Monday, May 22, 2017

First Week in Cordova, AK

So I have been Transferred to Cordova Alaska. My new companion is Elder Smith. and I freakin love it here. 
There is a small branch here, and the members are amazing. 
but I think my favorite part about Cordova, is how beautiful it is. 
Everywhere is just breath taking. I cant even handle it. 

One of my first days, we went around so I can kind of get an idea of what area I will be serving in, and we watched as this gigantic dog, ran across the road. well, as we got closer to it we soon realized that it wasn't a dog. It was a wolf. a huge wolf. It was beautiful. it was white with a kind of goldish tint along its back. 

There are bald eagles EVERYWHERE! it is so amazing. I think the only downside to Cordova is the fact that it rains....every day...all day. But i will gladly take the rain, for the beauty of Cordova.

Another fun part of Cordova, is the fact that we get to live in the church building. Our beds and dressers and stuff are in one of the classrooms. We use the kitchen and the Bathrooms, and my favorite part is that we get to shower in the baptismal font! IT IS AWESOME!

When I got here, there was literally no work...we had a lot of potential investigators, but that was about it. So we went to work. We set some goals, and hit the streets. 
We went boat trackting, and ran into one of the few potential investigators that we have. 
His name is Seth, and he wears these awesome rose tinted glasses. 
We had an amazing discussion about Isaac and Abraham, and the sacrifice, that Abraham was willing to make. 
His excuse to not coming to church this last Sunday was because he liked to go play pool, and socialize on Saturday late into the night. 

I then decided to ask him, what was he willing to sacrifice to our Heavenly Father. and he replied that he was willing to give his life if he was asked. 
I then pulled the representative of Jesus Christ card, and told him that God asks him to come to church on Sundays. and that meant sacrificing a night of fun, to make it to 9am church the next day. 
He thought for a moment, and agreed to coming to church. 
haha unfortunately he never showed up, and he texted us later and apologized. 

I learned a lot from that lesson though, and it really got me thinking. 

What am I willing to sacrifice for my Heavenly Father? 

as I contemplated this, I have realized how much my testimony of the Savior has increased. 
I challenge all of you to ask yourself the same question. 
what are you willing to sacrifice? 
find it, and do it. even if it is just putting down the phone for like 10 minutes to read your scriptures. that is a huge sacrifice to some of you ;) but you can do it.

I know that as we sacrifice things, we will get something better in return! 

Elder Cody Poppleton

Monday, May 1, 2017

Homeless, Homeless, like the Christ child was....

This week has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs.
But the most eventful day by far was Saturday. We started out the day
with absolutely no motivation to get out and work. So what did we do?
We got out and worked! We had a good lesson with a member of ours
named Brian, and after that we had an open day, so we went to go visit
a recent convert that lives in Mountain View (the ghetto of anchorage)
and on our way over we saw a homeless native man who was sitting on
the side of an abandoned building all by himself. Elder Hunter wanted
to go talk to him, so we pulled over and got out of the car. Right
from the get go, he starts bad mouthing us, and giving us crap. So we
start asking him question, and he pulls out this little plastic pocket
size box. He opens it up, and its full of paper, and weed.
And rolls one right in front us. This guy didn't give two craps. It
was so funny. He lit up and continued to swear and tell us how awful
we were, and I couldn't help but smile.
So we continued on our way, and our recent convert wasn't home, so we
decided to go street contacting downtown.
We started walking and the first couple we walk by, stopped and said
"no way! Y'all are looking for me!" We obviously has a puzzled look on
his face, and so he explained that he was a convert from Fairbanks,
and he was anchorage to have a risky surgery. He had been very nervous
and stressed out, so we walked with him back to his hotel room and we
gave him a blessing.
Its pretty cool how the lord puts us in the paths of those who are in need.
It truly is a testimony to me that God loves all of his children, and
he answers our prayers.
We then continued to walk downtown and we ended up walking down this
alley way that was conceded in murals, so we took pictures in front of
one, and an older gentleman called out and said "I'm glad you guys
enjoy my murals."
I knew from that moment I was about to have another interesting experience.
We started asking about how all of this came to be. And this man who
was named Ziggy had spent 20+ years painting this alley way.
He noticed we were missionaries and told us how he was about to start
his own church.
Because he believes in spiritual things and following the spirit
wherever it guides.
For all of 2 seconds. I thought he was elect.
He then said
"I'm starting a cannabis church."
He then continued to tell us how it was a very spiritual experience
and how he discovered, that we as humans are indoctrinated and brain
washed. And how we created god as an idol, and figure of hope. But in
reality the souls of creatures were like a totem pole. And how people
are on the bottom. The dogs and birds control us.
Ziggy would give 1/2 of a second to let us speak.
He got himself all worked up, and before we knew it, he was screaming
and cussing and right in our face.
So we smiled and listened for what seemed like eternity but was really
about 35 minutes.
And then he stormed off and walked into a side door of an old building.
It was a very interesting experience.
My companion and I looked at each other, and just laughed.
For sole reason we found that whole situation humorous.
We went on our way, with our chins held high, and a skip in our step.
We had a successful day that day.

Here is what I learned.
Without Charity, we are nothing.
If we don't have that perfect love of Christ within us. We literally
are nothing.
I can't serve the people of Alaska without it.
The spirit will leave me, and I will have no success.

I've learned that people don't know care about how much you know,
until they know how much you care.
If you have the genuine charity towards them, they will see it.

Fear is the strongest emotion, and greatest tool that Satan uses against us.
But the opposite of fear, and even stronger than fear, is love.
Light will always conquer the dark, and love with always conquer fear.
Christ is our perfect example of how we need to love.

As we come to not only know about Christ, but to know Christ
personally, we will develop that love. As we feast upon the words of
Christ, and trust in him and his Atonement.
With love we can cast out all fear, therefore leaving Satan powerless.

I love the people of Alaska,

-Elder Poppleton