Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December 28, 2010

Happy New Year everybody! It isn't quite that time, but it's close enough. It's weird that it is almost 2011... I come home in 2011... not that I am thinking about that at all yet though... haha. I've still got 10 months and I'm going to make each of them great! Anyway, I hope you all had a great Christmas! I did! It was a lot of fun. It was really a great week all together! We had a great Pday of basketball last week. Then Tuesday was a lot of fun as well! We went on exchanges so I went with Elder Stevens into his area. It was great. We talked a lot and got a lot done. Well... we tried to get a lot done... we stopped by a lot of people, but nobody was home... but we did have a dinner, which was a lot of fun. It was with a great family. But then sadly the investigator lesson we had canceled... so we spent a little extra time at the dinner and they had a bunch of people over and made ginger bread houses out of graham crackers. It was actually a lot of fun. Mine turned out pretty sweet. I made an Arizona Christmas house. haha. Then we stopped by a couple people and were actually able to get a lesson in with one of their less actives. Then Wednesday and Thursday were both packed with things to do. Thursday we had two investigator lessons. That was awesome! It's rare to have more then one in a day here. haha. The first one was pretty sad. It was my first time meeting with them and the second time the missionaries have been there. The first time they were really solid and Elder Newman was sure they were going to be baptized. But this time we went over and started teaching lesson two. It was just a big gong show. Their kids were going crazy. The mom kept giving them toys and letting the dog in and out. The husband went and started talking to a heater guy that came and then checked his mail and was reading a bill he got while we were trying to teach them about the atonement... it was awesome. So we just stopped in the middle of the lesson and told them that if they didn't want us there then we didn't want to waste their time. So we asked if they were still wanting to learn or come to church and they were kind of hesitant. They said they would try to come to church next week. So if they don't show up I think we are going to drop them. They aren't going to go anywhere. So that was sad. But the other lesson was awesome. we went and taught Travis again. This time we did the stop smoking program with him. That went well. He seemed to be really receptive and willing. We had a lot of fun with it as well. Unfortunately he hasn't aswered any of our calls since... so we don't know how he is doing... hopefully it was just because it was Christmas time.

Then Friday was awesome. We had a really good Christmas eve. We were allowed to play some games with our district so we got together in the morning and played some games and then went over to Stan's house. I love him. He is so much fun and such a great guy! He fed us the biggest, most delicious steaks. They were so good. We told him about the lady that we talked to that lived in his building that was going through a hard time and he went into his kitchen and filled five bags full of meat and bread and eggs and ice cream and frozen waffles and all kinds of stuff and told us to go deliver it to her. So we did. That was awesome. When she saw that she cried and gave us huge hugs! (awkward) But she had us come in and we talked for a while and shared a couple Christmas scriptures. It was awesome. Then we went to the May's house. That was fun. They are a fun family. We talked for a while and they opened some presents and gave us some presents. American mountain dew! I'm not a big soda drinker let alone mountain dew. But I do have to admit that Canadian mountain dew is disgusting. So whenever people go down to the states and ask missionaries what they want they always say mountain dew or Oreo's. (Canadian Oreo's are also disgusting!) or fruity pebbles. haha. So that was awesome!

Then Christmas came! That was fun. We opened presents with the family we live with. That was a lot of fun. They have three little kids so it was fun to see them all excited. I haven't had a Christmas with kids in a long time. Then came the phone call home. That was awesome! It was so nice to talk to my family. I loved it. It's nice to hear their voices and know that they aren't just words in an email. I love you guys so much! Thank you for being such a great family! You are awesome!! Then we had lunch with our bishop and played ping pong with his family for a while. It had been forever since I played that game. I love it. Then all the missionaries and some members got together and played basketball and then we had a dinner that was pretty good. Kind of awkward but the food was great! Then we went to another families house and had a lot of fun there. It was weird that it was over so fast. So much time spent building it up and then its gone... it's really kind of sad. But the Spirit of Christmas doesn't have to leave! I gave a talk in both wards yesterday about how we should always have this great Spirit with us. Christmas time is such a great time of year because everyone is focused on Christ and loving and caring. But why can't we do that all year long? We should... I know I don't... (not as a non missionary at least) but we should! haha.

