Colorado Fort Collins Mission

Colorado Fort Collins Mission
Colorado Fort Collins Mission

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 27, 2015

This will be the last week of the transfer here in Yuma. We find out where everyone is going on Saturday. My guess is that I will be staying and Elder Navarro will be leaving, but we never can be too sure. Anyway, this week was good! I got to go to Greeley to see the baptism of Mauricio. This guy has been fighting for so long to get baptized. He is on probation still because of a clerical error 13 years ago, so he had to get interviewed by the mission president and then the First Presidency itself. They gave him clearance, so after 9 months of being at church more consistently than half of the members of the branch, overcoming smoking, and doing everything he can to get his life in order, he was finally baptized. It was so special. There were also so many missionaries there since so many of us have worked with him. It was awesome to see everyone after so long, especially since a lot of them are going home in the next 7 weeks. It's going to be hard to see them go. 

The downside to being in Greeley is that I somehow lost my glasses...yeah. I have no idea where they would be or how I will get them back, but your prayers would be appreciated. On a less selfish note, your prayers for our investigators to be able to come to church and be receptive to the spirit would also be really appreciated.

We had some pretty crazy thunderstorms this week. In Sterling, a town an hour away, they had golf ball sized hail. Fortunately we avoided that. This next week we have a ton of service planned, so we're going to be keeping ourselves busy. We have 2 porches to paint, someone to help add onto their house, feeding old folks, walking other old folks around the pond, service at the Community Cupboard, English class...we'll be busy.

To close, a funny story that I heard from members this week. The wife's mom served a mission in a part of Mexico not far from her home in Chihuahua (since it was so hard to get visas, they usually served their missions only one geographical mission away), and her boyfriend got called to the same mission. They were either engaged at the time or they got engaged while both on their missions, but anyway, they were engaged on their missions and spent quite a lot of time together. Then, another missionary in her mission proposed to her, and so she broke it off with her boyfriend and got engaged to this guy instead. The mission president must have been having a mental breakdown at that point. Anyway, they ended up getting married and still are, so I guess somehow that worked out ok? 

Well, have a great week! Do member missionary work the best you can (unless you're also on a mission, and then just keep doing what you're doing)!

Freaky almost border hopping dog
Baptism of Mauricio

Some of the Spanish homies

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

July 20. 2015

I apologize for not sending out an email last week. Nothing significant has really happened haha. We had interviews with president again and those went alright. Zone meeting was good. It was nice to be back in Greeley and Windsor and see some people before we left. 

I found out this week the reason why so many of our investigators have problems being able to come to church. A lot of them all work for the same company, Murphy Brown, one of the largest pork distributors in the U.S. and the world, and they are only here in the U.S. because of their work visas. So, if they miss work on Sundays to go to church, they get fired and then have to go back to Mexico, Guatemala, etc. It's kind of hard to convince them to come to church with those conditions. However, we were able to get another investigator named Efrain that we haven't worked with as much in the past to come to church. We also found out that his wife (who is a less active member) has been visiting with the Jehovah's Witnesses and other missionaries or members of other churches and has been really confused as of late what to believe. They all came to church this week as a family and I was the one who translated for them. My Spanish gets really good after that hour, but my brain is completely fried by the end as well.

Other things that happened this week include some beautiful sunsets, exchanges down in Fort Morgan, helping a transient and his 4 daughters find food and a house, a buffet amount of food for just 3 people, and eating a chicken heart. It tasted like chicken, and that's not just because that's the saying, but was a chicken heart. It was really tough meat and gross just thinking about, but you wouldn't tell the difference if you didn't know what it was. 

 The saddest park I have ever seen just a few miles short of the mission boundary.

 Gorgeous sunsets.

 A gift from my MTC comp, Gaspar de Alba. We have resolved our differences, I think it's safe to say haha


 Comida con Martha y su familia.

 Dinner with an older German lady that made way too much food.

Way too much food for 3 people.

The double rainbow I missed when I was on exchanges.

July 6, 2015

Since I'm sending this from my iPad and it doesn't have my list of
contacts in a group, I might not have sent this to everyone, so
forgive me (though I guess if you didn't get this you also didn't get
my apology).

Kind of crazy week. Let me explain.

