Colorado Fort Collins Mission

Colorado Fort Collins Mission
Colorado Fort Collins Mission

Monday, January 26, 2015

A "cruse of oil" moment

January 26, 2015

Freddy's dad was not cool with him getting baptized, same with his wife, since his stance is "I was born a Catholic, I'm gonna die a Catholic, and my family too". But, we had their family all sit down and talk about it (we weren't there, we just called Freddy and he told us it was about to happen) and his dad said he could get baptized, but only if he really looked into the church and found out everything he could and was going to really live his religion. So it turned out that his dad has now just forced his son to commit to being a faithful, lifelong member. We aren't sure yet if his mom is going to be able to get baptized, but they are going to talk about it.

We had stake conference this week, and 2 of the kids we played soccer with last Monday came with their mom's best friend, who is a member. We're probably going to be playing again today.

Ivan and his family are another awesome family that we have been teaching. Their main focus in life is family, which is perfect since everything we do is to build and strengthen the family unit. We are going to be teaching them more about the Plan of Salvation and families being forever this Saturday

I can't really remember much else this week. I am getting a sore throat, but nothing I can't live with. The real problem though was when it came down to buying cough drops or mouthwash, since I couldn't buy both this month due to my lack of funds. So, now with a remainder of $.59 on my missionary debit card, I will be going without mouthwash when the little bit I have left runs out. I'm hoping that I have a "cruse of oil" moment with it or something like that.

The pics for this week have come from all over. I should have sent some of them awhile ago (or maybe I did and forgot), but anyways, here they are.

This is from Christmas with our new Nerf Guns

From Aspen House, singing to the old folks.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Two baptismal dates set!!

January 20, 2015

I really don't know how to start this one and make this not come across in a bad way. So, I say this with as much good feelings and not trying to be insensitive or rude or anything like that. We had a lot of pretty crazy appointments this week. We taught one transvestite, possibly transgender, we found someone that we are going to teach how to read (she's in her 60s), and we are going to teach some lesbians this coming week as well. I hope that doesn't come across like "those people are weird or bad" or anything like that, it's just that those are some types of people that most people would say our church has the most against. Not true, but that is the stereotype. It amazes me how even people that seem to be so far from the standards we believe in are curious about what we believe in. Hopefully we will see some of them progress.

We also had a lady come up to us at lunch today asking why we believed in having more that one wife. Thankfully we were able to correct that misconception.

We had one lesson with some investigators that we brought our newly called ward mission leader to, and that went horribly wrong. He started arguing with the dad about what really happened with the kid that got lost from Cuba (? I don't actually know the details of the story or the exchange since it was in rapid Cuban Spanish, which means there are no s's, but my companion told me to kick him and tell him to shut up). Anyway, we didn't bring him to any more lessons after that with that family. 

I've also gotten a little fed up with having dinners-yes dinners-at 11 in the morning. We tried to get another day that happened, and then she said "sure, come over at 3". Apparently dinner is now breakfast and lunch.

We got 2 baptismal dates set this week. Freddy who we met at service and his mom both agreed to get baptized the 7th of February. We'll be working close with them the next little bit to keep them on track and hopefully get a baptism.

We went up to Fort Morgan this week to go play basketball with a bunch of high school Hispanics, and that was so sick. That was probably the only solid hour of my mission where I didn't think about girls one time. They play so well, and I actually scored one time. I realized though just how old and how fat I am. Not really, I'm still only about 160, but I was so out of breath. 

Hope you all enjoy the pics.

 Titanic that Freddy made.

 Part of our district. My companion is the Latino with glasses.

The ghettoness of Greeley.

Freaky thing left in our apartment.
(Is Kennon too young to recognize ET?!?)

First week in Greeley

January 12, 2015

This week was my first in Greeley with Elder De Leon from Guatemala. His Spanish is relatively slow and clean, so I can at least understand him a lot of the time. I am in an all Spanish branch, in a city about 36% Hispanic, so a lot more than Loveland and most other places in the mission. My mind has been fried this week from all Spanish all the time. Sometimes I doubt my translating skills when members tell us they are struggling with the law of chastity, but nope, I heard right. I had that fun experience twice this week, though only once counts since I was nodding off in one of the lessons with a 50+ year old lady. My comp told me after.

The whole city smells like urine and feces about once or twice every 2 weeks for no apparent reason. It also smells like rotting cow in some areas, but at least that has an explanation: the large beef plant at the edge of the city. I've noticed that being out 4 months in the mission, my taste in women has gradually shifted from mostly white, blonde, attractive girls, to mostly white, semi-attractive girls, to a lot more Hispanic girls than 4 months ago, to girls in general, and now to slightly above seeing dudes with long hair from behind.

We had a mission conference with David A. Bednar, Craig C. Christensen, and James B. Martino. Needless to say, it was amazing. It was shocking how casual of a meeting it was. We didn't have 3 talks by them. When Elder Bednar was talking, he told us that this isn't the "guess what answer is in my head game". He asked questions, we answered honestly, and then he tried to make sure he understood us correctly, including what hidden response was included in the answer people gave. The main focus of the meeting was 2 Ne 2:14. We need to be agents that act, not things that are acted upon. He also focused on the enabling power of the Atonement. We finished with a question answer session with him. I wish that I could just send you a recording for it, but I don't think anyone did that. Elder Martino said something that struck me. He said "these might not be the best 2 years of your life, but they will be the best 2 years for your life". I can agree with that wholeheartedly. Elder Christensen also told the story of when a missionary came running to him and said "I can't do this anymore". he replied with "You're right. You can't do it, by yourself, but with the enabling power of the Atonement, you can." Telling more about it wouldn't really do it justice. It was just incredibly casual, enlightening, powerful, and spiritual.

