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



April 24, 2017

"Where's the Samoans?"

This week has been really fun. Elder Vaioa and I have been doing a lot of street contacting. We had a joint zone service. Two investigators were baptized.

This week has been a little slower than last but we've been filling the time with street contacting. It's hard trying to find Samoans to teach. It's not like they all live in the same neighborhood we can go tract. So Elder Vaioa and I have been on the look out checking parks. We're hoping to find a place where a lot of Somaons go to hangout. It's been hard finding Samoans to teach but on the bright side we have been talking to Caucasians. We had this one super elect man just walk right up to us and started asking questions. It felt so good to have a full English lesson with him and not worry about understanding Samoan. Idk where the guy is now but he did accept a Book of Mormon and was really enthusiastic about learning more.

A few days ago the South and North Anchorage Zones got together to help with a heart run event. It was so fun helping set up the race with all the other missionaries. I was able to talk to some missionaries who served up in Palmer with me a few months ago. Two of our investigators were baptized this week. Andrew and Mathew are now the newest members of the Dimond ward. It was fun being able to come into the area and see them get baptized.

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

Elder Ogden



             



April 17, 2017

Samoan Cooking = 5 lbs.

Talofa!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Easter. This week has been fun and of course in Samoan so very confusing. I gained 5 lbs. Elder Vaioa and I have been keeping busy with lessons.

Thanks to the wonderful members of the Dimond Ward I have gained 5lbs this past week. The dinners have been so big. I've come to realize that no one loves food more than Samoans and they know how to cook. I hope I don't continue to gain 5lbs each week. I'll have to try to eat smaller portions.

This week has felt so busy compared to Petersburg. I feel as though I've taught as many lessons this past week as I did in a month in Petersburg. It has been awesome teaching and visiting people this past week. We've been finishing the lessons with these two young men who will be getting baptized in a week. We also have been teaching these two young girls who blow me away everytime we meet with them. They take everything we teach them and just run with it. They seriously eat up the gospel. It's amazing seeing them grow in knowledge and understanding.

We also visited a referral. She was interested in learning about the church for her children because she has some family and friends who are members. Since it was our first visit with her we briefly introduced her to the Book of Mormon. About half way through the lesson we heard knocking at the door. The first couple times we just ignored it but the people kept persisting. Well, we eventually opened the door. To our surprise it was the other Samoan speaking missionaries. It was super awkward as we were all just looking at each other with confused looks. The other Elders left after they realized we were in a lesson. We apologized to her and then closed the lesson. Hopefully we have another lesson this week.

The language has been very difficult. I'm still super confused as to what to do all the time. But I'm trying my best to learn. Have a great week.

 Elder Ogden

April 10, 2017

Does Rosetta Stone have Samoan?

Talofa!  I made it to Anchorage safe and sound on Wednesday. Anchorage is definitely not the same as Petersburg. I have enjoyed the Dimond Ward so far. It was sad saying goodbyes before I left Petersburg. Elder Vaioa, my companion, has been teaching me Samoan.

It was sad saying goodbye to the people in Petersburg. They seriously were awesome people. Hopefully one day I'll be able to come visit them. I was able to take some photos with some families, the Norwegian captain, and also the downtown totem poles.

On Wednesday I flew from Petersburg to Anchorage. Landing in Anchorage was a big culture shock. I'm not talking about the Samoan culture but just the city in general. Everything seemed so big and fast paced. The streets we're so confusing at first and they still kinda are with the whole one way thing. You see a lot more interesting people in the streets of Anchorage compared to Petersburg. Just the other night Elder Vaioa and I woke up to man knocking on our door around 12:30am. This random guy somehow got in the building and was knocking on everyone's door looking for his cousin who looks like Snoop Dog. Unfortunately we have never seen his cousin.

The Dimond Ward seems to be awesome. Even though I don't understand a single word they say they are all super nice people. There is a lot more work here being that we cover all of the south Anchorage zone and half of the North Anchorage zone. It's cool seeing how many Polynesians there are in Anchorage. There is seriously thousands of them.

It has been super confusing doing missionary work here. It's so hard not knowing what's going on, what's being said, and what to expect. The past few days have been a blur. All our lessons are in Samoan. All the dinners and talking are in Samoan. All of church is in Samoan. I just feel bad for my companion because all I can do is testify to whatever he says and even that's in Samoan. It's definitely a weird feeling but I'm doing my best to learn the language. My companion has been awesome in helping me learn some words.

