Colorado Fort Collins Mission

Colorado Fort Collins Mission
Colorado Fort Collins Mission

Monday, December 28, 2015

God anticipates our shortcomings

God anticipates our shortcomings, and he integrates them into our plan
perfectly. It was late one Tuesday night, and we didn't know what to
do. We didn't want to do anything. The other elders in the area came
over randomly, and then we got to talking about potential things to
do. We decided on visiting Sacajawea's grave. So off we go late one
cold, December night, and then we see a car on the side of the road. I
saw that someone was jumping up and down and waving, so we stopped. It
turns out that the passenger had had 2 seizures, and the driver was
freaking out. If she wasn't in shock, she was pretty close to it. So
we called 911 for her, waited for them to arrive, the guy woke up, and
everything was fine. But it was good to see that God had anticipated
our lack of desire to work and had used that to have us help someone
in need. Side note: we found her grave. It's pretty creepy being in an
Indian burial ground late at night on the reservation where gangs will
mark your house and give you 24 hours to leave before they burn it
down. We were fine though.

Last week for P-day we did some rock climbing in a member's garage for
an hour or two, and my forearms have never been so sore. It was fun
though. Today we're going sledding with the youth in the ward, and we
told them to invite their non member friends so that we can fellowship
with them. Speaking of fellowship, one family in the ward is awesome.
Sis Anderson has been working with this family from Guadalajara (I'm
finding the diamonds in rough out here) for 2 years, and she decided
to tell us about them since I speak Spanish and all. They seem really
ready. The dad has already read the Book of Mormon, they are such good
people, they work hard...I can go on about the vibe I got from the
family, but I'll just say that I think they're all solid individuals.

I also met another ward member there, and we had a crazy connection.
She was my student teacher for a semester in my 9th grade English
class, and I even remembered an assignment that she made up. Small

The free hot chocolate idea didn't happen. Neither Safeway nor Mr.
Dee's was ok with the idea of us being there. Christmas was good, of
course. The family we had dinner with invited us to help them butcher
a turkey this Friday, so of course we're doing that. The dad is into
martial arts, and he has a legitimate replica samurai sword. He uses
it to behead sheep, and he says it cuts right through bone. He
wouldn't let me touch the blade with my finger to see how sharp it
was.  On Saturday, we made a traditional Mexican dish that I can't
remember the name of with this family who had a daughter serve in
Mexico. It's hollowed out peppers with meat and a walnut sauce topped
with pomegranate seeds and served with rice. It was really good, but
stripping the walnuts of all of the brown took about an hour and was
really tedious. I've never worked for a meal so much. I understand why
they only make it about once a year now.

The Wind River Mountains.

Driving from Hudson to Lander.

A statue of Sacajawea.

Supposedly her grave.

I didn't realize illiteracy was still a problem here in the US (this was an entry in the area book).

That delicious dish.

Why did no one buy me this?

Flash cards.  I think my brain is done learning new words.

Monday, December 21, 2015

I Wood That Ye Serve One Another

December 21, 2015

It was a week full of service. In addition to the normal 4 hours per
week at the food bank, we also spent an additional 2 there this week
and chopped/moved wood for 5 hours with a member. He has a log
splitter (which was such a blessing), but I decided to give the axe a
swing to warm up a bit and vent some frustration. It was nice. I was a
little bit sore afterwards. During the additional 2 hours at the food
bank, kids could come in and pick out gifts for their parents while
the parents got food. We helped out to reduce the chaos. 2 girls from
the local Catholic college were also there volunteering, and it was
good to talk to them. I didn't know that one of the 3 (small) colleges
in town consists just 150 Catholics all studying liberal arts. Another
one is for outdoor leadership or something, and the third is a typical
small town community college.

A dinner was set up for us this week with members and some of their
Spanish friends, so I'm really excited for that. I'm assuming that
this area won't have another Spanish missionary for another year or
so, so I'm trying to cover all of the bases while I'm here. It
honestly won't be too hard, since there are probably 5 families in the
whole town and I will know 3 by Tuesday. I also found out that Lander
is apparently 10% Mormon, but obviously the majority of them are less
active or inactive. That's the large majority of work that we do out
here. We invited all of the families we met with this week to come to
church, but none of them did. That's pretty typical.

I had an idea to give out free hot chocolate at the ice skating rink
while having "A Savior is Born" playing and have copies of the Book of
Mormon to give out as well, and that will hopefully happen this
Wednesday. Since the ice rink sells hot chocolate, we'll probably do
it outside of Safeway, and we're just waiting to hear back about
permission for that. Fingers crossed.

Also, Star Wars came out this week, which I'm sure none of you already
knew. Not missing that or anything.


Picture in a member's home

Picture in a member's home

Monday, December 14, 2015

Down to the Riverton

December 14, 2015

So much happened this week, and I don't even know where to start. I
just have a bunch of random notes, so here goes nothing.

Monday: Pday, nothing overly exciting happened. I mainly just packed
and did emails.

Tuesday: got up pretty early to get ready, load my stuff, catch the
transfer van at 9 in Windsor. I was then on the road for 11 hours that
day. Passed some friends along the way when people would get on and
off the transfer vans. Got to Riverton, met a few people and my comp,
got all of my stuff situated. It's nice that now I have literally
about 4 times as much space.

