Colorado Fort Collins Mission

Colorado Fort Collins Mission
Colorado Fort Collins Mission

Monday, June 20, 2016


May 2, 2016

Mixed feelings. This week was a microcosm of real life in the fact
that life will never be ideal, so we have to make the most of whatever
situation we are placed in. There were a lot of really positive things
that happened this week, and there were also some things that made me
want to hit my head against a wall repeatedly.

First: interviews. I was pretty nervous about this interview for a
variety of reasons. My last interview was terrible. However, this time
around, my interview went really, really well. We talked about
finishing strong, about life after the mission, and about trying to
help out other missionaries. I've always loved being able to help out
younger missionaries if I can. I have a different perspective than
most, so I think that can be helpful to some people. Downside to
interviews: I still wasn't able to get my release date set for August
2nd or August 23.

English classes: on Tuesday, around 12 people came to English class. I
told them that the regular teacher wouldn't be teaching until May 8th,
so they were stuck with me. Well, on Thursday, only 5 people showed
up. I don't know if it was just the cold weather, that was a really
busy Thursday, or if I was a little too spot on when I said "stuck
with me", but not many people came. I'm hoping that more come on
Tuesday and it was just a coincidence. We'll see this Tuesday.

We had a lesson with a man and his wife (they aren't married,
but she's basically his wife...minus the law of chastity and legal
parts). He hadn't been reading from the Book of Mormon, which is
frustrating since we were pretty bold with him the time before about
how important it was to gain a testimony. He told us he would read
from it, but he didn't. However, he came to church on Sunday with her,
which was a complete shock. We had an impromptu class in Spanish with
them, and the teacher, the ward mission leader of the ward, felt like
he needed to shove prophets and apostles, priesthood, and the
restoration down their throats. I didn't like his approach at all, and
it seemed like Roberto felt uncomfortable. Maybe I read the situation
wrong, but we'll be sure to ask him next time we see him.

Our week ended on a good note. Saturday morning we had a lesson with
Daniel. He opened the door with the Book of Mormon in his hand and
markers, and invited us in. We had a good review of what we talked
about last time, answered his questions, and then started teaching the
plan of salvation. His wife wasn't able to listen to this lesson (or
the last one), but we asked him to ask her if she would be at the next
one. We also set him with a soft baptismal date, meaning we asked him
if he would be baptized if he knew these things were true, and he said
of course.

I was able to see some old mission friends this week as they passed
through to visit Greeley. It didn't help me much as they were talking
about how awesome life is after the mission, all of their wild tinder
hookups, dates, and parties. It made me trunky (which by the way, I
now use as a word to mean "a feeling of wanting to have or do
something that I currently can't because of my situation and
circumstances" instead of just "homesick" or "wanting to be home from
a mission". I don't know if there is a real word for that feeling.
Anxious? Excited? Longing for different circumstances?). That night,
we had a lesson with the Flores family. Again, mixed feelings. The
lesson itself was really good. We had a member there, the bishop, and
he was great to have along. I shared the first vision and cried, which
doesn't usually happen. It was a solid lesson. At the end we asked
them "how many times have you heard the first vision now?", hoping
that they would say "a lot" so we could ask them nicely "so why don't
you get how important this is and why can't you read the Book of
Mormon together". Well, curveball, Hermano Flores said that was the
first time he had heard it. I was SOO mad, because I personally have
shared it with him AT LEAST 3 times now, and they have been taught for
months or maybe even years. So.... You aren't listening to us at all?
You forgot? Your memory is really bad? You're just messing with us? I
don't know. They also told us that they won't be at church this week,
but "next week we can be. This week is Stephanie's last communion, so
we'll be free after that". It drives me insane how they can say that
showing how little communion and the Catholic Church actually means to
them and yet if they don't do it, it's like betraying their family,
country, and culture. "Oh, she just needs to go through these steps of
becoming a true Mexican, meaning Catholic, and then we can stop going
to church and start going to yours because communion itself actually
means 0 to us". My worry now is that we'll invite them to be baptized
and they'll think to themselves "well, we might as well cover our
bases", they'll get baptized, and then they won't ever come to church
again or be active. After I found out that my first "convert" was
frequenting gay bars in Denver, I vowed that I wouldn't baptize anyone
that I didn't feel was truly ready and knew what they were getting
into. It'll take some strong evidence at this point to see that
they're ready. There is a reason that one of the baptismal questions
is "do you believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints is the only true church on the face of the earth?" It's
incredibly frustrating.

