Colorado Fort Collins Mission

Colorado Fort Collins Mission
Colorado Fort Collins Mission

Monday, March 28, 2016

March 28, 2016

This will be short. I have no excuse.

Our lesson with the Flores got cancelled because their son stopped
living at home. We caught them later in the week and invited them to
watch the Women's session of conference. We've gotten a lot of
referrals all over the place, so we've been busy running around
contacting those. I did exchanges with another elder, and that
was...interesting. We saw on the news about Brussels getting attacked,
and he proposed the idea that the missionary that got injured is
actually a terrorist since he was at 2 other attacks. He defended this
argument for the following 20 minutes. This mission has some
interesting people in it.

We knocked on a door this week and heard them say through the window
"it's church people!" We waited for like 2 minutes, knocked again, and
then heard them say "they're still here!" I shouted "we're the church
people!" When they still wouldn't answer, I started making a mini
snowman on their porch for another 2 minutes. They refused to open the
door, so we left. Just tell us to go away, geez.

Our members also gave us an Easter egg hunt, and we also went with
them Saturday night to "egg" houses, leaving eggs all over the yard
and on the trees. It snowed so much one day this week that we couldn't
leave the house, so we made a snowman elder.

Making tamales

 These birds making out.


Our members' dog.

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Lot of Mistakes Spanish

March 21, 2016

We had a better week. At least we got a lot of service hours in. The

Our Center was having their annual fundraiser where they sell handmade
bowls that have been donated by schools and also have soup for lunch.
We helped set up chairs and tables, assemble kits in bags, take
tickets for about 8 hours, and take everything down. On the sign
"leave your ticket here" (with me or my companion), we wrote "with the
handsome one". Not many people noticed it, though. One worker
volunteered to take us out to Starbucks for our help, so we went and
got some coffee-free Starbucks. We took our whitest white girl selfie.

We also helped someone that got evicted load or trash their stuff late
one night when we couldn't find anything to do. That was really hard
to see. This lady could hardly breathe due to age, stress, smoking,
and asthma. She sat in the car while we tried to sort through the
stuff. We also shoveled snow for 2 hours when we got around 5 inches
this week. Most of it has melted, and it's supposed to be in the 70s
today. Tennis will be perfect.

Last week playing tennis, we got kicked off the courts by a bunch of
young kids and their leader who had reserved the court. We talked to
them for a bit, and then we asked if they needed volunteers. They said
they had a huge need. We signed up online, but they haven't called us
yet...? We'll probably see them today since we are going to play
tennis again, so we'll ask them why we haven't heard back. I think
helping kids play sports would be a fun way to give service.

We had 2 good lessons with the Flores family. The second had a member
with us, and that helped a lot. Here is the problem we encounter ALL
THE TIME with Catholic investigators: We teach the first lesson, it
goes well. We talk and emphasize the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, the
priesthood, and the need for all of those. They seem to get it or say
that they do. Sometimes we invite them to be baptized, they say
they've already been baptized, then we re explain the need for
priesthood. We ask again if they'll be baptized, and they avoid the
question. Sometimes they will commit to read the Book of Mormon to get
out of the baptismal commitment. Those that at least commit to read
are usually interested enough to hear the Plan of Salvation. We teach
it, and they say "that's basically what our church teaches!" And I
silently think "no, it's not even close, actually". Then we teach the
third lesson (Gospel of Jesus Christ), re invite them to be baptized,
they say again that the have already been baptized, and we go over the
restoration again. Repeat until they either have a change of heart and
get baptized or lose interest, or they were golden and they skip all
of those above steps and just understand everything and get baptized.

We are hoping that the Flores family is one that either just
understands or has a change of heart and understanding. The girl that
recently got home from her mission in Honduras spoke in sacrament
meeting, and I was cracking up the whole time. She was speaking so
fast, and she could hardly think about what she was saying before she
said it. She kept saying things that sound weird in English but make
sense if you speak Spanish and are translating from Spanish to
English, like "the temple has 3 years", "my companion and I we went",
I accustomed myself", or "we talked to a lot of families inactives".
She also spoke in a very singsongy voice that is characteristic, I'm
told, of that area. The other thing was she would get lost in the
middle of her thought with a word that she didn't remember and took
her a minute to think of, like how she said "We saw this random guy
that had a folle.... Folle.... Pamphlet". It was just really cool for
me to see and understand why she was saying things the way she was.
She is really excited to come and teach with us this Tuesday. We will
see how it goes.

The bowl I got from the Our Center event. He's my happy, chill turtle.

