Colorado Fort Collins Mission

Colorado Fort Collins Mission
Colorado Fort Collins Mission

Friday, June 5, 2015

June 2, 2015

This week I think could be summarized by me learning a lot of lessons. Like how to remove leeches, golf, play pool, lessons about myself, etc. 

So yes, I got a leech this week when I waded 4 inches into a lake to get further out. We heated up some pliers and squeezed it gently so that it would release its grip on my foot but not too hard so it wouldn't explode inside me or something. Maybe that was God telling me not to push the limit on the rule to not go swimming, I don't know. We caught a bunch of huge fish though, so it was worth it. Pics included on both. 

We also had a great lesson with the less active we went with, Justin, and we've seen a lot of progress with him. He has no other friends, so his mom loves it when we are able to go out and just spend time with him. She's also less active, so we're working a lot with their whole family. 

An investigator named Wilson from Nicaragua got impaled by a 2x4 as it shot out at him during his work at the sawmill, and we were able to give him a really awesome blessing. He's recovering well, but what was most important was how he felt during the blessing as he was feeling the spirit. Despite that, he wouldn't answer the door the next time we came by and we know he was there...though we did have 2 other lessons with him after that, so who knows. I'll try to get a picture of his wound next time I'm there.

I also got to do exchanges with the zone leaders down in Laramie, and I have mixed feelings about that. We taught as many attractive girls in one day as I have seen total in 3 weeks in Saratoga, being a college town of 30,000 vs all 1690 people here in Toga, so yeah, my mission goggles are getting pretty ridiculous. 

Summer is finally here after about 3 straight weeks of rain and rain and clouds and rain, and with it came some pretty horrendous allergies that I almost forgot I had. 

One thing in particular that I remember from the iPad training was when they were talking about how we can use technology for gospel related tasks and he gave the example of Elder Nelson pulling out his smartphone and asking Siri to define Atonement. Give it a shot, and then look at the sources. The majority of them, as well as the first few, are from, and that's because the church has put a ton of money into having a presence on the internet. We can do the same wherever we are in the world or however small or large of a presence we have. Satan wants to take and use the internet for his purposes, just like he wants to do with everything else, so it is up to us to fight back.

Looking back over this email it was pretty dry and really random, so I apologize. I hope the amount of pictures makes up for it.

May 26, 2015

Another redneck good time up here in Wyoming.

Actually, it could have been that way, but we decided against going to the mud-bogging competition since it cost $7. Instead, we spent the majority of this week being depressed by the near constant rain we've had for 2 straight weeks now. Today it finally was sunny and hit almost 70, but it's supposed to rain later again tonight. 

We have continued fishing, so much so that I'm at the point where I prefer to sit in the car and study Spanish while my companion fishes. We haven't caught much of anything lately despite the rain, so that's the only reason I'm not out there with him. I'm sure my frustration with not feeling 100% fluent is a factor in me studying so hard lately. Not having a Spanish companion has motivated me more than anything else has before for some reason. 

It's interesting being in the middle of nowhere because sometimes we have to drive 30 minutes to go and visit people who live on mountain ranges with their animals or on ranches away from everything else. It makes for some pretty awkward, silent drives. 

On the up side, we got iPads. We had a really long (we got up at 3:30 to make the 3 hour drive in time, showing up an hour and fifteen minutes early. I was not thrilled) but good training by brother Nielsen and brother Mills. Brother Nielsen spoke in conference about the Prodigal Son, and Brother Mills will be taking over the missionary department in August or so. It was also really good to see so many missionaries I haven't seen in forever, and how close some of them are to going home. It seems like time has gone by so fast for all of them but I've stayed the same, which obviously isn't true but that's what it seems like. 

I'll send a bunch of pictures next week. The computer here isn't letting usb connections work for some reason.

May 18, 2015

This week was pretty solid. There is so much work to do in Saratoga. Almost every family is part member or has at least one less active in it, usually more, so the majority of our work will be with them. We also have 5 investigators, but none of them are currently progressing. One of them we had a lesson with yesterday but she never opened her door. 

Me being the only Spanish missionary here, I got to translate in sacrament meeting for the first time for one of our investigators that finally came to church. Let me just say how hard it is to translate a coherent story when the speaker keeps switching topics, going back, and getting sidetracked, but I think the Nicaraguan got the gist of it. We also had a lesson with 3 of them later that night that went pretty well. Our elder's quorum president speaks Spanish, so he came with us and bailed me out a few times when I couldn't explain some things the way I wanted to. However, I was told that my Spanish was better than another person's, a native from Honduras (though I think that was because he doesn't open his mouth very well and he's pretty quiet, but whatever, I'll take it as a compliment). We're trying to set up soccer nights with them sometime soon as well.

It's pretty awesome having a really famous fishing river run right through the middle of the town, so whenever we have 15 minutes or so we can pull over and throw a few lines out. Being out of MSF for the month, catching fish and having them for meals is really helping me not starve (I'm exaggerating, don't worry mom). But really, catching, filleting, and eating fish has been dope. Saratoga is the bomb.