Love and miss you all. As of rn my goal is to gain 5lbs this week. Wish me luck.

Elder Ogden


 

 
    Investigator: Judith Bailey



New Companion: Elder Vaioa

April 4, 2017

Bennett needs to learn Samoan Fast:

This week was a hoot and a holler. Listening to the prophet and leaders of this great church was amazing. Elder Hawkins and I celebrated a special birthday with Primo. Elder Hawkins and I received our transfer calls.

General Conference was fun. Elder Hawkins and I tuned in at the church building. To our astonishment only one other member was there. We were hoping for two investigators to be in attendance but that didn't seem to be the case. General priesthood session on the other hand was packed. It was really neat having a potluck for the priesthood session.

Hearing from President Monson was absolutely a blessing. Even though his messages are short they are very sweet. Holland did an amazing job as always. I especially enjoyed Eyring in the General Priesthood session. I also thought Elder Joaquin E. Costa gave a fantastic talk.

Friday was Primo Jones' birthday. He's currently in the hospital so we stopped by hoping to wish him a Happy B-day. To our surprise nearly all the patients and some workers were out celebrating with an Hawaiian luau. It was quite the party.

We received our transfer calls on Friday night. Sadly I will be leaving Petersburg. It was awesome serving here, getting to know and love the people, and seeing all the beautiful wonders of Southeast Alaska. This Wednesday I will be flying to North Anchorage to serve in the Dimond Ward as district leader. I'm super excited not only because it's something new and I'll be able to see missionaries again but Dimond Ward is a Samoan speaking ward. My companion will be Elder Vaioa. Even though we came out together I don't know anything about him. In the MTC he could only speak Samoan so hopefully his English is a lot better. Hopefully I'll be able to do more than just bare my testimony. 

Alolofa ma misia outou uma
(Love and miss you all)

 Elder Ogden

Saying Goodbye to Beautiful Petersburg!

March 27, 2017

A 30 second Parade is still a Parade!

The past few weeks have been really neat. Elder Hawkins and I were fortunate enough to fly to Juneau for zone conference. The lessons with Judith are moving forward with a bright future. The tracking went semi-well. Elder Hawkins and I enjoyed the annual Petersburg St. Patrick's day parade. 

Earlier this week Elder Hawkins and I were very fortunate to spend a couple nights in Juneau. We were able to have interviews, zone conference, as well as do a McDonald's run for a couple members. We had zone conference on Tuesday. It was awesome being able to fly in on Monday and enjoy a campfire on the beach with the district. Tuesday was filled with zone conference and a visit to the dedicatory prayer. It was so cool seeing the dedicatory prayer on Mormon hill nearly 90 years ago. On the journey over to the site we got to see majority of downtown Juneau. It was so neat. The buildings are all so cool with their native designs and ever steep mountainside roads. On Wednesday Elder Hawkins and I made one last stop at McDonald's before we caught our flight back to Petersburg. Every time I went I only ordered mcgriddles. I forgot how amazing those things tasted. Elder Hawkins and I also bought $90 worth of food which was brought back for some members to enjoy throughout the week.

Judith has been doing great with her learning. She's pretty much through with all the big stuff. Now we teach her basic and simple principles such as service, learning and teaching, etc. She's planning on being baptized the first week of May. We'll probably go over the main lessons with her once more before her Baptism, just to make sure she remembers the important stuff.

Unfortunately Elder Hawkins and I were not able to tract out Petersburg. To be honest we only finished one street. We did see some success. It was all a weird experience. They were all trailers so we met some interesting people. The reason we didn't complete our goal is #1 it seemed to rain everyday we set to go tracting. #2 we're now planning on just doing a couple streets a day that way we have stuff to look forward to in the future.

Last week we noticed the entire downtown street closed off. We asked some people why and they informed us there was going to be a St. Patrick's Day Parade in the afternoon. Well we decided to pull over to watch the show. I was very surprised when we realized the parade was 30 seconds long. It was really fun though. It was absolutely crazy. Surprisingly the Petersburg 2A basketball teams celebration of winning state was larger than the parade. The whole town all got in their cars, drove around honking their horns following the team.

Elder Ogden

The dedicatory prayer in downtown Juneau

   



March 20, 2017

Mother & Son Exchange:

Bennett:
Hey. That's so awesome you found a home and you saw Britton. Haha. Unfortunately I won't be able to write this week. Elder Hawkins and I just landed in Juneau and have a packed schedule the next few days. Anyways love and miss ya

Mom:
You're killing me and your Blog! What should I write on your Blog?