Monday, March 14, 2016

March 14, 2016

These were probably the hardest back to back weeks of my mission. I
don't think I've thought about being home as often my whole mission
other that the first 3 or so months I was out. We have been trying our
best to do everything we need to be doing, and we haven't seen
anything come from it. Other than dinner lessons, we had 23 lessons
scheduled this week. 20 of them didn't happen. Most of the time, we
just showed up and no one was there. So then it was back to finding,
setting lessons with people that acted interested, and then going to
an abandoned house at the time they told us to come by. It has been
discouraging. If I sound bitter this email, it's because I am.

Other negative things:
I forgot how much worse driving in the city is compared to rural
places, like Wyoming. We only almost got in 1 crash this week (her

After a 45 minute discussion about if I was actually candy free for 3
days, it turns out that under a technical definition, fruit snacks are
candy, so I have not been candy free. However, Milky Ways and Snickers
are not candies since they contain flour and are therefore a cookie,
so I might just have to fall back on those.
It's interesting how members here won't say hi to us or acknowledge we
exist in a restaurant or anywhere in public (we counted at least 2
members/families in restaurants that didn't say hi to us and we know
they saw us), unless, of course, we're in Walmart or Target when it's
not P day, and then every member in the world has to come and politely
introduce themselves to us and ask what we're doing here. The day
you're a perfect member, I'll be a perfect missionary, and for your
information, my companion's shoelace broke, that's why we're here.
Mind your own business or offer to pay for our groceries.
I would share about how our investigators are progressing, who they
are, and what I love about them, but seeing as we don't have any of

On the bright side:
My companion and I get along well. We have been helping each other
stay semi happy these past two difficult weeks. His name is Elder
Segovia, he's 26, and he's from Los Angeles. His parents are from El
Salvador, so his Spanish is pretty good.

I saw a girl who was in the MTC with me on Sunday. She just got back
from her mission in Honduras, and she lives in one of the wards we
cover. It's interesting to think that I would be home right now if I
were a sister missionary.

I am way too cool, from the Corolla with the Tiwi, to the borrowed Arizona, and let's not forget the shoulder bag.


 My mission yo 

Walking around town in a pink, onesie pajamas with groceries? Sure.

 SOOO freaking Mexican

Easiest way to spot a Mormon family in public.

A Disappointing Start

March 7, 2016

It was quite a discouraging week, especially given the high expectations that I had for this week. We had around 20 lessons scheduled to take place (after much driving around and walking trying to contact old investigators), and all but 7 of them fell through. 6 lessons fell through in one day. Our key indicators were terrible, but this is one of the weeks I've worked the hardest on my mission. Oh well. So, we filled our spare time with tracting, contacting potential investigators, visiting old investigators, and seeing if anyone was interested in our message. I think around 80% of the old investigators houses we went to had a new person living there, so the records weren't much good, but we were able to talk to the current resident and see how they felt about taking missionary lessons. One of the problems with everyone being nice (which is a blessing, because I would rather that everyone be nice instead of mean) is that most people don't really say "no, we aren't interested". Instead, they just tell you to come back at a time they know they'll be gone, so we waste our time driving there and then have to try and find people in the area to visit, which is harder to do when we don't have wifi and a map of where everyone lives. Fortunately, we don't need wifi to tract.
This week, I definitely took advantage of Chick-fil-A and Cafe Rio. I was seriously debating doing some dumpster diving to get more CFA receipts with the surveys for a free chicken sandwich so that I could eat out there a lot more, but I figured that wouldn't be very becoming of a representative of Christ.... I wouldn't consider myself above doing that, though, when I'm home. I might become a janitor in the ougareat just so I can go through and get those receipts. $3.25 saved for 5 minutes of my time: worth it.
Other highlights of this week include helping 2 kids named Sparrow and Phoenix put the chain back on their bike and then having them get scolded for what I'm assuming was talking to strangers, going to church from 9-2:30, and hearing a testimony that Christ is the "world's most eligible bachelor". We cover 5 wards, so I tried to visit them all and get to know some people. We only made it to 4, but it made for a very long fast Sunday. We only have 1 family currently of progressing investigators, the Flores family, and they cancelled our lessons with them twice. We'll just drop by some time when we know they're home and hope they don't tell us they're about to leave. The other interesting thing about this area is that there used to be a Spanish branch, but it was dissolved about a year or two ago. There was so much backbiting, gossiping, and drama that the stake president felt inspired to dissolve the branch and have everyone attend in the English ward whose boundaries they lived in. That has made our work a little difficult, but if it makes everyone be a little more peaceful towards each other....

Pictures from our last two districts

Pictures from our last two districts

View of the mountains from the highway in Longmont.

 A sole flower (tulip?) poking through the grass. I don't know, I thought it was cool.

Two of my homies from the mission on transfer day, Elder Riley and Elder Baum.