 20" tender mercy

As redneck as it gets

May 12, 2015

After 4 1/2 months, I'm leaving Greeley, and I got assigned to the best area in the mission, Saratoga, Wyoming, population: 1690. Seriously though, it's so sick. It's beautiful scenery everywhere, nice and humble people, great fishing and hunting, awesome members, and, don't judge how I say this, but basically the most adorable little house ever. It should be a good transfer. my companion is Elder Palmer from Riverside. He is a pilot and plane mechanic, he's been out for 7 months, and it's just us and 45 minutes away from any other missionaries. He seems like a cool guy, so I don't think we'll have any problems.

On the down side, I hurt my hand a week or so ago playing basketball, and it's still not all the way healed. It was rainy all week in Greeley, and we also had the septic system flood a little bit in the basement where we were staying. But it's healing, it stopped raining, and the wonderful liquids returned from where they came eventually. 

I have a lot of pics to compensate for the less than thrilling summary of my week.

 Cute conejito

 Welcome to Wyoming


 That scene from Dumb and Dumber


 Fishing for P-day

 Private pond-member hookups

May 4, 2015

I'll be honest, we broke the rules this week...we did more than 10 hours of service.
We probably did around 20. We were working a lot with the Williams family, a less active family that the branch president specifically asked us to work with and try to teach the missionary lessons to. They sort of pushed those to the side, but they did let us help them remove a ton of branches from their backyard and set up a brick barrier for a garden. We also helped out at an event for the Kentucky Derby and that was...interesting. First, I didn't know that there were fancy hats for this event. Second, everyone got really drunk, and we got to shuttle them all to their that illegal letting someone drive if you know they're wasted? Literally one grandma put her car in the ditch, so Elder Gaspar de Alba (MTC comp) sat on the back of the car (since he's literally 300 lbs)to get the tires back down and I pushed her out. Gaspar also got beer spilled on him as a blonde girl fell out of her chair into his lap while we were taking our lunch break, and she was...attractive to say the least. That would have been fun to explain to the mission president. Other highlights include finally getting our MSF money and having 3 of the 4 of us spend more than half within the first 2 days and having it rain so hard one day on the freeway that I couldn't see (it was like someone was spraying a hose 2 feet from the windshield, it was insane). Low points include losing my marked up Book of Mormon (I was in 3 Ne 16 or so) and learning that they're probably going to sweep out the branch due to getting Casper and Riverton next transfer, so who knows where I'm going. 
I do have pics this week, though a lot of them are not very flattering...oh well.

 District pic

 Very faint double rainbow

 Me with rainbow, it was windy

 shot taken from the freeway after the storm

gotta love church signs that make 0 sense

April 27, 2015

I don't have a lot to say, so I'm going to apologize now.

Kilver, who had the bap date last Sunday, didn't answer any of our texts this week and didn't come to church despite the rain that would have made his work cancelled. The Ostos family is doing well,  though they are still going to their church and haven't accepted the invitation to come with us. We'll invite them to our Mother's Day activity on Saturday and see if they show up. The weather this week has been a reflection of my mood; cold, dreary, and depressed. I have not found happiness on my mission in ways that I would like to admit, but the mission isn't about me anyway. I hope you're all being better member missionaries than I am full-time, giving lots of referrals to the local missionaries and sharing the gospel through your example to others. 

April 20, 2015

Either I or my companion were sick for the duration of this week, so our missionary efforts were not that great. That being said, we still had some really cool experiences.

The highlight was when we were asked to give a blessing to a 16 year old girl in our ward. She is a cancer survivor, but for the past 2 months she has been having severe headaches in a certain spot on her head. They are worried that it is coming back, and they're going to get MRIs soon. I got to seal the anointing and give the blessing. As soon as I started, I felt how much love our Heavenly Father has for her. I was crying through the whole blessing, and I just wanted her to know how proud our Heavenly Father is of her and how much he cares and is aware of her. It was really powerful. We also went out with that family to eat later in the week, and it was good to see her happier and smiling more despite her difficulties.

The weather this week was crazy, with getting a ton of rain one day and then snow the next. Greeley has a really bad city drainage system or something, because there were puddles/pools of water all over the city for the next several days and even still now. There was a huge storm cloud one day, but fortunately the majority of it missed us.

Yarlet has been reading the Book of Mormon faithfully, and she feels like it is true. In her own words, "I don't know, I just feel something holding me back". I asked her if it was just her parents, traditions, if she doubts it's true, etc., and the conclusion we came to is that she had just never before considered the possibility of other scriptures before and the concept is still weird to her. We're going to keep working with her to try and relieve any doubts she has. 

On a final random side note, the food that we were fed this week was so good. Legitimate Hispanic food is the bomb.

Sorry, no pics :/