That was pretty much our week though. It was a great and a fun filled fantastic one! I loved it! Thank you all so much for everything and for the gifts! I am getting more mail next week because its transfers. So if I haven't gotten yours yet, hopefully I will next week! Hope you all had a great Christmas and have a great week this week! I love and miss you all!

Love
Elder Townsend

Arizona ginger bread house!

me and my house


Christams morning and all my presents! Thanks everyone!

Monday, December 20, 2010

December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas everyone!!! Isn't this just an amazing time of the year? I love it so much. Especially as a missionary. Because we don't have to worry about anything. We just get to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and remember Christ and all that He has done for us. It truly is amazing and I know that all the presents and parties and stuff are good and fun, but don't let them make you forget about the reason for the season. This shouldn't be a stressful time of the year. It should be one of love and peace and... stuff. So I hope you all remember that as we are getting close to Christmas in order to have the best Christmas ever we need to remember Christ!

Anyway, I am excited for Christmas. It's going to be a good day. We have a lot planned. But I'll tell you about it next week. But this week was pretty good as well. We were able to get in a lot of really good lessons. We met with Travis again. I think I told you about him last week. He is doing great. I am a little worried about his motives though. When guys come into the church just for girls, it can be bad. haha. But we had a great lesson with him on Wednesday and he brought up that he needed to stop smoking... before we even told him that he needed to. So this week we are going to go over and do the 7 day stop smoking program with him. I think that will be really good for him. We will see how motivated he is in this. So that will be good. I am looking forward to that lesson.

Then Thursday was a pretty good day as well. It was kind of sad because we were supposed to go on splits and have like 5 lessons that night... but everything canceled... well almost everything. We ended up with two lessons... which isn't bad, but not as good as we were hoping. We also had a training from the assistants and Pres and Sis Archibald that day. That was pretty good. They talked all about planning and finding. Which was awesome. It really made me excited to try some new things. Well... things I should have been doing anyway... haha. And then at the end of the training they took us into another room where they had hot chocolate and cookies and Pres and Sis Archibald told us Christmas stories and then they gave us all of our packages. The mission holds all of our packages until Christmas so we don't open them. Which I think is a pretty good idea, but not all missionaries were too happy about it. haha. Now I have a bunch of packages in my room and I am so tempted just to open them all! But that would be sad because then I wouldn't have anything to open on Christmas.

Anyway, so have I told you that Elder Newman is a music major? He's pretty good at piano and singing. It seems like everyone wants him to perform. Saturday we went to a funeral and he sang "Amazing Grace". We hadn't even met the guy who died. It was good though because there were a lot of non members there. I think it's funny though because I never thought I would get so many weird looks in our own church... yea, we get weird looks all the time because we are missionaries, but I mean come on... its OUR church! haha. And then we had another ward Christmas party that night and he performed again there. I love ward Christmas parties. They are a lot of fun. A lot of good food and it is a great way to get to know people. So many people brought non member friends. It was awesome! These wards are pretty good at that.

Then Sunday morning Elder Newman woke up with a sore throat. Which wasn't good because he was singing in sacrament meeting. haha. But he still did it and sounded pretty good but by the end of both Sacrament meetings he was dying. So we went home and he took a nap. Then we had a couple of lessons that night he went to but we had one with a less active guy, Bro Finch, who we had an amazing lesson with last Sunday. He didn't feel good at all so I went with Bro Judd, a member for the ward. It was a pretty good lesson. He's a great guy! I really hope we can help him come back.

That is pretty much my week! Thank you guys for everything! I love you so much and I hope you all have an amazing Christmas! And family, I can't wait to talk to you Saturday!

Love,
Elder Townsend


Elder Newman in a wheel chair... this was our lunch break from weekly planning... weekly planning makes you a little crazy haha.


The only picture I have of me this week...

