December 27, 2017

"Becoming Yogi with Christ"

Hello hello. An amazing week here in the AAM. We were able to do a lot of finding and teaching. We saw some pretty awesome miracles. Christmas was a hoot and a holler.

We're still working with Andre. He's doing amazing. We currently just waiting for the green light on his baptism. We taught him the ten commandments with all the cool hand signs. We are still continuing to teach Daniel and Gwen the new member lessons. It's been fun teaching all these guys and all the other people we're currently working with.

This week we went tracting in the northernmost part of our area. I've only been there just a few times. While tracting we met a dude who was super open with us and actually invited us into his home. This guy was a big time hippie. He loved yoga, nature, animals, and of course his marijuana. We talked for a long time about his beliefs. It was cool to hear. He believes mostly in Christ-conscience. Basically you need to become one with Christ's thinking. Or in His words "become yogi with christ". The best way to achieve this is through meditation and yoga. He invited us over this week to meditate with him. Hopefully I'll become more yogi with Christ through the experience. I'm excited to talk to him because he promised to read the introduction of the BoM. I'll keep you updated on what he thinks about our message.

Christmas was awesome! Calling the family was the best. The presents from them were super gnarly. My companion and I repped these cool socks all day. The onesie unfortunately could only be worn just before sleep.

We participated in an awesome nativity with some cool members. It was fun being able to do that Christmas Eve. We had a fun time. Me, my comp, and a priest in the ward were the three wise men.

The nativity

     Our awesome socks and Hogwarts slippers                            Harry potter onesies

December 18, 2017

Knocking doors under Northern Lights:

Hello. A great start to the transfer. The light the world campaign has been amazing to participate in. Looks like were going to be having a warm winter this year.

Elder Hunter and I have had a great week. Elder Hunter previously spent six months in the bear mountain ward. It's been amazing to hear how far the work has come since the last year. The mission as a whole has been on an upward swing with finding, teaching, and baptizing. It can be extremely hard at times with it always being dark in Alaska. Thankfully we have the northern lights to brighten the sky. Jkjk. But It has been cool to see the lights dancing in the sky while knocking doors before we head in.

 “Forgive men their trespasses.”—Matthew 6:14 is the scripture for today's light the world. The other day we were able to donate some old clothes to the nearest salvation army. It felt amazing being able to follow the example of Jesus Christ.

Christmas is just around the corner! Unfortunately as well as thankfully this winter has been really warm. It's been in the 20s most of the time. It's made life a lot easier as a missionary when you can actually go out and knock on some doors without getting frost bite.

 I wish you all a merry Christmas. It's the best time of the year!

 Elder Ogden

December 12, 2017

Christmas Surprise: Letter from Bennett

Hello!  The past few weeks have been amazing. There's been a lot of stuff happening. Our investigators have all been hitting a bit of a rough patch right now in life. The mission has received smart phones. Transfer calls are in.

Elder Barney and I have been teaching two individuals plus a part member family. It's been amazing to see all of them progress so well these past few weeks. We were hoping for them all to be baptized this month but due to some events it's looking like only one will be baptized this month. Thankfully the rest are looking forward to January. One is waiting for approval from the first presidency. The others are working through some difficulties as well as concerns. Over all it's been a real testimony builder to see that no matter what challenges, questions, or conerns you may have in life, the gospel of Jesus Christ can fix everything.

The mission received phones on Wednesday. It certainly was a blessing for me because my iPad is currently broken. I didn't realize how helpful technology was in missionary work until I went without it. Technology certainly is an amazing tool.

Transfer calls are in! Elder Barney will be going home to spend Christmas with his family. I'll certainly miss serving with him. My new comps are Elder Olsen and Elder Hunter. I'll be in a trio for a little while due to Elder Olsen going home in three weeks. Once he's home Elder Hunter and I will be comps as usual. It's going to be fun serving with these two. I'm excited to continue to serve in the Bear Mountain Ward.

Here's some pictures of Elder Barney and I as well as some friends in the Mish:

          Muktuk is a native dish. 
          It is rubbery whale blubber. 
          Probably the grosses thing I've ever eaten.

December 4, 2017

All I want for Christmas is a letter from Bennett! 

Sorry once again for not sending a general email and some pics. On Wednesday the missionaries in MLC will be receiving smart phones for each area. My mission president has really encouraged me to simply wait for the phones to get here so I don't just waste money. If it's possible I may just buy my own because they're going to be half the cost for missionaries. So next week I'm planning on getting caught up on emails.

Here's what went on this week. Elder Barney and I went on exchanges with the APs. Wednesday we had a meeting with the mission President followed by another meeting with the mission President and the Stake President. We've been teaching a lot. One of our investigators should be getting baptized on the 9th.

I'm excited to speak to you guys on Christmas.

