learning experience serving in Delta right now. I've come to work my hardest and rely on the Lord in everything.

This coming week Elder Johnson and I will be driving a couple of hours to Tok to spend a few days doing missionary work. Wish us luck.

Have a great week.




August 14, 2017

Greenies like to Tract:

Hello. Hello. This week was really fun. Half of the week was spent with logistics. The other half was spent working hard in Delta Junction with my new comp Elder Johnson.

The first half of the week was pretty relaxed and chill. I was hosted in Fairbanks for a night. I got to spend P-day with the missionaries up there. I loved seeing and being hosted by some good friends. I also flew down to Anchorage then spent the night there with some other awesome missionaries. On Wednesday all of the new missionaries met their companions. My new companion is Elder Johnson. He's from St. George. He's a super hard worker. Over all he's just a stud missionary. I've really enjoyed working with him.

Ever since we've gotten back to Delta. We've just been putting in the work. I've been loving every second of it. Even though it's a small community we've been tracting like crazy. All day everyday. I've actually come to enjoy tracting quite a bit. Wish us luck as we continue to tract out Delta!

Have a great week



August 7, 2017

Hiking's not for everyone:

Hello. Hello. This week went by really quick. Last Monday Elder Havenar and I had quite the experience attempting to hike a hill. We received transfer calls from President Toone. Elder Havenar is going home in a few days. I will be picking up a greenie missionary in Anchorage.

Last monday was pretty exhausting as Elder Havenar and I hiked this hill called Donelly Dome. We've been talking to a lot of members about the hike for the past few weeks and finally decided to do it. We were told it would only take and hour and a half. It ended up taking five hours. Ahh. I had a good time though. I don't know about my comp on the other hand.

We've been taking it easy this week with Elder Havenar injuring himself on the hike. He was told to stay off his legs for a few days. It's a good thing we have a car to drive instead of biking everywhere. 

Transfer calls came. I will be training a new missionary. I'm really excited to have some greenie fire in my mission again. My logistics are pretty crazy. I will be in Fairbanks for today and tomorrow. I then spend a night in Anchorage and pick up my comp then fly back to Fairbanks. We will then do all our picking up the car, shopping, etc then take the long drive back to Delta on Wednesday night.

Elder Ogden

July 31, 2017

Throwing Hatchets...but No Rifles:

Another week in paradise. This past week was full of adventures. Elder Havenar and I have been able to meet and talk with a lot of new people. We've been on the search for new investigators this past week. We went finding at some Delta parks and the Delta junction fair.

This week was full of finding. It's a bit hard tracting here due to all of the houses being spread apart by farms. It's been fun trying to get creative in our finding methods. This week we spent a lot of time visiting recreational parks, state parks, community parks. My favorite was visiting quartz lake. The few people there were nice and the view was amazing. Delta junction is beautiful.

This weekend was the Delta junction parade and fair. It was awesome seeing everyone from lands so spread apart come together for fun activities. We got to see a lot of animals, shops, musical events, and more. We also talked a lot with some mountain men. We were able to throw some hatchets with them. Unfortunately we are not allowed to hold firearms so we had to say no to the black powder rifles. It was fun seeing all the outdoor games and celebrations of a small community in Alaska.

I hope everyone has a good week.



July 24, 2017

Fake Investigator:

Hello. This past week was really good. Other than finding out one of the investigators we're working with isn't really an investigator. Zone conference and interviews were this past week. It was my first time meeting the new mission president and his wife. The work moves on in Delta.

Zone conference was this past week. It was really awesome being able to finally meet President and Sister Toone. President Toone is the new mission president in the AAM. It was so amazing being able to visit with him for Zone conference. I loved the Training President Toone gave. He used to be in charge of the institutes in Idaho so he really knows how to teach. He is especially good at knowing where everything is in the scriptures. It was an awesome time learning from him.

We also had interviews. Those were fantastic. I absolutely loved the time with President and Sister Toone. It's so incredible spending time with those two. Just getting to know President Toone was awesome.