The roads were really slippery one day... Elder Newman almost hit that fence. It was pretty ridiculous. haha

Monday, December 13, 2010

December 13. 2010

Hello everyone! How was your week? Mine was pretty good. Kind of crazy. Full of surprises. Tuesday we had an awesome lesson with a guy that we met at church. His name is Travis. He has a friend, Braelynne (or something like that...), who brought him to church and wanted he to learn more so we went over and had a pretty good lesson with him. We had it at our bishops house. He wasn't able to be there though. But we were able to teach him a pretty good first lesson. One of the better ones I've had. And he didn't have much religious background so we were able to keep it really simple but still teach everything that we needed to. So that was awesome. He even said that he would be baptized. We weren't able to set an exact date with him... he said he was going to be out of town on the date we suggested. But he was willing to be baptized! Which is awesome! We gave him a Book of Mormon and some chapters to read so hopefully he does. We are meeting with him again this Wednesday. So I am really looking forward to that lesson and seeing how things are going with him.

Then we had another really big surprise. We got a call from our bishop... and later from the mission office saying that the people we were living with didn't want us in their house anymore. So they were kicking us out by the nineteenth. But our bishop decided he wanted us out of there as soon as possible because he was sick of dealing with the lady we were living with so our ward mission leader, Cam Cervo, said we could go live with him so Saturday morning a bunch of people came over and helped us move. Taht was pretty exciting. Cam is an awesome guy and has a sweet family. It's been pretty fun so far. We have only been there for a couple of days though. We aren't living in the biggest space which is alright and he does have a couple of kids so it isn't the quietest place either. Especially when it comes to morning study time. We found that out this morning. haha. But it isn't bad and it isn't with the Nohrs. So I am pretty happy with it.

Then Saturday was a lot of fun. We had some really good lessons and a Ward Christmas party that night. It was awesome. Really good food and a lot of people and a lot of fun. Elder Newman is a music major so they had him sing a song while playing the piano while this guy played the trombone. That was awesome. I love the sound of that instrument. And he was good. He does that for a living. It was pretty sweet. I got a picture with Santa... it isn't on my camera though... sorry mom. But they'll print a copy of it for me later.

Then Sunday was awesome as well and ended on a high note. We had some really good lessons and then at 830 last night we went over to a less active guys house. Bro Finch and had an amazing lesson there. He really opened up to us and we were able to help him a lot. But his big concern was something that we can't really help him with. He is going to have to read and pray and find the answer for himself. We could tell him but it isn't going to mean much. So I really hope that he does. We are meeting with him next week. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens. The lesson was amazing and the Spirit was so strong during it. Especially when we gave him a blessing to help him get through this and make it back. I think he really wants to do it for his kids, but any reason is a good reason right?

Well that was my exciting week. I am really looking forward to Christmas. It really is a great time of year. Especially for missionaries. I love it. And I love Christ. I am so grateful for everything He has done for me and will do for me. Thank you all for everything! I love you guys so much!

Love,
Elder Townsend

Elder Hurley, Trymer, Angie and myself

me and Elder Hurley


Elder Hurley got me started on this license plate game where you have to find all the numbers in order. So I found 000 with him and now, six weeks later, I found 001. At this rate I'll be at like... 100.... when im done.. haha


Saturday, December 11, 2010

December 6, 2010

Hello from Medicine Hat! The small exciting town with three sets of missionaries in it. One of the furthest places from the mission home I can be. It was quite the ride down here. Wednesday morning me and Elder Hurley packed all of our stuff into the car. Which is really hard to do. Trying to fit all of both of our stuff into a little Malibu. But we made it. Then we went to the transfer station and we put all of our stuff into the trailer that they pull behind a thirteen passenger van and we took that and about five cars full of missionaries down to southern Alberta. We stopped at a place called Fort MacLeoud. We dropped the people that were going there off and the people going to BC met their companions there and headed out. So that is where I had to say goodbye to Elder Hurley. That was sad. We had an amazing six weeks together. One of my favorite transfers. I love that guy. Then the rest of us headed down to Lethbrigde where we met the other missionaries. That was awesome. I got to see a lot of missionaries that I haven't seen in a long time. Elder Gelwix, Elder Mott, Elder Estupinan, Hatfield. It was a sad day but seeing all of them made it better. Then I met Elder Newman, my new companion. I don't know if I ever said anything about him... but he was in my zone when I first came out. So we already knew each other which was fun. Then the two of us drove the last three hours down to Medicine Hat. So it was a lot of driving for me. We started at 8:30 and ended in Med Hat around 5:30. Just in time for dinner. But I am here now and so far I am really enjoying it.