Wednesday-Thursday: Blur. We did service at the food bank, helped and
met a few families. The work out here I was told is mainly less active
and inactive work, and that's turning out to be pretty true. There are
so many people on the ward roster, and only about 1/3 or a 1/4 of them
are active. Anyone will let us in and be really friendly, but no one
really wants to progress from where they're at. We also helped put up
sheetrock for 3 1/2 hours one day.

Friday: zone conference, which was just the Casper zone. Got up at 5
to get to the transfer van and make the 2 hour drive to Casper, got
there too early (so annoying), had a letter or two (yay!) had zone
conference. It was really good. I felt bad for all of the greenies
whose first Christmas on the mission this will be. There were some big
rule changes at this zone conference. 1) no Disney, PG/G rated movies
on Christmas. No movies at all. Which was offset, I guess, by 2) the
music rule is now the white handbook standard (wow, isn't that a
marvel idea? It used to be just music that could be played in
sacrament meeting). At lunch, we had a white elephant gift exchange. I
was so mad. My gift was a poem to be read aloud about sister brown
(mission president's wife), and it told whomever got it that they had
to read it out loud or they couldn't open the other package, which had
$5 in it. Well, the girl that got it was sitting RIGHT NEXT TO Sister
Brown, looked at it, read it, and then put it in her pocket and opened
the $5. I was so freaking mad. At least give it to her! I got gummy
bears. I actually had 2 gifts I gave, and the second one was a bunch
of old clothes I didn't want but had to give away. So now someone else
has to deal with them.

Saturday-Sunday: helped the Nelsons pull out all of their Christmas
stuff. They are kind of hoarders. They had box after box after
freaking box of stuff. He also had a real Olympic torch from the 2002
Utah Olympics, so that was pretty cool. Had church, met a lot of
people whose names I can't remember, heard 1000 bacon jokes in all
their variations, met a guy whose wife is from Mexico (I've been
talking to everyone trying to find Spanish work, and that's about all
I've got. It's slim pickings). He let us in, we talked for about an
hour, and then we found out that he was in the huge plane in the 60s
that did a barrel roll over the ocean (apparently this is some huge
event?). Actually, I think I remember Elder Palmer telling me about
it, but I didn't care then at all. It seems I can't evade airplanes
since being with him even though the only plane I care about is the
one taking me home. Anyway. We'll have Mexican food with them tonight,
so I'm thoroughly excited. He also life, so he
has a 59 year old son and a 17 year old son.

Sorry I wrote so much. That was my hectic week. Since that sister
missionary refused to share the poem, I'm sharing it all with you now.
For the record, my actual mom is more caring.

I scrape my knee, my throat is sore, I have a little cough
But someone dear to me can fix it all, now don't you scoff
She's always there, for all of us, no matter hour or day
She always has a remedy to wish my woes away
I've only met two women in my life with so much carin'
One's my mom at home, the other's Mission Mama Sharon.

Elder Baum and I on transfer day. 

My MTC comp.

After a 2 hour ride filled with Liars' Dice.

Elder Sell and I. He goes home in 3 weeks.

Monday, December 7, 2015

3rd Banishment in a Row

December 7, 2015

I'm leaving one corner of the mission and going to the other.
Seriously, I'm making the farthest trek on transfer day in the history
of the mission. Unless someone goes from Dubois to Yuma or possibly
Dubois to Boulder, no one can beat my record. I'll be driving or on
the transfer van for about 11 hours. The biggest twist of all: I'm
English speaking this transfer. I have no idea why, and I'm honestly
pretty upset about it. An important event these next few days will be
getting a confirmation that this is actually what the Lord wants and
not just my mission president lashing back at me for something by
banishing me...again. My companion will be Elder Duda, about whom I
have heard nothing but good things, and the area I have also heard
nothing but good things about. The housing is automatically better,
though I will definitely miss some families. I took pictures with a
few favorites.

As far as events go this week, we said bye to Misicel on Tuesday as
she heads to Chihuahua to renew her visa. Going to do donuts at the
church parking lot on P day after some snowfall, we drove up to find
it almost completely plowed (so disappointing), but the snowplow guy
had gotten stuck in his own pile. We helped bail him out and used that
as our excuse for being there. About two thirds of the set lessons
this week cancelled, so that was typical but disappointing. On
Saturday we helped clean out 2 barns for 5 hours. Our branch president
pointed out that these were very similar circumstances to those that
the savior was born in. That was humbling. I've also never shoveled so
much crap in my life. In church yesterday, I was perfectly content
just sitting there and listening to the other testimonies and leaving
semi quietly, but the branch president got up and told everyone it was
my last week and asked me to come up and bear my testimony. The rest
of Sunday was good, just saying bye to families and spending time with
them for the last time. We helped decorate the Shelleys' Christmas
tree and had another amazing dinner with them, followed by going along
with Will's imagination and messing around with him. All in all, a
good week to finish a good run in this area. We'll see what this new
area in the other middle of nowhere holds.

My new address for letters (and USPS packages?):
P.O Box 1462
Lander, WY 82520

 Playing Liars' Dice as a district (and with a friend)

A branch family

Another branch family