The other day I called a good friend who served in Delta Junction a year ago. He is currently serving in another area. I was asking about the investigator we have that talks for hours on end yet won't share any personal information. After some explaining my friend told me that the same man had called him while he was serving in Whitehorse. Of course the man used a different name at that time. After talking about the whole situation and calling the investigator with had some serious concerns. We came to understand that the man has been calling all sorts of missionaries in Alaska, Washington, California, etc. The man rants for hours and hours about how the Book of Mormon teaches that God is Jesus the Christ. We have no clue as to what his intentions are by calling so many missionaries and just going off on false doctrine. We sincerely tried helping the man but it just got so frustrating. He won't accept any of our help. We finally had to end the calls because together between me and my friend we probably spent more than 15 hours talking to him with no progress.

The work seems to be going great other than that odd incident. I'm loving every second in Delta Junction.

I hope everyone has a good week.



July 17, 2017

Slacklining for Exercise

Hello!

This week was really great. I was able to spend some time up in North Pole for exchanges. I've started slacklining for my morning exercise. Elder Havenar and I have been working a lot with the less actives and potential investigators here in Delta Junction. We got to see some more cute pooches.

Exchanges up in North Pole were awesome. I loved every second being able to serve up there and with Elder Fawson. He's a stud. While I was in North Pole/Fairbanks I was able to purchase a slackline. It certainly left a hole in my wallet but I'm hoping I'll get my money's worth out of it for morning exercise and on P-Days.

Elder Havenar and I have been doing a lot of work with contacting people in our area book. It's a bit of a struggle trying to find new investigators here due to the fact that not a lot of people live here and every house is super spread apart. We're hoping we're going to find a lot of success working with the people who already know the missionaries or have talked to the missionaries in the past.

The work is going great in delta.  I'm loving my time out here.



July 10, 2017

Protecting the Crops:

Hello from Fairbanks Alaska. Today, tomorrow, and the following day I will be spending my time in Fairbanks and the North Pole. This past week was super cool. Elder Havenar and I have been doing a lot of missionary work here in Delta J.

Like I said before, I'm currently in Fairbanks enjoying the Pday with other missionaries. I will be able to spend a couple more days in North Pole for exchanges. I'm excited to be able to see North Pole. My first companion, Elder Agad served there and has told me a lot of awesome stories.

This past week was super solid with receiving blessings and referrals. Elder Havenar and I made the extra effort to try a little harder with our obedience. Well that same day we received a self referral from a young woman who recently returned from a 14 month trip in Uganda. She met with a senior couple there and absolutely loved their sweet spirit. While she was on her trip she read the entire Book of Mormon and loved it. It's been awesome working with her. It's been a bit of a struggle due to some Word of Wisdom issues but we're working on that.

We also received another self referral. This time it was a man. He doesn't like sharing too much personal information so we've had all our conversations and lessons over the phone. He said he might be interested in meeting up at a library or something once he realizes we have similar beliefs. He too has read the entire Book of Mormon. He also has done a lot of research on lds.org. He is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to religion. He received a PHD and bachelor's degree in religious doctrine. The phone calls are very lengthy. One of which was over two hours long and he seems to do all the talking.

Both investigators are wonderful people. I'm excited to continue working with them.

Something funny happened a couple nights ago. We were at out dinner appointment and half way through the dinner the father received a text from a friend warning about a golf ball sized hail storm coming their way. He and his wife both turned to each other and said "The Crops!" In sheer panic he and his wife ran outside and the children soon followed. Being left at the dinner table me and my companion decided to hurry after to see what was going on. We soon realized they were setting up a tarp over their crops to save the plants. We ran after the family to help. In all of a matter of seconds the weather went from lightly sprinkling to full out buckets of water falling from the sky. As soon as we got the tarp over the crops the hail started to come. Running back inside we realized just how wet we were. All of us were just completely soaked from head to toe. Standing in one spot seemed to make a puddle on the floor. We all watched in our drenched clothes as the hail did not turn into golf ball sized clumps but we were able to have a good laugh at the whole situation. We of course finished dinner shortly after that.

