Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas Song from the Elders of Alaska

His first Christmas in Alaska!

He actually sent this email on December 26, 2016

Dang...this week went by so fast!

We had a lot of lessons and we had a lot of fun.  My companion and I are getting really close with the Hmong elders. We go teaching with them a lot and it's really fun!  I'm going to try and get my Hmong name this week. I'll have to keep you guys posted on that.

I'm starting to get fat, which totally sucks but is kinda fun.  Turns out caribou and a reindeer are the same animal. Totally threw me for a loop when I figured that out.  Life out here is pretty good.  A lot of people to teach.  It’s finding the ones that are elect that is the hard part.  Dropping people really sucks too because I don't want to give up on them.  They just aren't ready to receive the gospel yet and I hate it. I know the happiness and joy that it can bring them.  This transfer is almost over, which means Elder Brock only has one more transfer before he goes home. 😱 Then, I get a new companion and get to show him the ways of the YSA 😳 

I love you all and remember…

He who kneels before God, can stand before anyone.

-Elder Poppleton

Monday, December 12, 2016

Hmong Elders

This week has been totally insane.  Yesterday, my companion and I went caroling with the Hmong elders, Elder Frey and Elder Vue.  They are awesome. We visited some of our less actives and some of theirs as well. The native Hmong people are amazing. They know how to speak English...but just to be funny…they refused to do it. So Elder Frey and Elder Vue were just chatting away in Hmong, and my companion and I were just like.....yeah, what they said.....but super fun.

On the side I’m trying to learn Samoan and its going really well....kinda...I don't ever get to speak it because I’m in an English speaking it’s hard. I see Elder Malala (one of my pals from the MTC) every once in a while and he practices with me. I can bear my testimony in samoan (granted a very simple one) but it’s a beautiful language. I love it.

Baptisms don't happen often in Alaska. The people are stubborn and don't like us coming to their door.  A lot of the Elders are discouraged....but lo and behold, the Lord has been preparing people to receive the Gospel. We stalked a man named Steve at his work to just meet him and see how he was doing. Turns out the last time he even saw a missionary was in June…and he's been waiting for us. So we get to teach him on Wednesday! I’m super excited.

Many are cold, and few are frozen.

Here's some Samoan for all of you

i iloa o loo soifua lo tatou Tama Faalelagi. i iloa e alofa o ia ia i
tatou ma silafia i tatou e atoatoa. i iloa o ia o le silafia o tatou
manaoga ma o le a tausia i tatou pe afai tatou te faamaoni.
faalagolago ia te ia. faalagolago ia te ia. ma alolofa ia te ia. i
alolofa ia te outou uma.

I’m not sure how correct that is. But just role with it.

I love you all and have a wonderful Christmas season.

-Elder Poppleton

Additional Notes - 

It sounds like he has had multiple trainings this week, zone conferences, etc.  His companion put up a few Christmas lights in their apartment and he seems really happy and engaged in the work!  He said Anchorage reminds him of Salt Lake City (kind of)!  He said that Hmong is pronounced without the H and the language is Chinese-based.  

Monday, December 5, 2016

Chugach Stake, North Anchorage (YSA)

I have been called to serve in the North Anchorage Chugach Stake, in the YSA ward.

My companion and I (Elder Brock) are white washing the area.  Which
means, the missionaries basically know nothing about the area. So it's super hard and its not a super common thing, but its so much fun.  We go OYMing all the time (open your mouth) and that is basically our version of street contacting...but so much better.

Our first morning in our apartment we got  a call from the APs saying that we are going to host missionaries for our zone conference, which was on Friday. These elders were coming from Bethel, Elders Hansen and Contrarez. They are amazing. We got to spend two days with them before we dropped them back off at the airport.

Strangely, President LaVoie assigned me as the designated driver....but that's because my companion never got his license. But that's ok, because there is a ton of snow... and they don't really plow the roads in our its kinda sketchy.  We drive a Subaru Legacy and its really nice....and my area is like twice the size of Cache we drive all over the place. There is about 750k people in Alaska total and 300k of them are from Anchorage.

Also, another cool thing you may want to I'm learning Samoan. I honestly don't know why, but President asked me to learn Samoan. There is huge population of Samoans here...but few to none of the english speaking missionaries learn it. So I'm super excited to learn...I can already introduce myself and pray in Samoan...but I'm no where near ready to teach.

Anyway that has kind of been my week.

Many are called, and few are frozen.

I love you all.

-Elder Poppleton

Additional information from other emails -  

So I met one of Jake's companions yesterday and that was way cool.  He
got home like a month ago. That was cool. 

...but, I need a ton of stuff. Mainly for survival like a coat!

So if I could get like $300 on my card that would be awesome! Because
stuff here is so stinking expensive

...And I need to get all of that stuff today or I'm going to die this

week. Wind chills of negative 25 right now. And its only getting

I have a few videos that he sent that are fun.  Email me or comment if you want me to forward them to you!