Elder Cody Denton

Elder Cody Denton

Monday, August 8, 2011

08/08/11 - Letter to the World

Good Afternoon, World: Let´s get right to it!

Today the sister missionaries gave us a really cool reference for a family living right near our house. We didn´t get to know them really well, but they seem really positive. We had a ton of appointments set up for today, but they all fell through, which gave us plenty of time to contact and find some new families.

Yesterday they told us that we would have mini-cambios and today I worked in my area with Elder García, a chapín (Guatemalan) that has 5 months in the mission. We taught a really powerful lesson about the restoration to Teresa y Henry, a newer family; contactamos una referencia TUANIS from a member; and we ended the day with a family home evening with a super cool member that invited the missionaries, but more importantly a new investigator and a menos activa. She shared her testimony and a message about the importance of families.

I´m back with my comp! All morning long we had weekly planning, in which we made brownies, taught an English class, and planned out the week. This afternoon we invited a TON of people to the noche de hermanamiento. We played a fun game, watched the John Tanner movie and the best part - TERESA Y HENRY SHOWED UP! Something I love about this area is that when there are investigators at church, everybody treats them as if they were their best friends. After the activity, we went to visit some recent converts of Elder Moore and had an awesome spiritual experience. When we got there, one of the daughters was sick so we gave her a blessing. After the blessing, the other sister said that she wanted one too, so we taught the Dad, who had recently received the Higher Priesthood, how to give a blessing. After her, the two grandsons received blessings and we ended with the most sincere and simple prayers that I´ve heard in a long time, offered by the youngest. My comp and I both left with water-filled eyes and stronger testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Priesthood blessings are incredible and miraculous. A child´s prayer, I believe, is more powerful than we often recognize.

Today we had an English Test for the brown missionaries that live here in El Viejo. Every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday we have English classes for them during language study and today they ALL passed! After lunch we went to talk to Maritsa (the reference from the sister missionaries). When we were leaving, the husband, Jairo, got home, so tomorrow we´re going back to talk to the both of them. They seem really nice, but there are some problems that need to be resolved as well before they can move forward too far. After a long day of looking for recent converts and running into a TON of inactives we´d never met before, we finished up with an appointment with Karla, an investigator that couldn´t get rid of her boyfriend. Before today, neither my comp nor I had broken up with a guy...we now both have experience in the matter. She couldn´t do it and she asked us if we would, so we did. He said he´d stay away now and that will really help Karla progress, ´cause like I told them yesterday: A drunk isn´t going to stop drinking if he lives in a bar.

References Rock! I feel like all this week we´ve been receiving bomb references for families - it´s fantastic! Today it was a family shown to us by our most pilas investigators, Teresa y Henry. The new family was super excited to see us and we were able to give a blessing to the twenty-something year-old daughter, Guadelupe, who has a disease where her body randomly attacks itself. It´s called lupous or lopos...something like that. Powerful week!

This week we have a really cool activity planned for Thursday! I know everything will go great! The missionaries here are awesome - if I do say so myself haha

Love you all! Elder Denton

Sunday, August 7, 2011

07/25/11 - Letter to the World

Buenas Tardes!

After teaching and preaching 4.5 months in La Dalia, I´ve been changed to Tezoatega, Chinandega. I really love the area! Without help, I can manage to get from the church to my house and from my house to my food appointment...and on a good day I can make it to the cemetery too. I´m gonna print out a map to get a better handle on things.

Tomorrow we´re going to have to have a multi-zone meeting and Elder Falabella (area president) is going to come. I´ve heard him once before and he´s a really good speaker. Next week I´ll write about what we learned.

This week we´ve been focusing on finding new families. This area was re-opened just 4 weeks ago by my companion, Elder Moore. OH!!! Elder Moore is a gringo from LA. I don´t have any pics yet, but I hope to be able to send some next week. He has about a year in the mission and is super tight! We´ve worked non-stop since I´ve got here. We did two big service projects for a family of less actives last week and they went to church yesterday! The Bishop is really excited to have new missionaries that are willing to serve the ward.

Right now we have one lady that seems to be progressing, her name is Carla. She´s a mom of two little girls and truly has a great desire to be baptized. Her only challenge is that she has a boyfriend that doesn´t seem willing to support her in her decision to serve the Lord. Tomorrow we are going to talk with them and see how we´re going to make things happen.

