January 31, 2017

Like Mother, Not like Son:

This week has been awesome. We had a few lesson with Judith. We tried to meet her son. We had a world wide missionary broadcast. Other than that not a whole lot has happened.

We've continued meeting with Judith. It's always the highlight of the week meeting with her. She's taking all the lessons very well. We just keep it at a very simple and basic level with her. She asked us to try to teach her son. When describing him she said he was this huge man, always drinking vodka, rough looking. Apparently when grown men see him they cross the street to avoid him. Well, Elder Dunn and I wanted to see if there was any way we could help him. We stopped by his house at the beginning of the week. Right away he saw who were and immediately closed the door. But the interesting thing was that he didn't match her description. Yeah he was rough looking and smelt like liquor but other than that he wasn't too intimidating.

We stopped by her son's house again near the end of the week. This time he opened the door and we gave our introduction. The difference was that we now know why she's scared of him. Let's just say he used a lot of colorful words telling us to leave. Followed with a slammed door in our face. It was definitely an eye opener.

We had a world wide mission broadcast. We were able to hear from Edler Oaks and Bednar as well as other church leaders. It was really cool seeing them give trainings and announce the new mission schedule as well as new key indicators. Key indicators are the things we report to our leaders who then report to our mission pres. The new ones pretty much primarily focus on the investigators instead of working with members and less active member visits.

That's pretty much it. Nothing too exciting this week. Hope you'll have an awesome week. Love and miss ya.

 Elder Ogden

Bennett and Elder Dunn hanging out at the
            fishing wharf in Petersburg!

January 23, 2017

The "Golden" Widow:

This week has been absolutely amazing. I feel like I have finally settled in. Elder Dunn and I have been visiting what feels to be a million people. Elder Dunn and I found an investigator and have seen unbelievable miracles. The weather cleared up a little bit so I was able to see and take photos of Petersburg.

Since I've been here for two weeks I've come to love Petersburg. It's complete opposite from my last area. In Fishhook everyone lived far enough from each other to the point where we couldn't tract. Petersburg is just the opposite. You literally can walk everywhere in 30 mins. The longest traveling we do in the car is only five mins. Since it's so easy to tract, pretty much all the missionaries in the past have tracted it all out multiple times. Everyone here knows who the missionaries are. They make it really obvious if they don't want to be talked to. At the same time most people here are super friendly and accepting which is nice, but there hasn't been a lot of teaching in the past. The Branch is SUPER small here. I was blown out of the water when I first saw it. It is incredible seeing how literally a few families can come together and make church services function.

One of the biggest struggles living here is the cost of everything. It is outstanding. I literally only bought cereal and milk my first week here. And even then the milk cost seven dollars. It's really hard trying to eat decent food without going broke. My secret is buying all the expired food in the back of the store on sale. It literally is the only way to go. Otherwise you're eating ramen 24/7.

Like I said before all of Petersburg has been tracted out millions of times so the work here is really really slow. It was killing me the first week I was here. Elder Dunn and I have been going through our records visiting everyone. We have talked to all sorts of people here. We really try to find absolutely anyone that will hear of our message. Everybody is super friendly and wants to be friends but when you bring up the gospel they turn away completely. Fortunetly The Lord for some odd reason blessed us with a lesson with a widow on Tuesday. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced. We were able to teach her the Plan of Salvation, explain that families can be together forever, as well as introduce her to the Book of Mormon. It was incredible! Since that experience we have had two other lessons and she has accepted to be baptized. She came to church yesterday. She has a sincere desire to learn the gospel and live its teachings. I cannot describe to you how thrilled I am to have this opportunity to help her come unto Christ. At the same time I am so so very grateful she came to the church while I am serving here. Elder Dunn has served here for 4 and 1/2 months now. That was the first lesson with an investigator he has had his entire time in Petersburg. That shows how slow the work is here. It just amazes me to think that Petersburg has been tracted out so many times yet no one has ever taught her the gospel. I asked her if she had ever met with missionaries before and she explained that she had never said one word to them nor have they said one word to her.

The skies cleared up a little. I was able to actually take pictures for you all. It rains here a lot. It's really hard to see the beauty since it's all covered with clouds. But I was able to take a picture of Devils Thumb mountain the one day we had sunshine. It is so cool. We also walked on the docks. Everyone here is major time fishermen. Some of the boats here are million dollar boats. Fishing is everything here. I also tried to take a photo next to the deer in Petersburg. They are everywhere and are tiny. It's so cool. They look like babies but they're actually full grown.

Elder Ogden

                         Devil's Thumb

This is a memorial for all the fishermen that die or are lost at Sea

January 16, 2017

HBD Captain Rick:

This week has been awesome. I've kinda settled into my new area. Petersburg is complete opposite from Fishhook. The missionary work here is very slow. The past few days have pretty much just been visiting some members then walking around downtown all day. Everyone here knows who the missionaries are, which makes things a little hard. It only takes a week to tract out the entire area. The branch here is super small but they are all awesome.