I hope everyone has a good week.



July 3, 2017

Go Hug some Huskies!

Hello! This past week was the best week on the mission so far. This week was one for the books. It all started last Monday with a visit to Whittier. I then had the day long travel to my new area in Delta Junction. Since arriving here I've loved meeting the wonderful people and seeing all the breathe taking views here.

One of my last days in Anchorage was spent taking a drive out to this place called Whittier. Whittier is a small fishing community built during World War II. The original reason for building Whittier was to hold prisoners in an inescapable valley covered by ginormous mountains. The only way to get in and out of the valley is to either come in via boat on the water or to drive through a mountain.

Yes. That's right. Drive through a mountain. The tunnel is about two miles long and it has about five safe houses inside in case something were to happen and you couldn't get out. As you can imagine the tunnel is very dark and wet but when you get to the other side the view is to die for. We happened to go when it was raining but it was still incredible.

On Wednesday some missionaries and I took a nice flight to Fairbanks for transfers. It's so cool seeing how all my areas have been so geographical spread apart and how they all differ incredibly. After we landed in Fairbanks I was blessed to see some old friends. Then Elder Havenar and I drove the couple hours to Delta Junction. The drive was beautiful.

Delta Junction is so beautiful and has been quite the treat to me. I have loved every second here. The people are amazing. The ward is a bit small but I love how easy it is to love every single one of them. Everyone comes from such different backgrounds and they welcome you even if you don't believe in the gospel. Just an outstanding ward.

The missionary work here is a bit slow due to it being a very small community. It seems like a lot of the days are going to be spent walking around small taking to people.

The landscape is beautiful! Delta Junction itself is fairly flat with some hills but it's surrounded by mountains. There is a lot of farm land here. I'm not a farmer but I just absolutely love seeing all the farm land off the dirt roads while the sun is setting. Oh wait! It never gets dark here. How crazy is that?! The sun sets around 12 but it stays bright outside 24/7. Believe me I know because I was woken up my first night by our neighbor who mowed his lawn around midnight. Haha.

A few days ago we helped some members on their farm land. We helped them move 27 of their 49 huskies from the front yard to the back. Yes! They own 49 huskies! So cool! I was in heaven. The best part is that all the dogs just love you with kisses and hugs. I was in heaven. I attached pictures. I fetching love Delta.

I hope everyone has a solid July Fourth. Go hug some huskies. I recommend it.

Elder Ogden




June 26, 2017

Flying to Delta Junction:

This past week was super sweet. The district has been doing a lot of service recently. We received transfer calls. It looks like I'll be getting back on the plane for a beautiful flight.

The district has been doing service with multiple organizations in Anchorage. Something neat we did this past week was plant lettuce for the Kids Lunchbox organization. We spent quite some time planting lettuce. Kids Lunchbox had some pretty legit stuff. All new soil, fancy dirt water, and a few different types of lettuce.

Saturday morning President Robinson called and told us our transfer calls. It was definitely the most surprising transfer call I've gotten yet. It was even more shocking then getting called to the Samoan ward. It turns out Elder Vaioa will be staying for seven and a half months. I will be leaving after only three months in Dimond to serve in Delta Junction! How cool is that?! I will fly to Fairbanks with the other missionaries on Wednesday. I will then get picked up by my companion and drive the couple hours to our area. Serving in Delta Junction is going to be so so fun. I'm so pumped! It's gonna be sad being far away from missionaries and everyone but I got used to that in Petersburg.

A little info on Delta J. My mission president told me it's a really small farming community in the middle of nowhere. Everyone is either in the Army or a farmer. He was super pumped for me to serve there. He said I'm going to love it to death. I also will get to drive a couple hours southeast to a town named Tok (That's pronounced as Toke). We visit Tok once a month. We also take the long drive to fbx for zone conference and I believe one Pday a transfer. I'm hoping to visit fbx more often than that.