I love the opportunity to be here serving my Heavenly Father! It´s a blessing to be a member of this church and to know the fullness of the restored gospel.

I love you all and hope you use your sunscreen,

Elder Denton

07/18/11 - Letter to the World

Good afternoon, everybody!

I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to write everybody today! The gospel of Jesus Christ is amazing and God loves every single one of us.

This last week I had the opportunity to teach The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (lesson 1) soooooo many times! Every time I teach it, I get more and more excited about it. It´s incredible! I love teaching about the formation of the church of Jesus Christ in the New Testament and then about His church today in day. Teaching about José Smith and then asking the follow-up question, ¨For you, would it be important to have a prophet in these latter days?¨. This message always brings the Spirit into the homes of those that are willing to listen with an open heart.

I don´t know if I´ve mentioned Milton and Luz, but they are a really cool family that we are teaching that we found through English classes. They plan to be baptized on the sixth of August. Milton is really looking forward to being baptized, but has a few doubts about marriage. Luz is really looking forward to being married, but has a few doubts about baptism. They have two assistances in church and they are always glad to see us show up in front of their house. They recognize the Spirit and they can´t get enough of it.

Freddy and Ingrid (two recent converts) have blown me away these last couple weeks. I know I talk about these two a lot, but it´s because they´re truly incredible. When I got to La Dalia, Ingrid was short shorts, low cut shirts, blaring loud music, sailor mouth....everything! Yesterday at church she was so-close-to-modest shirt, mid-calf skirt, singing hymns, teaching primary....everything! Freddy smoked, drank, worked every Sunday and now he´s clean cut, doesn´t miss a Sunday, divisions with the Elders, awesome!THIS........GOSPEL..........CHANGES..............LIVES!

I love you all and I hope you enjoy your week. Elder Denton
Dear World,

el 22 de junio


In order to make up for the lack of information in last week´s letter to the world, I´m gonna go journal style again. It seems to be the only way I can remember what we do throughout the week. Yesterday (21-06) we were in Matagalpa in meetings all morning. We talked a lot about getting our priorities in order and using our time wisely. Our mission president had an amazing revelation lately that´s really helping the entire mission be more successful. Everyone is helping everyone reach the baptismal goals in the first week of the month so that the rest of the month can be stress-free family finding time. Our zone´s goal for this Friday is to have three families with baptismal dates for the second of July, that has received lesson one, and has committed to go to church on Sunday. That leaves us today and tomorrow!


Today we found two new families and put a baptismal date with another. One of the news is really cool and is the next-door neighbor of Freddy, my first convert here in La Dalia

el 23 de junio

¡Puchica! I´ve never had so many lessons with members in all my mission! Today was a day of miracles. We left early in the morning to contact a reference with a member. We taught lesson one and they´re going to church on Sunday. Afterwards we went to teach a lady lesson one and she had a friend with her. They both understood everything that was taught and when we finished, the friend was willing to give the closing prayer. Two doors down we met María, who has a husband that she wants us to teach! We taught lesson one and we´ll go back on Sunday to teach the husband. After ¨Noche de hermanamiento¨ we went to talk to a member that hasn´t shown up to meetings lately and she had a friend there. The first thing she said was, ¨My friend is going to go to English classes with me...and she wants to be baptized.¨ FO´ REALZ? Yup! Tight, huh? I love days like these. We work hard and we can see the immediate results...and the long term results (el bautismo) shouldn´t be too far off now!

el 25 de junio

Yesterday I wasn´t able to write because the power went out and we didn´t have money to buy candles. I don´t know how we made it home without slipping and sliding everywhere because it was raining like crazy. Today and yesterday my comp and I have had our eyes opened to the fact that God takes care of His missionaries. For the last fourish days we´ve been running off of zero money. We ran out and there´s not a bank here to take out more. Investigators have been randomly inviting us to their houses to eat (which isn´t very normal here) and they have no idea about our situation. We have also been blessed with a ton of references!!! Friends and family of various investigators that really seem like they´re going to progress. I love the pool of investigators that I have right now! They´re more pilas than the members. I hope that doesn´t mean I have changes all of the sudden.

el 26 de junio

Today wansn´t too exciting. 18 people showed up to church today - highest attendance of the month. Four investigators showed up, all of which were references- ¡YES! We visited María again after church with her husband and with Freddy! We taught lesson one and the hermano was super doubtful - we told him to start asking any question that he had and we answered a TON, every question being asked slyly as if it would be the question to stump us. Afterwards I asked if any of the questions had been left unanswered or unclear. He said humbly, ¨no¨ and we closed with testimonies and a closing prayer. It´s so comforting to know that we´re part of the truth. We´re not here to settle for a church that teaches a gospel similar to that which Christ left, sino the church that Christ left!