Bennett:
I'm having fun and loving every moment!


We were able to take Elder Holyoak (one of Bennett's friends) and his companion to dinner while we were in England for Spring Break on our house hunting trip!





March 13, 2017

Tract every house...3 days tops:

This past week was great. Elder Hawkins and I have mapped about all of Petersburg and plan on tracting every house. It will probably take three days max.

Judith is growing in the gospel very well. It's awesome seeing where she came from to where she is now. We're hoping to have her baptism at the beginning of next month.

The past few P- days have been filled with sauna time. It's probably the most exciting thing I look forward to each Monday. We go with a member so it's all cool.

 It's been snowing a bunch the past few days. It seems to be that we can't get rid of winter here.

 Have a great week,

 Elder Ogden


March 6, 2017

Searching for Porcupines

This week has been fun. Elder Hawkins and I have been searching for Porcupine. We've been visiting a Native regularly as he is in Petersburg for medical complications. Judith is progressing slowly, very slowly but she still has the desire to learn so that's good.

Last P-day Elder Hawkins and I went driving out on some dirt roads looking for Porcupine. We've been talking to members about things to do and a few of them suggested we go Porcupine finding. They all say it's really easy to spot them. In the summertime apparently there's a bunch on the side of the roads. The other members tell us to stay far away from them or use a bunch of protective gear. 

Elder Hawkins and I have yet to see one but we're always on the look out. Hopefully the snow will melt soon so we find one.

There's a Native member from Juneau who is currently staying in Petersburg for medical services. I have no clue why they sent him here but it is what it is. He's super cool. We see him every other day since he doesn't know anyone here. He tells us his stories growing up. I've been learning a lot about the Natives in Alaska from him.

Judith has been learning a lot. We meet with her a every week. It's been very difficult recently. She's been forgetting past lessons because of her bad memory. It's hard for her to retain things but the good thing is that she remembers feeling the spirit when we stop by and she wants to continue to learn more and be baptised.

Have a good week

Elder Ogden

   





February 27, 2017

McD's airplane delivery:


The past two weeks have been amazing. We had zone conference with Elder and Sister Adern from the Seventy. I got to stay in Juneau for a few days. Transfers happened on Tuesday. I brought some McDonalds back to Petersburg for a member.

Sorry for not being able to email last week. I had to create a new password on my ipad two weeks ago. When I tried to unlock my ipad ten minutes later I realized I had completely forgotten what my new password was. Well... I spent nearly an hour trying over and over attemting to get into my ipad but unfortunately my ipad reset. Apparently if you try too many times all your information gets deleted. I was pretty butthurt about it but thankfully I was able to re-download all my photos.

Ever since then I've been struggling to fix my email app on my ipad. Fortunately I have an awesome ZL who was able to help set up my email.

Juneau was absolutely amazing! It was so cool flying there for zone conference. Elder Dunn and I as well as the Sitka elders were hosted by the Aukbay Elders in the Juneau trailer. The trailer was by far one of the coolest apartments in this mission. They don't even use half of the trailer it's so big. The best part is its fifteen feet away from the church.

Elder and Sister Adern of the seventy came and spoke to the missionaries at zone conference. It was incredible seeing Elder Adern teach. He would flip to scriptures left and right on any subject we were talking about. I've never seen someone know the scriptures so well. While in Juneau Elder and Sister Adern also spoke at a fireside and in sacrament meeting again the following day.

While in Juneau I got transfer calls. Obviously I stayed in Petersburg/Wrangell. My new companion is Elder Hawkins. He's super cool. He came from the Samoan ward in Anchorage. He grew up in Utah for a while. He actually went to Albion middle school for a year. After he graduated high school he moved to American Samoa. He's lived there the past few years before his mission. He speaks fluent Samoan and English. He's got this really cool accent. It's funny seeing people's facial expressions when they first hear him talk since he's a white Samoan.

Before I left for Juneau a member gave me around $70 for McDonalds. Whenever missionaries visit Juneau for zone conference he always gives the missionaries some cash and a list of food he wants. I got him some big macs, fillet-o-fish, cheeseburgers, etc. It was pretty funny buying all that food then flying it down to Petersburg. My bag kinda stinks now but it's all good. It was pretty disgusting seeing the McDonalds bags soaked with grease after the short flight.

Elder Ogden

The Juneau District