Colorado Fort Collins Mission

Colorado Fort Collins Mission
Colorado Fort Collins Mission

Monday, January 25, 2016

Lost Sheep (or goats, at this point...)

January 25, 2016

I think that we worked the most this week than any other week of my mission since being trained. We saw so many people, tried to visit so many more, and had a lot of lessons. There are 2 old bishops who still live in the ward, so they told us all they know about a bunch of people, and then we tracked them down. We have been filtering through the ward list, seeing who is less active out of just laziness and who really doesn't want anything to do with the church. We actually told one guy how to have his records removed since he said he didn't want any more people coming by. 

I had the terrible experience of calling a member about dinner, finding out he thought I was my old companion, but then before I could correct him, he started asking me if I thought "the new guy would do alright with him", the him in that sentence being me. For all of your information, we are doing great together. And apparently my last companion didn't like me that much. 

I have been losing my intelligence as I've been on a mission. This week I tried to open the fence part of a gate, couldn't figure out how to open another gate, and left my iPad on the car and drove for 2 blocks before I realized. This week, as I'm sure you all have heard from any other missionary whose emails you get, there was a world wide missionary training. It was good. There were a lot of advice they gave and teaching "strategies", for lack of a better word, that I have been using for awhile...I guess I'm ahead of the curve. Just kidding, I learned a lot. 

We have 2 new investigators, William and Andrea. They are cousins, and we met them when they came to the church really needing money. We taught them the first lesson this week, and we'll teach them the second this Wednesday. Pray for them!

I taught this family the first lesson when I was back in Saratoga 8 or so months ago, 
and they got baptized last month!

I think I have a problem.

 Had to.

You know you're in Wyoming when...

Is $25 worth scaring the sisters really bad?

Flan (a Hispanic dessert)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Radiation Poisoning

January 18, 2016

Another week with moving and chopping wood. Brother Chambers really helps fill our afternoons. This time, though, it was cottonwood instead of pine, which is way, way denser. It was a good workout though. We also helped move about 80 buckets that weighed 50 pounds each from one room to another. I won't say where, but they had a huge secret room that was full of food storage and growing systems. It was really cool. Apparently secret storage rooms are the thing to do in rich families?

I also can't believe I'm saying this, but I found a new saddest city I've ever been to. Jeffrey City. It was a uranium mining town, peaked with about 4000 people in the 70s, and then the market for it crashed. Now there are about 100 people that still somehow live there. The town is just littered with abandoned apartment buildings, trailers, closed buildings, and "no trespassing" signs. We actually went in one of them because we didn't see the no trespassing sign, and it was pretty sketchy. I wanted to go in the basement, but I figured there was a chance there was something creepy down there. Every door I opened I was just waiting for a body to fall out. But yeah, it was a really sad town, and I only saw 3 people the whole time we were there. 

One person we would visit pretty frequently passed away this week, Gary. It makes me wonder, too, because we hadn't visited him in about a week, and that was when he died. No one really saw it coming. He was old, but he wasn't that old, and he wasn't in too bad of condition. 

For transfers, I'll be staying here in Lander, and my new companion will be Elder Gould.  We have a lot of appointments set with members going along with us in the next 2 weeks, so I'm hoping we'll stay pretty busy.

Panorama of the canyon

 On top of a ridge in the canyon

  6th Crossing of the Sweetwater river

 THE most ghetto, intact trailer I've seen


 This guy is ready for the apocalypse

 Government funding has been low for the Jeffrey City Branch Library

 Teco Gas Station

  One of the many abandoned apartment buildings. We went in that enticing door. 
  Have a look?

Cool, man

Monday, January 11, 2016

Volume Up, Temperature Down

January 11, 2016

Hmmmm, what did we do this week other than freeze? I'm really trying
to think because that was about all I could think of or feel. Or not
feel since I was numb.

Monday we had a pretty relaxed P day. We just did emails and played
zombies in the church (someone is a zombie, the others have nerf guns
and try to find the hidden ball before getting infected. It's pretty
fun, but I almost messed up my ankle jumping down some stairs). Then
we went to Walmart to buy ingredients so I could try to make some soup
this week. It was pretty eye opening to realize that I have neither an
idea what marjoram is not where I would find it in the grocery store.
Fortunately, we found a ward member who directed me to the spices
aisle. Anyway, I made my soup, and it turned out pretty good. It was
kind of pricey, but I'm still doing well on finances this month.

Tuesday we split some more wood for an hour or two (which is really
fun and comforting for me. I don't know how to explain it). We had
dinner with one of my favorite families here, the Wiricks, and I found
out how frustrated and competitive I can get in games. If you have
ever played Set, I hate that game. I'm also bad at it. We also had a
meeting about trying to get members to come out to lessons with us,
and we'll be passing around that calendar next Sunday. It would be
ironic if we get swept out right as we're gearing up to set this
member missionary thing up.