06/21/11 - Letter to the World

Before I forget:

Feliz Cumpleaños, Chazz

Happy Homecoming, Elder Dent....Kyle
***thanks Sister D for the ´upcoming event´ warnings!***

This week has definitely flown by! I normally have my agenda with me to remind me of the things that I want to mention, but I left it back at the house. On Tuesday we got back to our area and on Wednesday I started back up with English classes! The people absolutely love them! My comp is also giving classes to those that don´t know how to read and write. The plan is that if we get people to go to classes, they´ll go to noche de hermanamiento, and if they go to noche de hermanamiento, they´ll go to church on Sundays! It´s a long shot, but I think it just might work!

We met a few really cool families this week! It´s incredible how you can contact sooo many people, but you still keep finding new houses with new circumstances and new set of needs. I love how ¨one-size-fits-all¨ the Gospel is!

I´m really grateful for the opportunity that my Celestial Father has given me to be here on a mission. I know the the Church of Jesus Christ of the Santos de los Últimos Dias is His church and that it is perfect in every aspect. I feel so blessed to have received the confirmation of this truth por medio de the prayer!

I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Elder Denton - THE ONE AND ONLY, BABY!!!

05/23/11 - Letter to the World

Buenas Tardes, Mundo!

This last week has been excellent! My comp and I have been looking for new families to work with, and we´re finding them!!! I don´t know if I´ve mentioned it, but our Mission President has promised us that if we have 5 progressing families, we´ll be able to baptize at least one every month. So far we´re up to four, just one short! We have one that is más o menos, but we want to find one more that we feel has truly been prepared by the Spirit.

Our most positive family is Enrique, Delia, and their daughter, Giselle (sp). They have a baptismal goal for the 4th of June and we´re all working really hard to make it happen. We just need a wedding, a few more lessons, and a commitment or two.

Another family is in a new area that we discovered last week. They went to a conference that we had in Matagalpa and they really enjoyed it. The wife wants to get married and baptized, but the husband isn´t so sure about marriage. This week we´re going to go with a member to visit them again.

Something strange about this area is that nobody wants to get married. We´ve met several couples now that have the desire to get baptized, but will not get married. They say that they need more time to think about it....we often tell them that after 3 kids and 15 years of living together, they´ve had enough time to think about it!

Well, I´ve gotta get off to the store so I can get back to work!

Love you all!
Elder Denton II

03/28/11 - Letter to the World

Hello World!

This last week we had a baptism!! Yesterday in the morning we baptized Fredy Torres, who is the husband of a recent convert, Ingri. They´re a young couple that is really quite impressive! Fredy works in construction and Ingri is a stay at home wife. In Nicaragua, the average full-time salary is not nearly what it is in the US. He told us that after a month of working, he had enough to buy the food necessary to live and nothing else. He said that it didn´t even leave them enough for a pair of socks. They live in a little wood house with a cardboard divider to make two rooms. The impressive thing about them is that they live to serve God! They told us how there was a time when they had absolutely nothing, and the little house that they live in now is huge blessing from God. In order to repay Him, they are always looking for opportunities to help out with the little that they had. Two weeks ago they invited a homeless family to stay with them while the Dad worked to get some starting money. They put up another divider made out of plastic garbage bags and somehow 5 people lived in a house the size of the room my comp and I share. Last week this couple did something for us missionaries that really touched me. We were passing by the house one night to teach Fredy and after teaching, somehow they knew that we hadn´t had dinner. Ingri asked if we wanted something to eat and my heart sank. In Nicaragua it´s really offensive to not accept food - especially from poor people (they assume it´s not good enough for us and feel super bad). My comp and I knew that if we ate, they would give us the best of what they had and they would probably skip a meal to make up for it. We accepted the food and we ate more than we´d ever seen on their plates before.

On Sunday I gave a talk on Charity. This family is a spectacular example of charity, giving everything that they can to others, not expecting anything in return. It is our job to aquire charity during this life. Without charity, we are nothing.