We helped a long time member family of the ward move out, and it was
really sad to see them go. I hardly knew them, but everyone is going
to miss them. They're the second family in 2 weeks to leave, and this
is a ward with maybe 10 families, so it took a pretty big chunk of the
ward out.

It was really hot all week until yesterday when it was stormy and
cooler. That was a relief. For p day we played basketball and sting
pong, and unfortunately I kind of lost this time. My back definitely
had more hits. I won't include a picture since I'm ashamed.
Though I wasn't in Wyoming for the 4th, the fireworks were still
awesome. Since we live in the middle of nowhere, the rules on how
close we could get to the city fireworks were pretty lax, so we were
about 50 yards away from where they were lighting them off. They were

While the rising generation of the church is going to be the most
righteous and strong yet, the rising generation of the world...I
worry. We were with an investigator family, and one of the kids (a
neighbor, thankfully) was in the way for me to grab something I
needed, so I put my fists up like we were going to fight. He's like
10. He did the same, we were both smiling and laughing, throwing fake
punches, then I got what I needed and turned around to sit down. He
punched me, I turned around and said something like "are you serious?
Cmon, let's chill out, we were just joking around", and he was
laughing and smiling still. There was more messing around, but he
didn't know when to stop. I left, him still punching me, I sat down,
he came over and smacked me in the face and called me some pretty vile
words. Then his friend told him to stop, he wouldn't, they started
fighting with towels trying to snap each other, and then the 10 year
old goes and grabs 2 knives. What the freak? I said alright stop,
let's all just chill out. Things eventually calmed down, and then we
left to be safe. No one was stabbed, but seriously? This is the world
we live in?

I hope you all had a good 4th and enjoyed 3ish weeks worth of pictures!

To clarify some worries, the corona box is the box where all of our
commissary goes. That's the box it was in when I arrived in Yuma. I
just thought it was ironic. I'm not sacrificing missionary pamphlets
to the heathen gods of beer or anything, no worries

June 30, 2015

Obviously I'm pressed for time since I'm sending this a day late (thank heaven for time...), but here's the gist. 

Transferred to Yuma/Wray, there are about twice as many people here as there were in my last area. It has been hot here lately, in the 90s, but thankfully we have a truck with good A/C. There is a lot more Spanish work here, and a ton of families that I've just started getting to know. Our new living quarters is....small. We live in a motel with a mini fridge, microwave, and bathroom. That's pretty much it. At least we have a swamp cooler. Our neighbors, the owners, let us use their kitchen, but it's so filthy and covered in food and stuff that I've just eaten cereal every morning this week. I'll have to include a picture. they also let us use their refrigerator, but their mom came by last Wednesday and took it, putting all of our food in the it all went bad. My poor ice cream...anyway, things have been pretty good here though other than that. Nothing to make me happy here except working hard and knowing that at least I'm doing that right. Well, we at least went bowling and played sports for P-day. Sting pong was incredibly fun. Pics included. I was feeling sick Sunday, took some Tylenol. woke up fine, but then we were going pretty hard at basketball and soccer and so today I feel horrible again and achy and sore all over.

June 22, 2015

Difficult yet fun week, due to a lot of different reasons. Comp issues, allergies, lenient firework laws in Wyoming, the usual. 

I saw a small miracle this week as I went dumpster diving for a receipt for my allergy medicine that didn't work, and after saying a prayer I somehow found it and didn't even get my tie dirty (that's my measuring stick for how bad it was). We also did dirty work this week when we helped with an annual inspection on an airplane. My companion is a pilot and an airplane fanatic, and I basically just did whatever they all told me to and felt out of the loop.
On exchanges in Rawlins, I got to do service at the state penitentiary (it's a museum now, so no inmates or prison shanks), and we got the tour afterwards. The tour guide said it's always cool to have ex-inmates come back for the tour, and that blew my mind. After all the teaching we do about the atonement, it shouldn't be that surprising, but having some hardcore convicts come back being happily married would be a sight to see. Lunch that day was paid for by a Utah Youth Rugby coach that was passing through Rawlins with his team. It was great to see so many people from Utah, plus the $60 cash he gave us was nice. Members are the best as a missionary. 