Wednesday we tried to visit a list of people and didn't have too much
success with that.

Thursday we drove 2 1/2 hours to Casper for a 3 1/2 hour zone meeting
and then drove the 2 1/2 hours back. We were pretty out of it after
that. The meeting was alright. It was worrisome when I went to talk
with the Spanish sisters and was struggling to form sentences quickly
and to find the right words to say.

Friday and Saturday were a lot of the same. It snowed about 6 inches,
so we shoveled snow one of those days. We also tried to visit some
more families and were moderately successful.

Sunday we had a meeting about the members coming with us to lessons
again, and that went well. Church was good. The gospel doctrine class
in this ward is the best that I have gone to on my mission. A teenage
kid also gave us a referral for a friend of his that he had brought to
church. We're going to start teaching her with him there sometime
hopefully this week.

On other notes, the Contreras family said something to the effect of
"we'll let you know when we're ready to attend church", which is good
if they end up letting us know but bad if that's their ultimatum.
Nothing else to report other than it's really cold here. Oh, and I got
a free subwoofer from a missionary vehicle that wasn't using it. They
said it had been there for a few transfers, and they said sure when I
asked if I could take it. It's missing some cords, but if I get it
hooked up....Lander will be really feeling MoTab hit those low notes.


 Dozens of random deer/elk in some dude's field.

 Sinks Canyon, one of the most breathtaking canyons I've been in.

A member's new dog that had passed out.

New record.

Monday, January 4, 2016

January 4, 2016

I'm appreciating more and more as time goes on the unique
opportunities that I'll have pretty much only as a missionary. This
week's was the ability to get to know so many different people, get to
know them pretty intimately in such a short time, and hear so many
crazy stories from them. The dad of the Wirick family served his
mission in a pretty sketchy area of Buffalo, New York. One time they
were in visiting a lady, and a guy came in and said that they were
about to be part of a gunfight if they didn't leave soon. They looked
out the window, and there were 3 guys with guns. The lady they were
visiting said "oh, one of them is my ex boyfriend. I'll get you out of
here". It turns out those guys were there to shoot off the masculine
parts of the guy living below her that she had liked and had been
rejected by, so she told her ex at he sexually assaulted her. Crazy
world. The other stories mainly came from them when they lived above
the arctic circle, driving 4-wheelers to and snowmobiles across the
frozen lake to get to church in the winter, hunting, trapping, living
in those freezing temperatures, etc. His son is currently serving in
Compton as well, so that's cool.  Anyway, he's a hilarious guy, and it
was good to spend some time with their family seeing all of the horns
or stuffed bodies of things he had shot. Of course, I have pictures. I
think, though, that the thing I liked the most of that visit was
seeing the love between the two of the parents. I know, weird and
feminine of me to say. As trunky as it made me watching them cuddle on
the couch and play with each other's hand, it gave me a good insight
to some qualities that I want to have in my own marriage, like how
their humor played off each other's so well.

We did exchanges this week with the district leader and his companion,
so I went to Riverton with a greenie. I forgot how frustrating they
can be haha. I guess I was that way at one point; thinking I know
absolutely everything and I have every answer to every problem, how
there is no reason why anyone shouldn't be baptized within 3 weeks of
meeting them, how if we have faith everything will work out perfectly
even if it means overriding their agency, etc. It was eye opening. It
was also good to teach so many lessons in a day. They had 5 lessons
lined up for us, and that was well above the usual that we get in our

Elder Duda got sick this week for a bit, so I got a chance to read A
LOT. I love reading books in Spanish, and it helps a ton with
vocabulary and grammar. It was a good break. Our ward mission leader
gave us a list of about 17 people that he thought would be good to
visit, and in one afternoon we visited them all. Mostly no answers, a
few "they moved months ago"s, and some "I'm not really interested"s.
Pretty disappointing. But not as much as when we proposed having
members go with us to appointments or take us to visit their non
member friends or home teaching families and that idea got down
because they "don't think anyone would sign up". Well ok then.

Dinner yesterday night was with a less active family, and that went
really well. Their 3 daughters are adorable, and they would be the
poster family for "happy Mormon family". We will visit with them about
weekly now. We also spent the rest of the evening talking about
various life topics with an older couple. Again, it was good to hear
some marriage and life advice from old people that have a pretty ideal
life. So yeah. Despite being a missionary for 16 months, I still
pretty much think or talk about marriage daily and make mental or
physical notes for myself. Weird, I know.

1 and 2.  The Wirick's showroom.

3.  This is about half of them.

4.  Sorry mom.  They're called voles, and one of them ran by us on our walk to the front door.

5.  This was in a member's home.

6 and 7.  These next two were taken out of a book called (I think) The Holy
Temple, by James E. Talmage. I didn't know that there were any
pictures of this or that it was allowed, but I thought you might
appreciate them since I haven't ever found them anywhere else.

8.  A member's daughter.

9.  This is how she smiles for pictures she takes of herself.