Yes. A man with a parrot on his shoulder.
 Street contacting outside the movie theater while waiting for our car's brakes to get fixed.

The lady receiving help from the guy panhandling.

The lady receiving help from the guy panhandling.

A cross made out of a spoon and fork...? 

Change of Pace

April 25, 2016

We finally saw some success from all of our finding efforts this week. I'll get to that a little later one.
This week we drove out to Frederick to try and contact some referrals from other elders, and on the way back we saw a lady that was stopped on the side of the road that needed a tire changed. Normally there is a man panhandling there, and I was shocked and really touched to see that he was the man helping this woman change her tire. It was evidence to me did some people really are just in a bad situation and are actually trying their best to find work and be able to help people. This man fell into that category. He was doing what he could at that moment to help someone else out, and it was a powerful experience. It reminds me of the counsel in Mosiah 4 to help out those in need regardless of if we think that they have brought their fate upon themselves or not. 

Although nothing really changes with transfers as far as the area or companion goes, we had to move out from the Steeds' and move to a different house in another ward. It was difficult to say bye to them and to Nala, and Sister Steed cried because she now considers herself our mother, but we've had a good moving experience at our new place and we will still see the Steeds about once a month for dinner. 

English classes are going pretty well. We seem to have a "discussion" with the members that teach the class every week about what is the best route to go. Last Thursday they were gone, so I taught the class, and unfortunately it went right over a lot of their heads. As far as appointments go, this week we had one lesson with the Flores family and then the second one got canceled. Roberto Sosa canceled, and Sarah and her sister (the two ladies from Guatemala) told us that they were both content with their church. After receiving a referral from some other English elders, we showed up at the referral's house, briefly talked to him, and he let us in. We then had an awesome first lesson with him, talked about some of his questions and concerns, and directed him to a chapter in the Book of Mormon about how to be a good example for his son and a better father, which is what he told us he wanted to learn about. It's nice to be able to rely on the Book of Mormon to be able to answer any question and to be able to direct people to chapters that can answer their questions. His name is Daniel, and we are going to teach him next Saturday.

My companion I also had a good companionship inventory, which is basically when you talk about any problems or concerns you have as far as the companionship goes. We really opened up to each other, and this helped us learn how we can best help each other and both improve ourselves and the work in our area. At the end of transfer he'll have been the companion I have been with the longest.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Week of the Overgrown Child

April 18, 2016

This week I'm including a lot of random stories of things that will help explain the title better. We knocked on a door of a referral we received, and we were told that he wasn't home. We asked if we could come in and wait there for him and they let us in. The guy that let us in was in his 20s, and there were his 2 younger brothers there as well, probably about 7 and 4. They were playing with play doh, so we started making things with them and then saying the words in Spanish in English. It was fun to see him laugh as we put on poorly made glasses, mustaches, hats, and held a turtle for him. So we spent 30 minutes playing with Play Doh. When the guy got home that we were looking for, he told us that he wasn't interested but that he had just told the other missionaries that he had a Mormon coworker.

For personal study for 2 days, I read the Book of Mormon Stories book. It's a children's book, but it was a nice change of pace. The nostalgia was also pretty incredible. I'm going to read the other editions this week as well just to get a good overview of all of the scriptures and the timeline. Another day we knocked on a door looking for someone, we didn't get an answer at the door, but there was a guy outside getting ready to fly his drone. He had a crowd of little kids watching in anticipation. He told us after we knocked the door that he lived there and we were looking for his daughter, he went in, came back out, and said "she's eating right now" without a further explanation. We decided to wait and see if she would come and talk to us, and he started flying his drone. Apparently those are more difficult to fly than it seems, because he brought it up, back down, and then underneath a car. He tried to get it out (instead of shutting it down, which is what I would have done), and instead it just flew up to hit the bottom of the car. We could hear the propellers being torn to shreds as we heard the screaming and laughing of the kids. We figured it wouldn't be the best time to ask him more about his daughter, so we left. $1000 drone --> gone.