We sang happy birthday to Captain Rick from season four on Deadliest Catch. He's currently out in Dutch Harbor fishing. I met his manager, whose a member here. He invited us to call and sing to him bc no one is out where they are. Pretty much everyone in Petersburg are huge fishers with million dollar boats.

The weather here is killer. It dumped a bunch of snow then its been raining ever since so everything is icy. It's super scary driving here.

Elder Dunn is my new companion. He's pretty sweet. He's kinda just like me. We're both pretty chill.

Anyway I don't have a lot to talk about this week, but I'll write more next time. And I'll get some photos once it stops raining.

Love and miss you all,

Elder Ogden

Dawn's B-Day & Baptism celebration dinner 
with the Willardson's and Christensen's! 
(Dawn is wearing the yellow sweater, with her family to her left)

                    Photo from the plane ride to Petersburg Island

"Golf" Street

January 9, 2017

New Area: Petersburg and Wrangell

This week has been amazing. Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes. It was an amazing day. Dawn was baptized and confirmed a member. Our missionary schedule has changed. We got transfer calls!

On Saturday Dawn was baptized. It was the most amazing thing ever. So many people were there to witness her baptism but not everyone could view it. The entire baptismal font room was filled. There were even people standing in the hall just to hear the ordinance. It truly was my best birthday. Dawn was then confirmed a member and received the gift of the Holy Ghost the following day. On Sunday we got to eat dinner with Dawn and her family, the Willardson's, and the Christensen's. The Willardson's were so kind to have us all over. It was in celebration of Dawn, her baptism, and her birthday since it was on the 8th. The entire thing was to die for. Food was fantastic. The Willardson's and Christensen's are the best for helping Dawn and her family be comfortable with this big transition in there lives. Now Dawn's family is considering learning more about the church and investigating.

We received a major switch up in our schedule as missionaries. I believe it is world wide. We used to have a set and rigid structure for our morning and evening schedules. Now we are told the fundamental objectives or things we need to accomplish and are allowed to do things the way we like, tailored to our own needs. We've only been doing it for a couple of days now, but it has been awesome. It definitely helps me get out of bed were as before I was too tired to workout right away. 

Now for the really exciting stuff. Transfer calls! We got them early Saturday morning. I found out I will unfortunately be leaving Fishhook after a short six months. It has been amazing serving there but it's time to move on. I will now be serving with Elder Dunn on Petersburg Island! So cool. We cover Petersburg and Wrangell. I flew down this morning and it has been absolutely gorgeous.

 Love and miss you all

 Elder Ogden

Bennett didn't include any photos in his email, so I added some of his new area where he will be serving:

January 2, 2017

"Thank you, you came here":

This week was really fun and amazing. We visited a graveyard where apparently the graves randomly catch on fire. I played squash ball for the first time. Elder Hoyer and I have been really trying to do street contacting and it actually worked out amazingly. Dawn, an investigator, is getting baptized this coming week.

Last P-day Elder Hoyer and I went to see a graveyard with some other elders. It was pretty interesting. Apparently the graves catch on fire randomly and that's what makes them famous. The sign in front is pretty neat. It says "Chin'an, Gu Ninyu" which stands for "thank you, you came here." We also went and played squash ball with the rest of our zone. There's a member in our stake that has their own court and was kind enough to let us come over. It was really weird playing squash for the first time. I thought it would be a lot like racquetball but it's not. The ball doesn't bounce nearly as much. It's a lot harder to play than it looks.

We've been trying to do a lot of street contacting this past week. It's been really hard. Especially since there's no place in our area where we can simply walk around and talk to people so we often times just try in downtown Palmer. Even then it's hard finding people just walking around because it's cold and everyone drives everywhere. But the other day we found THE ONE. We we're walking around and saw a man standing by himself smoking a cigarette in front of a bar. Well the first thought we had was he's probably not interested considering the situation but we immediately realized we needed to talk to him. We crossed the street and began introducing ourselves. In doing so he threw his cigarette on the ground and had a desire to hear what we had to say. We said a prayer with him as well as taught him the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in addition to giving him a Book Of Mormon telling him a little about it. It was amazing talking to him because he was literally one of the few if not the only person outside at that very moment in our site. What was even more amazing is that he actually had a desire to clean up his life. He wanted to change his life and make it inline with what God would want. Elder Hoyer and I are were thrilled to teach him as we have been praying for more people to teach. Unfortunately he'll only be in town for one more week as he heads back to Kotzebue once he finishes his classes down here. Hopefully he finds the missionaries up there.

Dawn's baptism is coming up this next week. This is very exciting especially since it's something we all have been looking forward to for four months now. It should be an amazing experience. It will be the day before her birthday and the day of my birthday. I can't wait to see her become a member. We've been teaching her for close to five months now.

Chin'an, Gu Ninyu

Elder Ogden


Member's house who really likes to Hunt!