Missionary Monday: Elder Driggs Serving In Spain

Here is a recent letter from Elder Driggs:

Hey hey hey!
What’s going on!!  I’ve gotta say, I’ve been pretty excited to write you about this week.  It’s been a good one 🙂
I guess first things first, J and Y went through with their baptisms!  It was quite the eventful week with them.  We kinda ended up dedicating the whole week to them to make sure they were ready and everything was prepared for the baptism and that they were gonna have the strength to go through with it.  I don’t feel too bad about that, people who are going to get baptized are supposed to be your priority that week per Preach my Gospel, but this week we get to pick back up where we left off in the rest of the city.
We had a bunch of citas with them this week.  We talked about their goals for after the baptism (they were so incredible!!  These guys, especially J, are awesome!), about baptismal clothes and how we do the baptism, about the doctrine of baptism, and about how to become active members in the church after baptism.  Dad wrote me last week and said that he used to tell all of his investigators that were on track to get baptized that a “haymaker” or something really tough was going to come their way.  So Elder W and I planned our “haymaker prep” lesson for them haha and they took that really well.  We taught them about how there is opposition in all things and that we have to be prepared to make it through the hard times, because usually we run into opposition to our good choices.  I shared with them how the week before I put in my papers and also the week before I got my call were really hard, and we just promised them they could have strength to overcome those things if they were dedicated to God and following through.
The next day (Friday night) we had another lesson with them.  I don’t really remember what we taught them because literally no more than a minute after we left their house, Y’s dad called us (His name is S and he’s a MAQUINA!  He’s a recent convert of six months, the ward mission leader and is also the only active member in our rama that lives here) and said my daughter just told me she’s not getting baptized.  Hahaha like WHAT we were just there thirty seconds ago?  You woulda thought she woulda told us or something.  So we called J and he told us ya, idk what’s up with her but don’t worry guys you can count on me.
So later that night we went back and talked to the two of them.  Basically she was mad at her dad and she knew he wanted her to get baptized, and her mom who lives in Madrid told her to make her own decisions, and so to spite everyone she basically told him that.  But in reality she still wanted to get baptized and ended up getting baptized happily and willingly (and by her father).  Let’s just say after everything this weekend, I am very glad I am a dude and don’t have weird mood swings like that :’D
We basically spent the whole day setting up the capilla for the baptism and filling up the pila.  Turns out the branch has one of the little portable ones that was being stored in some random closet, and those things are pretty ghetto!  We could only fill it up with like two feet of water or else the beams would break, so baptizing J was an adventure.
We had like 20 people show up!  Considering we now (after the baptisms) have a whopping five active members, thats not bad ha.  A showed up and he loved it.  He ended up spending the whole evening talking with yanikely about it and what she had to do to get baptized and enjoying the whole social atmosphere with food afterwords and he now wants to get baptized.  Unfortunately the word of wisdom is a huge problem in Spain so we have to work on that.  But he has started introducing us to his friends, and so now his friend M is investigating too.  They both love to read the Book of Mormon and learn English and play soccer.  A was trying to explain the baptism to him and it was super cool seeing how he’s growing and trying to share that.  In the big group picture, A is the man on the far right in the white shirt.  He’s such an awesome dude, and his friend is almost as golden as he is.  Prayers for them would be very much appreciated!  There are Spaniards out there who God is preparing for His church.  He knows my goal of baptizing one Spaniard per transfer and He is helping me with that goal a lot.
One of the coolest parts for sure of the whole weekend was getting to baptize J.  It was more the fact that Elder W white clothes fit him better than mine that I got to baptize him, but it was amazing.  I had to dip him sooooo far cuz the water was so low, and his feet slipped so he went completely horizontal under the water and had to curl his toes to keep everything under the water but together we made it happen in only one try 🙂
Later that night I asked him how he was feeling, and he told me, “At first, cold, but now, I feel so good and light!”  Mom, it was a lot like the story you reminded me about this week about my own baptism and confirmation
(baptism by water and baptism by fire).  J really is one of my favorite people ever, he’s so awesome and animated about the gospel.  He reads the Book of Mormon for fun, LOVES learning about the gospel and playing sports with us, and has some awesome expectations for himself.
He bore his testimony to everyone afterwards, and told us about three weeks ago, he read 2 Nephi 31 (Mom, the very same the chapter you sent me this week!) and just felt the desire to pray with his whole heart.  So he prayed to God with his whole heart to know if this was the correct path for him and that night he said he had a dream where God told him that this church is His church and that Jonathan needed to get baptized..  Pretty awesome!.  (Admittedly, I would avoid taking all dreams as revelation, as you might know mom haha 😉  Example: our branch president told us about a dream he thought was revelation but it was so random, it was about this black car that was in the way of his car and wasn’t letting him past, but then we came and talked to the car and then it let him past, and “together, we pulled a lot of weight” hahahahahahaha I was like president, stop eating ice cream before you go to bed lol.  That’s okay though cuz he fed us paella this week and oh man it was so amazing.
Then, to finish off the night, J played a slideshow of pictures that he had of himself with different missionaries that had taught him, with amazing grace playing in the background and it just showed his growth in the gospel and how much joy he felt and it was amazing 🙂  Honestly, seeing the growth in the people you teach is the best part of being a missionary and it is so worth it.  I know this is the gospel of Jesus Christ Himself and that He can change us through it.  That’s why I’m here, to be a tool in His hand and to teach people about that.
Other than the baptism, not much happened this week.  We walked one morning for like an hour and a half out to this tiny pueblo that’s in our area to check on a referral, and when we got there he wasn’t there, so then we had to walk an hour and a half back.  I was pretty frustrated afterwards.  haha that’s where the burgers came in.  I had my first burger in like seven weeks and it was amazing.  Afterwards my companion looked at me and said, dude you ate that in like three bites but completely clean, I can tell you’ve had practice lol.  I think fondly of the burgers mom used to take  me to get like every day back home 🙂
Elder Holland is coming to our mission this week!  We get to travel to Malaga on Friday, he talks with us on Saturday.  Also my companion got made district leader so I will probably be going on more exchanges.
I think that’s about it for this week.  I love you mom!
Elder Driggs

