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.


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!