Colorado Fort Collins Mission

Colorado Fort Collins Mission
Colorado Fort Collins Mission

Monday, February 29, 2016

Vicarious Chickens

February 29, 2016

It was a good end to the transfer. I'm glad that this transfer wasn't
the one with 7 weeks (this upcoming transfer is though, to make up for
the MTC stay time for native English called missionaries changing from
2 weeks to 3). I will be going to Longmont, CO, SPANISH SPEAKING, with
Elder Segovia, covering all of the Spanish work in the zone, with a
Cafe Rio and a Chick-fil-a within driving distance, Ross, Marshalls, a
big city, lots of people, not in banishment again....everything I've
wanted in a transfer. I'm thrilled. Speaking of good food, we were
spoiled with having steak one night and shrimp and lobster another.
Rich members are great.

This week, we heard that 60 Minutes did a piece on the most dangerous
city/area in the United States, and it's not Chicago, not Detroit, not
Compton, but the Wind River Reservation that everyone in our district
covers. It's probably because they don't really have a police force
out there and competing gangs will light peoples' houses on fire if
they want to. It's a pretty sketchy place out there. Speaking of
sketchy things we did, the other elders locked their keys in their
apartment, so we parked their jeep under the window, cut the screen,
and slid open the unlocked window. I've gotten a lot more experience
with breaking into places than I thought I would get.

The unique thing that we did this week was move a bunch of chicken
coops and chickens. I have never moved a chicken before, so that was
an experience. It was fun running around trying to grab them and put
them in houses. We also caught a few turkeys, which were a lot harder
given that they could fly up over the fences and roost on the roofs on
the coops. The members we were helping out told us to pick a chicken
for ourselves so that we could live on vicariously through them (ok,
that was my thought. They just told us to pick one). I was looking
around at the available chickens, and I saw this big, powerful,
masculine, agile, black and metallic green one. Obviously, I thought,
that's the perfect Little Elder Bacon Jr. I start trying to get it,
and it was so fast and temperamental that I couldn't even get it in a
corner. My companion came over to help corral it, it kept running back
and forth between us two, I missed it a time or two, and then my
COMPANION STOLE HIM FROM ME. He stole Little Elder Bacon Jr. Now it is
named after him. I was looking around for a better chicken, couldn't
find one, so the member told me to go get the "pretty, brown one". It
was this pathetic but pretty, small little hen. So now that's my
chicken. The cute, adorable, weak, small, feminine one.

Not Little Elder Bacon Jr., but a random rooster. I couldn't get the other ones out of the pen. 

My Companion and I Scream from Ice Cream

February 22, 2016

This week was rather adventurous, from hiking up the side of a
mountain to check out a cave, going to Martin's Cove today, and eating
7 1/2 pounds of ice cream, it was a week of challenges. Not the normal
kind, but challenges nonetheless. So, I saw this hole in the wall on
one of the sides of the canyon, and I wanted to know if that was the
cave that we had tried to go spelunking in. So I began to run up the
side of the mountain in full missionary attire, shoes and all. It took
me 12 minutes to get up and about that much to get down, and I have
been sore all week. I'm out of shape. On the bright side, I get to
start 6 months to sexy tomorrow! My companion, fortunately for him,
has longer than that to go, so this week he took the local challenge
aptly named the Bellyache. It is 10 scoops of ice cream, 10 toppings,
whipped cream, and 10 cherries. That's about 7 1/2 pounds of ice
cream. He didn't feel so well afterwards. 

We also gave talks in church, and I got a lot of comments about how I called the ward to
repentance. I guess I did, but it wasn't as bad as people said...

The miracle for this week is that we didn't get sick. We had a lesson
with a family of 9, and a lot of the kids were sick, so they asked if
we could give them blessings. One of the kids has mental disabilities,
and he was running around during the blessings sticking his tongue out
and blowing it and spitting. I know I felt at least a little spit hit
my lip, so the fact that we didn't get sick is a miracle.

We tried to visit the new Hispanic family in the ward, the Chavez
family, but they weren't home when we went by. We went by again later
in the week and it was the same story. Patricia, the Hispanic lady
that is getting married to a member's brother, was very open to us
coming by, mainly just so she could have someone to talk with in
Spanish. We chopped a ton of wood (4 1/2 hours of it) this week, and
we delivered them a truckload. I think we did around 14 hours of
service this week. We also were able to have nice steaks with the
Gibsons, a more well off family, and we helped the moving guy install
their new king size bed. They only sent one guy, so it was a good
thing that we were there.

Note to you married/engaged/dating members: don't kiss your
husband/wife/significant other in front of the missionaries. It made
me so mad when a member did that at lunch with us, and it was 5
separate times. I counted. I'm at the point where if I see a shoulder
I start to miss girls more, so yeah, don't flaunt that you can do
that. Just wait like an hour.

Along with going to Martin's Cove, I found out that the very first
treks were started in the Riverton Stake. That one you always hear
about where the kids only had flour and water to eat, yeah, that was
here back in '94 or so. A ton of kids got sick from it, so they
decided it might be good to discontinue that. 

 Martin's Cove.

He stole my idea.