We have been able to do a lot of lessons with members and investigators. We have a lot of investigators which is fun, but we don't have very many that are progressing from what I have heard. We spent a lot of this week planning and organizing our area book and finding people that we can stop by while we are here. It's going to be a good transfer. I have a feeling that we are going to get a lot done while we are here. And hopefully I am here for a while. I don't like moving very much. haha. We have a lot of service that we can do here too. We work at the Canadian Red Cross and the food bank and this other place I haven't gone to. So that's fun. So far I really like my companion. He is a lot of fun we have had a lot of fun together and we work together pretty well. It's so nice to have companions that have been out on their missions for around the same time as you. It just seems like you work together a lot better. I am really enjoying it and I think we are going to have a good couple of transfers together. He has only been here one transfer longer then me so we will probably be together for two. Which will be nice.

The place that we live in is pretty nice as well. The members are down in Utah for the winter so we have the place to ourselves. But don't worry. We aren't destroying the place. Someone comes and checks up on us every Thursday. It is pretty nice though. We have a huge Jacuzzi tub which is really nice after a long day. haha. We have our own car, but we only get 900 kilometers every month so we will have to be walking a lot I fear...

It was really sad to be transferred right before Christmas. It means that I don't know anyone here and they don't know me, but it will be a fun Christmas. I have been in a little bit of denial about it being Christmas just because I don't want to be away from home again. But Saturday we were in the stake choir (Elder Newman is a music major so he likes to sing) and it was awesome. I suck at singing, but we performed a bunch of Christmas music for the stake and then on Sunday night we went to the First Presidency Christmas devotional. It was awesome. It made me really excited to be here and for the Christmas season. Last Christmas was a lot of fun and I hope this one is too.

Unfortunately... when I got transferred here I left my backpack in the van... so I don't have my chord to plug in my camera... so no pictures again.... and I also don't have my bathroom stuff or my scriptures or my pillow or "Preach My Gospel"... it's back in Calgary... sad, eh? I'll get it when our zone leaders get mail, but being so far away from the mission home means I only get mail once every three weeks or so... sad day...

Thanks for everything guys! I love you so much and I hope you are getting into the Christmas Spirit! It's a great time of year!

Love,
Elder Townsend

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November 22, 2010

Winter finally came to Canada! haha. It took it quite a while, but its here. Last Monday night we had a big storm and got about four inches of snow and then for the rest of the week was constantly snowing, and I mean constantly. It wasn't much, just flurries, but the sun only came out for one day! It was ridiculous. It took till the middle of November to come but, oh man... its here. In full force. And it's cold. And I mean cold! haha. It was a good week though. I really enjoyed it. It was an amazing week for missionary work. We were able to have a whole bunch of awesome lessons. It was great! The wards have been putting forth the names of people that we need to work on and they have been setting up the first appointment which makes our life a lot easier and gets us into a situation that we can be more effective than just teaching all the active members that will let us into their house. We are actually getting into less actives and people that we can actually try to help in their own lives. It's awesome. Our mission is trying to get all of our wards to do that but so far Queensland ward is the only one that I have been in that actually has done it pretty well... or done it at all actually. So it's awesome to see it working. We were also able to have a good lesson with Angie and Trymer, and yes mom, his name is Trymer. Trymer Morrow Jr. His dad was named Trymer too. haha. But we had a really good lesson with them before they went down to Utah for the weekend to visit his son. It is amazing to see how much Angie has progressed even since I have been here. She is the most amazing investigator and a hilarious person! She is great! I am so excited for Saturday. Her baptism is going to be at two and Elder Hurley is going to baptize her. I am going to be conducting the meeting. I've never done that before and I've never seen missionaries do that before but Elder Hurley and Trymer have so Angie thought it would be fun. I think it will be fun. I'm really going to enjoy it. It will be a great day. I love baptisms. They have such an amazing Spirit to them and it's so awesome to watch someone make that big and sometimes scary step in their lives. Angie is going to be an amazing member of the church. I'm looking forward to seeing her be one.