I'm so excited! Wish me luck with the travels. I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Ogden



June 19, 2017

Father's Day & Rugby:

Talofa! This week was really fun. The ward held a party a few nights ago to celebrate father's day. Elder Vaioa and I have been hitting tracting hard recently. We also went OYMing (opening your mouth) at a rugby tournament.

In appreciation for the fathers, the ward held a father's day party. As you can imagine there was a lot of food. I certainly didn't walk away hungry. The women and youth programs all preformed some dances they had prepared. It is always a joy to come to these parties. I'm glad to be serving in the Dimond ward. I hope everyone else had a great father's day.

Elder Vaioa and I have been going door to door a lot recently. The work has seemed to die down a bit. Our bishop has warned us about this. In the summertime the work in the Samoan ward dies due to everyone taking breaks from all the work and celebrating that occured within the past couple months. Hopefully we see some more success in finding those nonmember Samoans.

Continuing our attempt of finding new Samoans we went to a rugby tournament this past Saturday. It was quite the experience trying to find where it was. We first thought it was going to be held downtown because that seemed the most logical. Well... It turned out it wasn't there. We asked some other missionaries and they sent us the address. We started driving toward this address but it didn't seem to be correct. The road slowly had us driving into the mountains away from everything. The pavement eventually turned into dirt; less and less we began to see human civilization. I was really questioning if we were on the right road until all of the sudden at the bottom of a hill we saw a dirt parking lot full of cars. We parked the car and as soon as I came over the hill my breathe was taken away. Not only was there a rugby tournament going on but there was one of the biggest houses I had ever seen. This place was crazy. The view was spectacular. I could not imagine how much it would have cost to build everything all together.

It turns out the man who owns the place is a huge fan of rugby so he holds tournaments every so often. He likes to play himself so they have an age 40+ game. That was interesting to watch. We were able to see the Samoan team play which was awesome. They did a great job.

Have a great week.



June 12, 2017

Reunited with Susan:

Talofa! This week was super sweet. A lot of stuff happened. At the start of the week I ran into Susan on exchanges. My hammock has now become my best friend. The district has started doing service at beans cafe every week. I got to meet president Nelson, Elder Gong, Elder Murray, and their wives. Alaska celebrated the Independence Day of Samoa.

At the beginning of the week I went on exchanges to the Westchester Ward. It was super cool being able to go finding for English people again. At the same time the exchange made me grateful for the work we have in Dimond because the Westchester Elders do finding 24/7. While on exchanges, one of their eternal investigators called and invited us over for lunch. We gladly accepted. Once we got their and I met the investigator, I could tell something was a bit odd. It felt like I had seen this lady before maybe out on the streets or something. I couldn't figure it out for the longest time until my trainers name got brought up. She started talking about Elder Agad and I made the comment of how we served together. Susan, who's the lady, mentioned how she took Elder Agad and his companion to lunch about eight months ago when he was in Palmer. Right when she said that I immediately remembered her driving up to have lunch with us. It was so fun talking to her about Agad and the lunch. Crazy thing is she had a picture of me on her phone from that lunch. It was super cool seeing her. I never thought I would run into her after that lunch in Palmer but it turns out it's a small world after all.

I've got my hammock set up in the apartment. It's been nice coming in at night and chilling. I slept in the hammock last night and it felt amazing. I may have to sleep in it on a weekly basis now.

The district has started doing service at this food distributor for the homeless. The place is called Beans Cafe. It's super cool seeing how everyone there either volunteers their time and talent or gives mass quantities of food. It's such a joy to actually see the sick and needy being taken care of. 

President Nelson of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, Elder Gong of the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Murray who's the Area Seventy, and their wives visited the missionaries in the AAM in addition to many of the saints up here in Alaska. All the missionaries in the "bowl" and some from the Soldotna zone were able to meet all of them. They all shared amazing testimonies. It was so amazing being able to be spiritually fed from these amazing saints. They all had fantastic messages. Elder Nelson focused his message on Christ's name in the scriptures. He also left the mission with a blessing. We took a mission picture with them all, hopefully I'll be able to send that next week or whenever I receive it.