Random question for other missionaries currently out: did sledding and using trampolines
get banned in your missions? That was announced at zone conference,
and they said it's a "worldwide addition to the white handbook", but I
honestly think that's a lie. I think the mission president made that
rule since some missionaries got caught leaving their zone on P day to
go to a trampoline park and that is his retaliation. I could be wrong,
but let me know.

When they rescued the Martin and Willie handcart companies, that was
called the first rescue. Some years ago, the stake president here
received a revelation that some of those people in those companies
hadn't had their temple work done. Over 4,000 ordinances were done for
those individuals, and that was called the second rescue. Right now,
we're all part of the 3rd rescue, saving those that are still on the
earth and don't know where to find the truth they're searching for. An
apostle said something like, "Anyone that understands the Atonement
knows the joy of being rescued". Let's all be saviors on Mount Zion
and rescue our brothers and sisters.

We found this in one of the logs we split.

 After loading the wood in the rain.

 Random cave

Monday, February 15, 2016

It's Time to Keep Up the Work Anymore

February 15, 2016

I made this extra long to make up for the past few weeks. Sorry. We had a slightly more productive week than the last one. From making the usual rounds of trying to find less actives that were interested in coming back, having a zone conference, and doing exchanges, it was a pretty full.

I went on exchanges with Elder Schenk, and that was an eye opening experience. Unlike me, he has pretty much been able to work 100% for 100% of his mission. There was never a moment of "well I don't know what to do, let's call it a night". I can't imagine how my mission would have been if I were a missionary like he is, but it would have definitely been more full. But enough of comparing myself to others. I do that enough on my own that I don't need to rant about it to you guys. It was a good exchange, we taught a lot of people, and I got a much needed priesthood blessing. The next day, we got on the transfer van to head down to zone conference, had the 2 hour drive down, had 9 trainings and 4 role plays, and then had a 2 1/2 hour drive back. I was exhausted after that. Those pretty much eat up our day.

We had a family history social/dinner/fireside this week, and we were able to get the Nelsons to come to that. He is an active member of the Lutheran church, and she has been inactive for years, but we got them to come. He is really interested in family history work, so we've been getting him set up with that. We're going to teach him this week why we actually do family history work (vicarious ordinances), and hopefully that will fuel the fire (spark) that he has right now.

One night this week I tried to call dinner, but I mistook a 3 for a 7 and called a different number. The other line said something like "thanks for calling 97.1 hit music station! You're lucky caller number 5! You've won a trip for 2 to the Caribbean! You're.... Blah blah blah". I thought it was a scam and I had dialed the wrong number, so I hung up. It was the wrong number, but then I got to thinking about if maybe I really did win a trip for a cruise and I had hung up. I called back 3 more times that night, and each time the line was busy. So I'm pretty convinced that I turned down a free cruise. Elder Gould and I had a nice discussion about if we would risk leaving the mission for a week to cash in on that had I really won it. Also we met a 107 year old lady this week. She was kind of out of it though. 

We were able to finish off the week with 2 baptisms! Not our own...sorry, I should have said that first. 2 8 year old girls were baptized in the ward this week. It was awesome to go to those, even if it wasn't anyone we had strictly worked with. I got to conduct the 2nd one (I guess this family likes me a lot?). It was just a great way to end the week.

This last paragraph has nothing to do with missionary work and more with my turning into a grammar nerd/analyst. There is this unique linguistic thing that people in Lander and Riverton use that I haven't heard anywhere else before. They substitute the word "anymore" for "now' in places that don't actually grammatically make sense, and I have no idea why. I've heard it at least 4 times. So for example I have heard (verbatim, since I wrote it down immediately after hearing it to make sure I could tell you all since I'm weird like that) "School is like a 5 year degree for most people anymore, but it's still a 4 year degree", (talking about their dog) "She does so well inside anymore that we're not worried about leaving her home", and "It's just a nice little place anymore". None of those make sense, but people still say it a lot. Anyway, now you know. 

My old companion sent me this picture and I thought you would all appreciate it. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Short and Sweet...and Service

February 8, 2016

This might be my shortest to date. We helped a lady move out their
stuff from the basement because it flooded, and she gave us her old
mini pool table. I had one as a kid too, but I didn't use it that
much. We have spent a lot of lunches and after 9:30s playing on that.
We also cut and loaded more wood for someone in the ward, and we'll be
visiting him and his wife who is coming from Mexico. I've really been
trying to find the Spanish speaking population here and mildly
succeeding. We had dinner at a Chinese place the other night, and I
ran into Jorge. I got his number, and we'll be visiting him as soon
as/if he responds to my email. That's about it for this week. Sorry.

Got an old gingerbread house kit from the food bank, so that took up a lunch hour. I'm so talented.

She was taking really flattering selfies this time. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Hardy in the Winter

February 1, 2016

This will be short. It wasn't that great of a week. We dropped our
investigators because we,re pretty sure they just wanted the financial
assistance and bailed on us three times. We saw a 2 year old walk down
a flight of cement stairs by herself with no parental supervision in
the same apartment complex, and then a 4 year old girl drop her pants
and start peeling just around the corner. Where are these kids'
parents? It was honestly just a hard week emotionally. It also snowed
this week. This week we will probably just try to visit people that live close due to the snow.

Practically a horse