Do a good turn daily!

Elder Denton II

03/21/11 - Letter to the World

Dear World,

It feels like it´s been a while since I´ve written and I don´t really remember everything that I´ve said about my new area/comp, so if some of this is old news, forgive me.

My current area: La Dalia
My current zone: Matagalpa
My current companion: Elder López
My current companion´s home country: El Salvador
Status: Animated and Ready to Kick Butt!

I´m coming up on 3 weeks in La Dalia and I´m loving it to death. The people are all really friendly and It´s an awesome atmosphere to work in. The weather is a bit chilly, the streets are hecka steep, and the food is as ricey and beany as ever.

The last time I wrote, I mentioned how we were working on finding all of the Recent Converts and Members. It´s a really neat experience. It´s funny to see the reactions that people have when they see missionaries aproaching their house when they know perfectly well that it´s because they haven´t been to church in months. Some hide, but the majority are really fun to get to know. I love reactivaction!

When we got to La Dalia, the church attendance had been 15-20. Last week we had 32 people in Sacrament Meeting! 6 Investigators - youngsters, but Investigators nonetheless.

Our Branch President went out with us on Saturday and we met a few new families. None of them came to church on Sunday, but this week my comp and I are going to get to know them a bit better and animate them for Noche de Hermanamiento and Sunday!

Pass a good week and if you have any questions about the mission or Nicaragua, feel free to ask.

Elder Denton II

02/14/11 - Letter to the World

Hello World!

It´s been a long and challenging week here in Momotombo. We had four investigators at church again this week, which is excellent, but they weren´t the families that we were hoping would show up. We still have the goal of baptizing a family this month, but it´ll be difficult one since only parts of families come to church.

This week I´ve learned something really interesting and great about the mission. It might be really obvious to many, but it took me a while to figure out it´s significance. Every missionary is completely different. They might have similarities, but they´re going to have different ways of teaching, different ways of contacting, different ways of learning AND different ways of feeling the Spirit. As a missionary we´re never told to do any of these things in a certain way. What brings loads of success to one missionary, may not do anything for another. We were called on missions not to be robots that live the same day on replay for 2 years. We are to constantly be looking for better ways. Better ways to teach, contact, learn, feel the Spirit and help others feel the Spirit as well.

Everyone is different and we all need to weed out the things that are slowing down our progress and start doing the things that will help us progress faster.

Every time I analyze what I´ve learned on the mission I get really excited, thinking of how I can apply it all in my life at college then with my family and then for the rest of my life. There is so much to be learned on a mission and you can help so many people while you´re learning! It´s really fantastic!

Next week I´ll talk about some new investigators and what we´re teaching them :)

Much Love,

Elder Denton II

02/07/11 - Letter to the World

Good Afternoon!

I don´t have a whole lot of time to write today, some members in Paz Centro went hunting earlier today and invited us to go eat iguana at their house tonight...don´t wanna be late!

This week we had 4 investigators at church which is really good for this area! I think that it´s the highest that we´ve ever had. Juan came again and continues to be our most consistant investigator, but he still doesn´t feel ready...soon though, I can feel it!

President Arredondo came to our zone not too long ago and he told us that a good goal for every area is to baptize one family per month. We met the goal in January with Juana. This month we´ve been visiting 4 good families and we hope to pull one out for this month. Our biggest challenge is getting people to church. It seems like everyone has to go run an errand exactly when church starts. Fishy, right?

On Tuesday we had a really good *noche de hermanamiento*. We learned about the Lehi´s Vision of the Tree of Life. Tomorrow we are going to have another one about the Liahona. I´m really excited to see which investigators are going to be able (make the time) to go.

Well...I´ve gotta go eats me some Iguana! Love you all,

Elder Denton II

01/24/11 - Letter to the World

Buen Dia!

Today I´m really running short on time, but that´s okay, because not too much happened this last week.

Juan showed up to church yesterday which I´m super excited about. He understands the importance of going to church, reading the scriptures, and being baptized. The only thing that lacks him is being baptized! We had a good lesson with him and his brothers last week and he said that he would be baptized as long as he got a response to his prayers that he needs to do it now. I know that if he prays he will get a confirmation that he needs this.