Sorry for the long email but one last thing is that Elder Vaioa and I visited this Poly celebration downtown anchorage on Saturday. It was really neat seeing all the Poly's gather together and enjoy each other's traditions, cooking, dances, etc.

Have a great week!






June 5, 2017

Farewell Pres. & Sis. Robinson:

This week was really enjoyable. Thanks to the sun being out and the beautiful weather Elder Vaioa and I were able to go tracting for Samoans. We've also been on the hunt for a park where a lot of Samoans hang out. We've been working a lot with the recent converts in the ward. I had my last interview with President and Sister Robinson.

The weather has been so amazing this past week. We've had multiple days of sunshine with little to no clouds in the sky. I definitely consider it a blessing. since the weather has been so good. Elder Vaioa and I have been visiting parks trying to find a place where Somoans have parties, BBQ and or play games. It's been a bit more difficult than we've expected. Majority of the people we try talking to only speak English.

Continuing the efforts of finding Samoans, we've been tracting. We still see the same problem of talking English 99% of the time. We've been trying to decide which finding method works best. It's been a toss up between the two.

Thanks to the recent baptisms in the ward we've been teaching a lot of new member lessons. It's been awesome to see what the members remember as well as being able to talk more in depth about some of the subjects.

President and Sister Robinson will be going home in about three weeks. It's crazy to think the AAM will be receiving a new mission president soon. The last interview with the two of them was awesome. I really enjoyed it. It has been such a blessing being able to serve under their leadership and guidance here in Alaska.

This coming week President Nelson will be visiting Alaska for a few days. He has been so kind to come a day early and meet with the missionaries. It's going to be so cool to have the opportunity to learn from him and meet him face to face.

Wish the AAM luck!




May 29, 2017

Summertime = Wildlife

Talofa! This past week was full of stopping by a lot of potential investigators. We had a tri-zone conference/ tiwi installation. Elder Vaioa and I also have started to notice the wildlife coming out. 

The past few days Elder Vaioa and I have received a good amount of referrals. So to keep the work up to speed we've been trying to contact these potential investigators. Sadly we haven't been able to see a whole lot of success in actually having lessons with them. On the bright side we have been able to meet some new people and start some relationships with these investigators.

On Wednesday we had a tri-zone conference. All the missionaries from Anchorage South, Anchorage North, and Soldotna gathered together. It has been awesome having the mission focus on the Book of Mormon. Most of the thoughts and ideas were centered on how the BOM has strengthened our testimony of Jesus Christ and the Prophet Joseph Smith. It has been a joy to participate in the mission wide focus on the BOM.

On Wednesday we also received Tiwis which are little GPS tracking devices that go in our cars. Apparently Alaska is the last mission in the United States and Canada to receive these. The Tiwi helps the missionaries drive better and safer. It's going to be interesting seeing how the mission changes with the Tiwis. I know it has already helped me change my driving.

One of the perks of summer time in Alaska in addition to the sun coming out is that the wildlife also comes out. This past week Elder Vaioa and I walked out of a lesson and immediately saw a moose just doing his thing 20 feet away from us. We of course tried not to bother him. We've also been able to see many moose else where and we saw a black bear munching on some berries. It was funny seeing the Bear's reaction as we caught him off guard.

 Elder Ogden

May 22, 2017

Famous AVA Boyz:

This past week has been awesome as always here in the Dimond Ward. Last Monday Elder Vaioa and I tagged along with some other missionaries on their visit to Girdwood. I got to meet the famous AVA Boyz. It's the start of a new transfer so Elder vaioa and I are super excited to work hard and give it our all.

On P-Day Elder vaioa and I joined the Tikishla Park ward and Maplewood branch (Samoan and Spanish elders) on their journey out to Girdwood. It was a fun little drive. It was a drop dead gorgeous view and the weather made it even better. Girdwood is a little ski resort near Anchorage. We got to check out the shops, visit some neat places, and throw the rugby around abit.