Elder Driggs is serving from the Highlands Ranch Ward

Missionary Monday: Elder Kreutz Serving In Barcelona, Spain

Here is a recent letter from Elder Kreutz:

Aight so nothing real super exciting has happened this week. A bunch of class, and a bunch of teaching mock-investigators. I’ve been reading the Book of Mormon like ka-razy too. It’s all good stuff, and i’m more or less kinda ready to get out into the field next week. This time next week, I’ll be in my first area but i think I’ll have all the dirty deets regarding address and stuff by Tuesday (I’ll get to email) so you can send me goodies.

Last thursday, we went shopping, and got churros and chocolate, that’s what all my pics are from this week. On Saturday we hit up the park again, and found some wonderful people to talk to. My comp for the park was a native Russian, who doesn’t speak a ton of English, so we prayed super hard that we could find some Russians that he could share the message with, and it worked! We found this Russian couple and got them a Book of Mormon and got their info so the missionaries in Russia can talk to them, God answers prayers, don’t ever forget it! This week we’ve been getting in the mode to go into the field, we take a train to Barcelona on Tuesday! I’ll have some more exciting news next week, but until then, know that I love all of you, and that your Heavenly Father superr loves you too! The gospel is good news, peace out fam

 Con Amor,
-Elder Kreutz
Kreutz
 Elder Kreutz is serving from the Highlands Ranch Ward. For more information, you can visit his blog by clicking HERE.

 

Highlands Ranch Ward Trunk or Treat

Last week the Highlands Ranch Ward hosted a wonderful Trunk or Treat! Thank you to everyone who helped organize such a wonderful event- it looks like a great time was had by all!

As always, if there are any pictures you would like removed, please e-mail us at HighlandsRanchMormons@gmail.com and we will remove them. And, if you have pictures you would like to add, feel free to send them our way as well!