PG-13 Today for P-Day 4 of us walked about a half-hour out to a farm where a man needed some service done. We helped him dry out some corn and bag it up. When we were done they gave us some chicken soup which was amazing, but it was the first time I´ve ever seen chicken soup made from beginning to end. First, the Señora picked up a rock and threw it at a rooster so the dogs knew which one to hunt down. Then I learned that apparently to kill a chicken, you grab it by the head and spin it around until the neck snaps. The chicken then proceeded to do a little dance until it gave up the ghost and died. Next, the kids came around and started preforming CPR on the chicken while screaming ¨¡¡¡VIVAAAA!!!¨ which translates to ¨LIIIIIVE!!!¨. When their attempts to revive the chicken failed, they lamentably scream ¨¿Por qué?¨ or ¨WHY??¨. - I´m not so sure that the last step was completely necessary...but I got a kick out of it! After a good five minutes of mourning, the chicken got put into a pot of swirling hot water. The feathers were plucked, the feet were cut, and the guts were gutted. The prepared chicken was then mixed in with some herbs, vegetables, modongo, and VOILA! Chicken Soup!

Last week Elder Christofferson from the 12 came and spoke to us. I´ll write about some cool stuff that was mentioned next week when I´ve fully understood it. One quote that I did like though (from a 70) was: a habit forgotten was never really a habit, but an obligation.

I love you all a bunch and if you have some space in your prayers, Juan could definitely use it!

Don´t let the world get you down and tell my Dad happy birthday if you see him ;) - (on the 27th)

Elder Denton II

01/17/11 - Letter to the World

4 Investigators at church yesterday!!! The change is winding down here, but things are heating up in Momotombo. It´s so fantastic to see people progressing. On Saturday, Juana was baptized and was really excited about the whole experience. We had a nice service in the ocean and then was confirmed the next day. During the sacrament meeting a member of the Stake High Council spoke about temples. I realized that now that all of Juana´s family are members, in one year they can go to the temple to be sealed - ¡Tight! - Either tonight or tomorrow we´ll go teach them about the importance of temples. That´s one thing that I especially like teaching. what greater blessing than to know that we can live with our families for the eternities? In the presence of God and Jesus Christ! I love the opportunity to teach and preach happiness!

Juan showed up to church again yesterday along with three investigators (siblings) that we contacted that same morning. We´re going to be working with Juan to get him baptized this month. EXCITING!

Sidenote - When we were on our way back from Juana´s baptism, we all shoved into our branch president´s pick-up truck and took off. Turns out there are legit policemen in Nicaragua and they pulled us over because we weren´t being safe. They wanted to take President´s license away and fine us, but he talked the police out of it!!! He started telling them how we were on the Lord´s errand and that we were coming from a baptism and that instead of pulling us over to fine us, they should have pulled us over to thank us because we´re making the world a better place. Awesome, right?!?...and I thought Nicaragua Police only took money bribes!!

Love you all,

Elder Denton II

01/10/11 - Letter to the World

Good Afternoon-

Well, I´m in the same boat as the other Elder Denton today. Not sure exactly where to start. Not a ton happened this last week, so I´m going to keep it short and not babble on.

Yesterday we didn´t have our 5 investigators at church, but we did in fact have 2. Juana (¡¡¡again!!!) and Juan.

  • Juana has had 2 Sundays at church now and is so cool! I absolutely love her personality. She has a baptismal date for the 15th (this Saturday) and I think that she will be more than ready! We went and had a *noche de hermanamiento at her house on Tuesday and we taught the Restoration! Afterwards we played a game and everyone was really excited about the whole activity. We challenged everyone that night to start reading the Book of Mormon our plan is to go back every week for *noche de hermanamiento to teach the main story of what he should have read. When we showed up yesterday to bring her to church, she told us that she was ready for church, but that she wasn´t going to be ready on the 15th. We reassured her that there is still time to get ready and that if she prays and reads the Book of Mormon, that everything will be okay!

  • Juan is the brother of a less active that we found this last week, Franklin. They are both really funny and smart young men, but they just haven´t found time for church recently. I´m not sure why Juan didn´t get baptized when Franklin did, but we´re going to work with him so that he can have the same blessings that his older brother has. When we showed up to their house they kept offering us things: starfruit, a coconut, peanuts...I´m not sure what that was about, but it was certainly nice of them.
Well, other than that I don´t have much to say. Enjoy your week, pray always, and do your home teaching!

Love y´all - Elder Denton II