On exchanges with the zone leaders, I was with Elder Moala from LA, and we went out to the middle of nowhere (not hard to find) and had a roman candle war late at night. It was so sick. We also went again as a district, and this time I made the mistake of shooting one at someone that had a bigger roman candle that shot exploding sparks a lot farther than mine did. He chased me down, and I tripped in a cow grate and ate it pretty hard. Fortunately my ankle and all that is fine, but I still felt pretty stupid. It was fun though. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

June 15, 2015

Here goes my unstrung, unrelated train of thoughts.

For P-day we went up the canyon to Snowy Range, accurately named, climbed a few thousand vertical feet with sleds, took pics, and sledded (is that the past tense of sled?) down. I was so winded from the elevation gain that we only went up and down once. I was also dumb enough to go down face first so that my hands were getting cut up by the icy snow. All in all it was fun but a little taxing. 

We had a zone conference, and we got to see part of the training to the new area seventies given by the 12 this last conference. The theme was Sabbath Day Observance. This isn't a direct quote, but it's pretty close: "The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve has determined that a training on the importance of Sabbath Day observance would hasten the work of salvation more than anything else, including policy changes or doctrinal trainings." Wow.

I might have ruined the mood of the meeting when I mad a comment about tagging things on the iPad. They asked me to come up to show everyone how to do it by hooking my iPad up to the projector. I did so and then said "ok, so you pick a verse", then was randomly clicking through to find a verse, and it was Philippians 3:3 which reads "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.". I just went with it andsaid "so if your investigator has a question about circumcision, you just highlight the word circumcision, tag it as circumcision, and then can pull it up under that tab anytime after that" with a straight face and no inflection in my voice. Then another elder sent me an iMessage that said "Go Bacon!" and it of course popped up on the projector at the top of my screen. I didn't even look at my mission president to see his face. But hey, I didn't purposely pick that verse, so I think it was divinely inspired. 

After the training we went to dinner and did some service picking up railroad ties (the huge wood pillars that go underneath the railroad) so that he could make a dog house out of them. Unfortunately, some of them were rotted out, so we would turn them over and see a bunch of mice and their mice babies run out of the cracks. I had the fun experience of picking one up, putting it up about 1 foot from my face, and having a mouse come up out of a crack by my hands. Not cool. Maybe that's karma.

Other highlights include some sketchy tornadoes in our mission (not near me, but pic included), finding a thrift shop we somehow overlooked here in Saratoga, and a little boy and girl having a roaring contest, the girl won, and the boy pouted and said "you hurt my ears!". My allergies have also made me contemplate taking my eyes out and being blind for the rest of my life, they itch that much. 

"and now your citizens"

The Hobbit

I'm gonna pop some tags

Yuma tornadoes

June 8, 2015

What a great week.

We have been blessed enough to see some of the fruits of our labors. After spending tons of time with Justin and his family and always just having him be closed off, we cracked him. Dinner was with him, his family, and his new girlfriend, and it came time for the message. We shared one video, they said they liked it but the other one was better, and then his girlfriend asked to see the other one. Then we showed them all that one again, and then my companion felt prompted to follow it up with a 3rd one. After that one, the room was saturated with the Spirit. We said, "Justin, you've told us that you've never felt the Spirit, right? What you're feeling right now is the spirit. This room is full of it", and then it somehow intensified even more. The next 2 hours were spent talking with his less active parents about their concerns with Justin and why they don't come to church. The dad then asked for a blessing before we left, which I was able to give. They didn't end up coming to church, but we'll get them soon.
And all of this came after me finding out an old investigator decided to get another church. And and me hardly being able to participate due to my freaking allergies. Even in the midst of hard times, we can look for the blessings. It's also good to note that the great lesson happened when instead of us going home because I felt terrible, we decided to stay and give them a full lesson. Sacrifice brings the blessings of heaven.

For P day, we hiked up a "small" hill and went time, since I nearly died from lack of oxygen (that's an exaggeration, but it isn't that my chest still hurts from that hike). It was great to hike in 80 degree heat with the cold snow keeping me cool and the gorgeous view from the top. I only went down one time also because I made the mistake of going head first and my fingers were getting destroyed by the snow cutting them. Still fun though. Pics included, though I'm not in any of them from the top because I wasn't thinking clearly. Probably from lack of oxygen.

There was also some crazy weather this week. I think our mission had around 5 tornadoes this week...yeah. 


Crazy lightning storm in the distance

New, fat tie

View from the hill