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Missionary Monday: Elder T. Bunker Serving In Japan

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Here are a couple of letters from Elder T. Bunker:

Hey everyone,

Well it was another great week,
We had of Ward summer festival this last week. It was a bunch of fun and it was just so great talking to everyone. Too me it was just like a family reunion. Lots of people, different things to do, and just loving every moment and every person.
We played one game where one team would try to flip dots so they would be red and the other team would do the same but try to get all the dots to be yellow. It was a way fun game. Even more so when we watched it. The little kids would just scramble everywhere trying to flip the dots. Then they put four missionaries verses the primary… Yea we got destroyed. I would flip over just a few dots before the kids swarmed and turned then all back over plus more. It reminded me so much of the time when Joe would tell all the cousins to go take out someone and they would just overpower anyone way randomly in the middle of their conversations. The funniest is when they took out Nephi. Yes, this game reminded me a lot about that.
As missionaries we were also blessed to have a space to introduce the Book of Mormon. It was a great display and provided some opportunities to be able to talk to non-members about the church.
We also had a great conference this past week. I love it when our mission president speaks to us. Everything was needed. My favorite training that we had was in repentance. We read alma 36 together and relate how we could relate Alma’s experience to us. We can repent everyday, and it is amazing to see that repentance can have a huge impact on our joy. The joy that Alma experience came from repentance.
It’s just amazing to know that even though we make mistakes we can move on and even excel beyond that of our capacity with the help of of savior. I love the Lord’s words:
“And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.”
Mosiah 24:14
And:
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Phillipians 4:13
We can truly do many great things, because of Christ.

I Love this Ward so much.
I know Heavenly Father loves us so much. I can feel a part of that love almost every time we testify to other’s about God’s role in our lives. Sometimes when we share even something simple to another person it can have a large impact on their lives.

Love you all,
Keep Smiling and Always Turn Outwards

Elder Bunker

Yea the game. It would be way fun to play this with just hundreds of dots over a huge field.

 

Hey Everyone,

Well it has been quite the last week. We have been housing a lot more this past week. It’s been quite the experience. If you ever want to meet so many different people in such a little bit of time just knock on a bunch of doors. There was one house we knocked on and the lady probably felt bad for us cause we were out in the pouring rain, but as we talked it was great to see her lighten up because she could see that we were trying still in the rain. She wasn’t interested but we both left that conversation with smiles on our faces. Sometimes we have to walk though tons of rain to help another.

I have also been finding that I have been smiling and laughing more as I try to contact people. Someone answered their intercom and was acting very scared over the intercom. It was a little awkward and for some reason the situation cause me to laugh a little bit. After I laughed a little though I could hear their voice change and they were calmer. It turned out to be a better conversation. I have found over my mission the more I be myself the more people want to listen to our important message.

Also this past week we got to go onto splits with the zone leaders. It was nice to go out with Elder Blanchard. I met him near the beginning of my mission. It was way fun and we where able to see plenty of miracles. One was near the end of the day when we were heading home.
We past a boy and just started talking to him, he was about our same age and he seemed willing to listen. As we were talking he let us know that he didn’t believe in God. We continued to talk and Elder Blanchard and I both felt that we should introduce the Book of Mormon.
As we did that we talked about charity, Moroni 7:45, and God’s love.
As we testified about Christ and Heavenly Father we could feel the spirit. We offered him the Book of Mormon which he accepted and although we weren’t able to receive his contact info but before we parted he told us that he was considering that God did exist and that he loves us. The spirit can really help a person go from atheist to believing in God in just a short conversation.
I have confidence he will meet missionaries again.

Well I hope everyone is seeking out their own opportunities to lift one another. That has always been a underlining theme I feel when I hear President Monson talk. It is always about being kind, being caring, being loving, willing to listen, willing to act, and willing to follow Christ. It has been such a great experience to share Christ teachings with others. I look to a whole life of doing that.

It’s so fun and amazing to be a Missionary. I enjoy it ever day. I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else than here right now. I love being a missionary.

Love you!

Keep Smiling and Always Turn Outwards.

Elder T. Bunker

Had a great picture of this chair. Also Elder Blanchard and I went on a great split. He is a good friend from Idaho.

Elder T. Bunker is serving from the Highlands Ranch Ward.