Love and miss you

November 28, 2017

Waiting for a Smart Phone:

So the deal with my iPad is that it's still broken. I talked to my mission President to see if I should repair it or buy a new tablet. He told me to just wait because the mission will be receiving smart phones soon. He didn't tell me when I'll be receiving one but he said soon. I'm assuming when I go to MLC they will hand out smart phones to each companionship.

Sorry for doing this but I'm no going to be writing my general emails until I get the phone. It's just really hard right now to write a huge email about everything and not have any pictures. I should be back to writing emails as normal, not this coming Monday but the one after that.

 Love and miss you,

Elder Ogden

November 20, 2017

Broken iPad

I unfortunately will not be writing a weekly email today. I also won't be responding to a lot of emails bc I accidentally broke my iPad screen yesterday. I'm using a computer at a members house right now so I don't have a lot of time. I also can't figure out how to send my photos using the ipad to computer. 

I'll be in Anchorage today seeing how I can get my ipad screen fixed so I can get back to the usual stuff. I don't know how much it will cost to replace the screen, hopefully not too much. I'll keep you updated on how things go. Hopefully I'll have a working tablet in a week or two.

Other than me breaking my ipad on accident, this week was amazing. Three people committed to being baptized in December. We're working a lot with our investigators. I'm excited for the month of December. It's going to be a white Christmas.

Love and miss you.

Elder Ogden

Pictures from Bennett's FB page that read: "The Book of Mormon is the Express Way to Happiness!"


November 13, 2017

Online Proselytizing:

This week was awesome. The mission has received Facebook. Daniel was baptized. There were a lot of nonmembers at church.

Just this week the Alaska Anchorage mission received online proselytizing. We are able to use Facebook for finding and teaching. Elder Barney and I have already had amazing experiences using this tool to help our investigators progress. We’ve taught a lesson over video chat, we’ve sent links and general conference talks to answer questions, we also talked to some new people through social media. I’m really pumped to use this great tool.

Daniel was baptized and confirmed a member this week. The baptism was amazing. Daniel is an outstanding young man. I’m glad I got to teach him some of the lessons and witness this great moment.

Sacrament meeting was awesome! The primary performed their program. There was around ten nonmembers at church. It was incredible to see so many people interested in seeing what church services is all about.

Helping a member move hay & Daniels Baptism

November 6, 2017

Bear Mountain Ward:

This past week was amazing. Elder Barney is officially my new comp. The Bear Mountain Ward is amazing. The work here is moving forward steadily.

I officially am now in Chugiak serving with Elder Barney. The seven hour drive from Delta Junction to Anchorage was absolutely beautiful.  I’ve never seen anything more majestic in my life. It’s something words can’t describe.

The Bear Mountain Ward members are all studs. They all are super cool. I’m excited to be serving with them. The work is amazing right now in Bear Mountain. We have a baptism coming up this week. We are also working with three other solid investigators who are looking forward to baptisms soon. I’m so pumped to teach and work with them all.

Sorry for the short email. I’ll tell you more about the area and things once I’ve officially settled in.

Have a great week

October 30, 2017

Closing Delta Junction:

Transfer calls are in!

With the upcoming transfers Elder Johnson and I will both be leaving Delta Junction. Delta Junction is actually going to be closed for a little while. President Toone has told us that there simply isn’t enough missionaries in the mission at the current moment. Hopefully we get more missionaries soon. It was sad telling all the members of the close but thankfully they are all awesome and will continue to do missionary work.

With the transfer Elder Johnson will be moving to Kalifornsky Beach. I will be moving to Chugiak. I’ll be serving in the Bear Mountain Ward with Elder Barney as Zone Leader.  I am out of this world thrilled to serve with Elder Barney.  I would say we served around each other while I was in Petersburg but I was on my own island while he was in Canada. We saw each other for a couple days but never got to fully know each other. Anyways I’m super pumped to serve with him because he’s a good friend.

We’ve been busy getting the area ready to be closed. Hopefully we’ll be able to accomplish everything we need to. Tomorrow Elder Johnson and I will pack up everything and drive the six hours to anchorage. Wish us luck on the icy roads.

Have a great week.

October 24, 2017

X-Country Skis Wanted:

This past week was super fun. Elder Johnson and I have still been working hard in Delta Junction. We were able to take a day trip to Tok for a wood cutting party. Zone conference was amazing. The Zone also held a talent show.

Elder Johnson and I have been working hard this past week. We’ve been able to meet some new people and even teach a few lessons.

This week we joined the Elders Quorum early in the morning. The temperature was extremely cold as it continues to drop heading towards winter. We all drove to Tok, spent a few hours cutting wood, then delivered it to a ward member who is in vital need of wood. It's an amazing feeling helping those in need.