Another referral we were given was for a 13 year old kid. We knocked on the door, and the dad answered. His son wasn't there, we asked the typical questions, and he invited us in. He then started spouting off about basically every known conspiracy theory mixed with the book of revelation and with the Old Testament and some other crazy stuff. I knew that there was no chance of actually teaching him anything when my companion said, "well none of us are perfect, we're all human" and he responded with, "yeah...well, most of us are human. Other than the reptilian hybrids that are the descendants of the fallen angels that mixed with humans and live underground. Did you hear about the earthquakes recently? The government was bombing them". Ok then. Also the Illuminati started our church and has infiltrated in everything, crop dusting is really just nanoparticles reprogramming our brains, Lily was the first woman on Earth, not Eve, and the only safe place is Paraguay, but the Illuminati lives there, so really it's not safe either.

Other random stories: the other elders screamed like girls when a wasp flew by their open window as we were talking with them from our car, one elder told the story of how he was kissed on his mission by a Down Syndrome girl that told him to come closer and then put him in a headlock, and a mom who caused her son to hit his own loose tooth out on accident when she went to bite his face. I don't have time to explain. Some sister missionaries also got me a late birthday gift that included a book on ferrets, a book about love and marriage, a chocolate bunny, and a plastic ring. 

GOOD THINGS: We had an awesome lesson with the Flores family. We talked again about the Book of Mormon, our personal conversions, and how they can have that for themselves. We left them with Enos to read, and we have a lesson on Wednesday. All they need to do is read with sincerity and they'll get an answer in due time... Elder Segovia and I will be staying together in Longmont.

Don't mess with porcupines

The trunkiness is real

Birthday surprises

"Love is friendship set to music"

7 Weeks x 70 It Feels Like

April 11, 2016

We had some really good things happen this week. First off, we had our
first 2 English classes this week. We had around 15 people come to the
first one and probably 10 come to the second one. I had learned this
rule before in past areas, but it slipped my mind: never have someone
teach English class that you haven't had a conversation with in
Spanish. It was incredibly frustrating for me to hear them telling the
students constantly that they were mispronouncing words when they
themselves were saying some of the most gringo, grammatically
incorrect Spanish I've heard. I'm grateful that they have all of the
materials to be teaching as well as the experience, but it was an hour
of biting my tongue and letting them do their thing. Anyway, just had
to get that off my chest. Now it's my job to focus on making
friendships with the students and getting them to the point where they
want to ask us questions about what we do as missionaries and why we
do it.

The second great thing was that we finally got the Flores family set
to a soft baptismal invitation, which just means that they agreed that
if they come to know that everything is true that they will be
baptized. I don't know why it has taken this long to get that, but we
got it resolved now. Now we just need to focus on helping them receive
that testimony by their own efforts. A lot of the lessons that we
taught this week with them were focused on helping their 18 year old
son who is a little rebellious. We shared a talk on the prodigal son,
about do all you can, then love and let go if they make that decision
for themselves.

The not so great thing this week is that we ended on a bad note. We
went tracting one day, things were going mediocre, we stopped by one
lady's house, and we had a lesson with her. For whatever reason, I got
so frustrated during that lesson and came off as contentious. I was
trying to show her that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy
Ghost are 3 separate beings by reading about Christ's baptism, and she
still was convinced that they were really all the same person and that
God can be all 3 of them at different times or something like that. I
don't know, it still didn't make any sense to me, but maybe that's
just because I've grown up knowing that's not true. Anyway, we
continued, then we got into a pointless discussion about whether the
Sabbath day was actually Saturday or Sunday, to which we didn't come
to a conclusion because it would have taken too much time and wasn't
vitally important. She agreed to read from the Book of Mormon and pray
about it. She wasn't offended or upset by anything we said, but my
companion was mad that I was so contentious. While he was right, I
wasn't really in the mood to hear that, so we had a lovely discussion
on the walk back to the car and had an enjoyable rest of the day. It
happens. We move on and forget about it, and I try not to be so
contentious. It works out.

On final notes, the lesson with the 2 sisters we found last week
didn't happen, along with a ton of other lessons, and we're now
entering week 7 of this transfer. I'll find out what's happening this
Saturday. I will also have my address changed regardless in the next
week or so, so send mail to the mission office to be safe.

Soooo Mexican

The breakfast of champions