Monday, June 9, 2014

Highlands Ranch!

Well, what a change!

Transfers have happened! I drove on Monday from Gunnison to Montrose; then on Tuesday from Montrose to Grand Junction; then from Grand Junction to Denver! Close to 7 hours in a car!! I am serving in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, just south of downtown Denver. My ward is called the Sand Creek YSA Ward. My first time in a singles' ward! Ever! It's definitely different than a typical ward, and far different from the branch in Gunnison. My companion is Elder Rosequist.

He's from Las Vegas, Nevada, and he's been on his mission one transfer less than me. Also, his 19th birthday was on Friday, so I'm the older companion for the first time in my mission!! (If anyone is keeping track, I also haven't ever had two companions from the same state yet: Ohio, Louisiana, Texas, Washington, Idaho, Kentucky, California, and Nevada!)

This area is the Zone Leader area for Highlands Ranch. Highlands Ranch is "The Pride of Colorado," a very well-to-do community. There were already two baptisms scheduled in the ward for June 21st when I got here, so we're really looking forward to those! We have some great member missionaries. Apparently Elder Rosequist, who's been here for 3 months, is having to re-learn the ward with me, because there's such a drastic change in membership over the summer! So it will be an adventure. There's an activity almost every night! Tonight if FHE, then Tuesday is ultimate frisbee, Wednesday is pie night, Thursday is institute, Friday is date night (I'm not sure if that's an official ward activity or just a suggested practice...), and I'm not sure if there's anything this Saturday. But whoa!! Lots of things to invite investigators to! We don't go to all of the activities; usually we just make an appearance towards the end and get to know the non-members there, talk to our investigators who attended (and maybe get refreshments).

It's fun to be able to interact with the young single adults, because we have an idea of their culture and where they're coming from. We have a huge area, so we're driving a lot. We made two sticky notes: one that says "Are you Mormon?" and another that says "Do you want to be?" So now we can proselyte from the car! We were parked at a complex one day, and a young single adult girl got into the car next to us, so I pulled out the notes. She shook her head, indicating that she was not Mormon, and when she read the second note, she rolled down her window and said, "I have a lot of friends who are Mormon!" We talked to her for a minute. She had met with missionaries before, but we came to the mutual conclusion that she needed a refresher. So hey! it works!!
A view of the area--Isn't it beautiful?!

Oh! And I get to go to the temple here! It is so awesome! I had missed it terrible on the Western Slope for six months. Temple Wednesday is the first Wednesday of every month, so I got to go the day after I arrived in Denver! The temple is in our area, about 3 minutes from our apartment, and we see the steeple all the time driving around. Awesome! President Murdock also lives in our area! Of course we're not in his ward, but his house is still in our area!

There's a lot of different responsibilities, being a Zone Leader. District Leaders work closely with the missionaries to lift, bless, encourage, and inspire them. Zone Leaders do a lot of reporting to the Mission President regarding the progress of the work, a lot of communication with the Stake President, and a lot of working with the District Leaders to help them understand and fulfill their responsibilities. In Gunnison, Elder Sofele and I were able to get into the apartment an 9:00 and be in bed by 9:30. Here, we usually hit the hay around 10:30... But it's alright!

I love being here on the Metro side of the mission. There's pluses and minuses about either side. It's not that people are more rude in general here, but there's a few sour apples that you don't really get on the Western Slope. But so many more people to talk to! We do a whole lot of tracting, and a whole lot of asking, "Do you know of any college-aged kids in this complex?" We give out a lot of referrals, too. Yesterday we found two really good potential investigators for the Northridge Sisters! It's funny when we tract in a complex and find a bunch of good potentials for the family ward, because we get to call them that night and be like, "Hey, here's some people who are really interested that we found while we were tracting in your area..." I'm sure they appreciate it. I know I would!
A Sunset

Well, I am going to keep adjusting to this singles' ward life! Keep choosing the right, read and pray, and be excellent to each other! I love you all and hope you're loving the summer!

Elder Rogers

A Thought from Mom:

“Our lives are made up of thousands of everyday choices. Over the years these little choices will be bundled together and show clearly what we value.”
~ Elder Boyd K. Packer

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