Later that night Elder Vaioa and I had dinner with this super cool family. The best part is that their sons are music artists. The music group is called AVA Boyz. You should definitely check out some of their stuff. Apparently they're famous in Samoa. I obviously didn't know about them before the mission because I didn't listen to Samoan music. After hearing their songs I'm definitely a fan.

The other day Elder Vaioa and I were driving around visiting people and as always we get stopped at a red light right next to some homeless guy. Of course we gave him some change but we both felt like it wasn't that amazing gift of a contribution. So we came up the idea to give hand made snack bags. We put together some of our extra food from our apartment. We've been handing them out to the needy and it's been awesome seeing their countenance glow.

I'm excited to be starting this next transfer with Elder Vaioa. He's an awesome missionary. We've decided to work extra hard this next transfer. It's funny because this past week has been super hard to have lessons and visits even with us trying harder. Though we had a rough start were still going to push on. Wish us luck.

Elder Ogden







May 15, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

Talofa

This past week has been super fun. I got to visit the temple with the North Anchorage Zone. The temple was super fun. I enjoyed every second of it. It's such a blessing to have a temple in the mission and having the opportunity to visit it on a scheduled basis.

On Saturday the ward held a Mother's Day party. It was so fun. I enjoyed every second of it. The dinner and entertainment was the best. The dances performed by the young men were amazing. They were super funny. I was laughing my butt off. Haha. I'm bummed I didn't film it.

This past week Elder Vaioa and I have been trying to visit parks. We're trying to find a Samoan hot spot. Wish us luck as we continue the search for Somoan hang out spots. We received our transfer calls. Fortunately I will be staying another transfer with Elder Vaioa. I'm super excited because he's an awesome missionary and the ward is fantastic.

Mothers Day was great, I loved seeing the family. It was super awesome. That definetly was the highlight of the week.

I hope everyone had a great Mothers Day.

Elder Ogden



May 8, 2017

Dimond Ward Party:

This week went by way too fast. The Dimond ward had a ward missionary finding party. We had stake conference.

This past Friday the Dimond ward held a party with the goal of not only finding investigators but to have the ward come together in missionary work. It was super cool seeing the party. Everyone got really into it which made things awesome. We had a huge dinner with some dancing from a lot of the auxiliaries and of course just a lot of fun in general. The young men's performance was my favorite. They put in a lot of time and energy into it and it paid off.

The Anchorage North Stake held Stake Conference this week. It was really awesome being able to hear from Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. of the Seventy. It was really exciting as we heard him speak of the importance of Book of Mormon studies. It's really cool because right before general conference our mission president has decided to focus on the Book of Mormon. As a mission we've been doing a lot of Book of Mormon studies, trainings, lessons, etc. it's been fun to read the Book of Mormon in English then in Samoan.

I hope all is well and everyone has a fantastic week.

Elder Ogden

May 1, 2017

Sweet Ulalei's Baptism

This past week has been awesome as there was another baptism in the Dimond ward. Unfortunately our teaching pool has decreased significantly. We had our North Anchorage zone conference. I got to go on exchanges with some Elders and see the infamous mountain view.

On Saturday we celebrated the Baptism of Ulalei. We've been teaching her for the past month. It was super amazing being able to see her grow in knowledge of the gospel. It was super awesome seeing her enter into the waters of baptism.

It was super sad for Amanda our other investigator. She was supposed to be baptized this past week. Her and her two sisters were taking the missionary lessons.  But, due to parental permission are no longer allowed to be associated with the church in any way.  It's going to be extremely hard trying to stay busy these coming weeks as those three were the people we were working with the most.

This past while the mission has been putting a huge emphasis on the Book of Mormon. It was fun being able to have zone conference centered on the BofM. It's awesome being able to see how it benefits everyone in any situation.

I got to go on exchanges this past week. It was super fun as I got to see the heights area. I got to see where they do a lot of their work. It was super interesting seeing mountain view as the neighborhood has certain roads blocked with barriers. The reason why they do this is so that there's only three entrances and exits making the cops lives easier due to the large crime rate.

 Love and miss you all