We had Zone Conference yesterday. We spent the first part with the usual meetings but then after lunch we had a special talent show. Each companionship preformed a talent as well as each district shared a talent and skit. It was nice to have a little change and just have fun as a Zone for a brief moment.

The snow has been coming down. We’re thinking about getting some cross country skis to travel between houses. Hopefully we get our hands on a pair.

Have a great week.

October 16, 2017

Andrew's Baptism:

What a week! I spent the first two days of the week in Salcha. Elder Johnson and I spent two days in Tok. We’ve continued helping people with wood projects. The best part of the week was seeing Andy enter the waters of baptism.

The first part of the week I was able to be on exchanges up in Salcha. The Salcha Elders also cover the Elison Air Force Base. It was really neat being able to serve there for a couple days.

After I got back from Salcha, Elder Johnson and I drove down to Tok. We were able to spend the night there. There’s an awesome family in Tok who always hosts the missionaries when they’re down there. We were finally able to contact with a referral we received a couple weeks ago. The reason why we weren’t able to contact the referral sooner is because he lived 150 miles away from us. I’m so grateful we have vehicles in nearly every area in Alaska. Missionary work would be extremely difficult if we only had bikes.

Highlight of the week was without a doubt seeing Andrew Pfeiffer baptized. It’s incredible to witness the change that takes place in investigators lives. Missionary work has been extremely difficult here in Delta Junction. It’s amazing to be able to see one person enter the waters of baptism. 

Have a great week.

October 9, 2017

Russian Tongues:

This week was full of amazing experiences. We were able to find some service opportunities for nonmembers. The family was actually Russian so only the kids spoke English. It was all good as there was 13 kids in the family. We chopped wood with them and were able to talk to them about the gospel. It was one of the best feelings as the kids asked questions about god and the church. They asked questions such as why are there so many churches today? What is the Holy Ghost? Etc. It was a testimony builder to have the true answers to the sincere questions they had.

The spooky part was once the mom saw us and recognized us as LDS missionaries she freaked out and started getting mad at the kids. I had no idea what she was saying because it was all in Russian. It was sad to see that the mom would not allow her kids to hear what we had to share about the Book of Mormon. The mom believed in speaking in tongues so when we offered the prayer she huddled around us and started whispering a bunch of jibber jabber. It truly was spooky.

We’ve been able to help a lot with service. We helped around the farms.

We also have been meeting with Andy a lot as we prepare for his baptism coming up this week. It will be exciting to see him as a new man.

Have a good week. Till next time.

Here is a cool tower at a farm we did service for. You climb the rope to get to the top

October 2, 2017

Northern Lights are Out:

Another week full of chopping wood and giving service. As everyone in Delta prepares for winter we've continued our efforts of service tracting. We've been able to help a lot of wonderful people by service. It's actually been really effective because everyone here already knows who we are.

General conference was awesome. I really enjoyed Elder Oaks talk on the family. I thought Elder Stevenson did fantastic on his talk of the solar eclipse. Elder Hallstrom did great. Elder Callister gave an outstanding talk on the Book of Mormon.

Andy has been progressing well. We've been meeting with him a lot recently as we've been teaching him all that he needs to know before baptism.

It's that time of year again. The northern lights are out and about. The past few days have been full of beautiful lights. It's been incredible as Elder Johnson and I literally do missionary work at night under the northern lights. It's the most incredible thing I've ever seen. The other day there was a bright green stream stretching across the entire sky with other small lights dancing around. It's certainly something words can't describe. Nor can a camera on an iPad capture the beauty.

 Have a great week.

September 25, 2017

Wood Centered Week:

Another week in heaven. It seems to be that Elder Johnson and I have been in service clothes all week. We've moved apartments. We've helped some members with service. We've continued our tracting. Our investigator Andy continues to prepare for baptism.

This past week. We moved apartments. It's been nice in the new apartment because now Elder Johnson and I can workout in the mornings. The old apartment didn't have enough room for our morning exercise so we drove to the church to use the gym everyday. It was kind of a pain. But it's all better now thanks to our upgrade in apartment space.

We've been doing a lot of service this time of year. As the snow creeps down the mountains around Delta Junction everyone is squirreling to prepare for winter. We've been doing all sorts of projects such as moving wood, chopping wood, moving chopped wood, and stacking chopped wood. As you can tell it's all been centered on wood and preparing for the cold winter days ahead.

Our investigator Andy is progressing really well. He's started to become more serous about church and the gospel. Instead of showing up in his usual everyday attire he came to church dressed up really nice. Ever since he's decided to be baptized he's actually been trying to be the best possible person he can be in the gospel. I love seeing how the teachings of Jesus Christ transform people's life's. It's amazing to see investigators go through the transforming process. I've come to realize the gospel can only make a person better than he or she truly is but it's up to the individual to accept the change. 

Have a fantastic week. Enjoy general conference!

Elder Ogden

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


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.