Sorry I have no pictures this week. I'll do better next week.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year's resolutions and "transfer doctrine"

January 5, 2015

Spiritual thought: New Year's Resolutions. Most of us make them, few of us keep them. I hope this helps. In 2 Nephi 2:14, we read that "there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon". I think the difference between those that keep their resolutions and those that don't (or those that don't make them) is the difference between people that act and people that are acted upon. If we are trying to lose weight and we go and act by going to the gym consistently, we'll lose weight. Now, sometimes we go to the gym for a month or so and think "I'm doing pretty well, I can work less now or miss a day or two". Then we get out of the habit and eventually stop. Alma 5:26 reads that "if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" In other words, if you have made that resolution and have seen the changes in your life, can you still see the change and are you still working on it? If you consistently think about both of those, I'm quite sure you'll be able to make and keep your resolutions this year.

Zone leaders are usually zone leaders for a reason. When I went on exchanges with one since my companion is district leader, we tracted for probably 3 hours. And made 5 return appointments. And handed out 6 Books of Mormon. And one of those was all in Spanish that I did on my own. It was a pretty freaking awesome day, even though it included tracting in the cold. 

The other highlights for this week include eating at Chick-fil-A 4 days in a row, finding out one of our members occasionally drinks tequila but fortunately "she's not addicted, she just likes the taste", finding out that I will be getting transferred to Greeley East into the only Spanish ward in the mission with Elder De Leon, a native Guatemalan, and getting chastised via transfer prophecies. Transfer prophecies are when you predict where you are getting transferred by having someone flip through the standard works, you tell them to stop flipping through the pages and then you tell them to stop moving their finger over the verses, and then we have to interpret that verse for where we are getting transferred. My verse was Jacob 3:8: O my brethren, I fear that unless ye shall repent of your sins that their skins will be whiter than yours, when ye shall be brought with them before the throne of God. Soooo...yeah. 

While we were waiting for transfer doctrine (the voicemail the zone leaders send out telling where everyone in the zone is actually going), we decided to resort back to the Roku with the trunkiness at an all time high. I'll include a link to the YouTube video sometime, as well as me playing Airplanes and Love the Way You Lie part II. None of the ones I have so far are free from error, and it's driving me insane, but we'll see if I settle for it not being perfect.

A talk well worth reading or listening to is "Endure It Well" by Neal A Maxwell. And something worth checking out is the Relative Finder by BYU. You just sign into FamilySearch and it can tell you about well known people you're related to. If your ward makes a group, you can find out how related you are to people in your ward you are. I was related to about 15 from the Boyd Lake Ward where I was serving. 

I also met someone that I ran into 6 months ago. One time I went to Wendy's back in Provo and the cashier and I got to talking about my mission call, and he said if I ever serve in Fort Collins to "tell the Haggler's who have wolf dogs that MJ says hi". This week we had dinner with a family, and the wife's parents came. They had some pretty sick looking dogs, and lo and behold, they were the Hagglers, followed closely by MJ himself.

My mission address will be changing on January 14th, for all of the 1000s of letters that I get each week, so you'll need to send those from now on to this address:
500 Hillspire Dr
Windsor, CO 80550

The pictures with Nerf Guns we got as a gift for Christmas from the Biggs

I got made into a meme of sorts on the exchange with the zone leader when we helped someone do service for his scout hours.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Merry Christmas!

December 29, 2014

I was a little too preoccupied with Christmas to do much that was productive this week. Christmas was wonderful, and thank you all so so much for the cards and presents. The family we were with all Christmas gave us all Nerf guns and extra bullets, and we have so far put them to good use. I'll send a picture next week.
On Sunday, in response to two separate, uncoordinated prayers by me and my companion, we had the opportunity to give 5 priesthood blessings. Everyone in Colorado seems to be getting the flu, but I think I am immune because I got it back in September in the MTC.
Today we had an investigator tell us just how poor she was. She is jobless, lives in a trailer, and can't go look for work because her car isn't safe to drive. Her husband couldn't make it to work in his truck the 5th day in a row, so she asked us if there was any way we could get her food. It surprises me how many resources missionaries have. It made me believe in the talk by Elder Nelson, "Ask the Missionaries". Within 45 minutes, we showed up with two boxes of food from our leftover holiday gifts from members and the extra food another missionary had (ironically, some of it he actually likes, but since he got the flu today, the thought of eating it makes him want to puke, so he gave it to us. Coincidence?) We were able to give them that, share a message about how we are all beggars, like Elder Holland spoke about this general conference, and then listen to them tell us more about their circumstances. The more poor people are generally more teachable, so we're really hoping that they'll be more receptive to our message of Christ.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and will enjoy New Year's. 

Some of these pics I should have sent a long time ago, but I'll send them now anyway:

Hot jello, to prep for our 4 part a capella quartet...which went alright...

King size bed.

Another shot of the new room

My tiny tree surrounded by presents

Trying to do Christmas carols with chimes at a ward member's house

One of my less flattering pictures.

Sorry, I forgot to add that Elder Bednar will be coming to our mission conference January 9 depending on weather, and gas just hit $1.99 in Longmont. I can also play Airplanes all the way through now, but the end is rough. I'll send a recording of me playing it later if I can.