So it was a great week. An amazing week if I do say so myself. But there is always opposition right? Well, for my companion at least. Tuesday morning after the big snow this week we were on our way to district meetings in the morning and what does my companion do? Slide the car into a curb in our parking lot and bend the front right rim. It was pretty bad. Then right after that happened the zone leaders call us and tell us the cars are grounded because the roads are too slippery. So that was kind of.. late. haha. But it meant district meetings were canceled so we didn't have to drive on a bent rim. We took it in to get fixed and they gave us a loaner car until they could fix that one. A couple other things happened that were really just sad. It was a good week but had little spots of unfortunate events like that. haha.

Well... Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I don't get to celebrate it here (we had ours last month) but hopefully well have a good dinner on Thursday. But I just wanted to tell you all how thankful I am for you. I love you all so much! and I hope you guys have an awesome week! Transfers are next week. I hope neither of us leave. That would be sad. We want to be together for Christmas so hopefully we are. We are praying for it. haha.

I love you all!

Love
Elder Townsend



What missionaries do when it snows
Our car Tuesday morning

Our car a little bit later on Tuesday morning haha

Elder Crowe. Another good ol AZ boy that is freezing up here. haha.

November 30, 2010

Hello everyone! How is it going? This week was freaking crazy for me! I don't know how I really feel going into this week... but this last week was awesome! It was a pretty average week for lessons. We were able to get a lot of good ones in. And we spent most of our mornings and afternoons trying to fix our car. Elder Hurley ran into curb and bent one of our rims so we had to take that in and get it fixed and do all the paper work for that. That was pretty intense. The best part of our week was with Angie and Trymer. I love them. I really do.

We met with them on Tuesday and had a pretty good lesson with them. Then we went over again on Thursday an had an alright lesson and when we left me and Elder Hurley could tell that something was wrong and that Satan was going to work really hard on Angie those next couple of days. So we started to fast as soon as we went into our apartment for the night. Then we kept her in our prayers all day. We prayed throughout the day. Multiple times together. Then we went to their house again on Thursday and she was freaking out. So were me and Elder Hurley. All day long I was worried about her and when we got in to the house I was even more worried. But we had an amazing lesson with them that night and the best part was that me and Elder Hurley probably only said 10% of what was said that night. The rest was Trymer bearing his testimony about everything. It was awesome. The Spirit was so strong and we were able to help her in so many ways. We felt so much better when we left that night. That was the first time that whole day that I was sure the baptism was going to go through. We knew that it was still going to be hard and that Satan was still going to work on her. We continued to pray the rest of the next day for her as well. Then Friday night we went with our district leader and his companion over so that Elder Asjian could do the baptismal interview. She seemed really happy but was nervous for the interview. But she went in and when she came out she was leaping through the air yelling "I passed!" haha. She is awesome. So she passed and we were able to go through with the baptism the next day. The most amazing baptism I have ever been a part of. Me and Elder Hurley went in the morning to fill the font and get everything ready. We made sure that everything was perfect. We even had an electric kettle going that we were boiling water with and throwing it in the font to make sure that the water was warm and stayed warm. It was quite funny to watch. Trymer came and brought us lunch and did his bumbling magic to make it so that we had as hot of water coming out of the spout as we could. Then people started showing up. It was awesome. It was the most Spirit filled baptism I've had. We had amazing talks and an amazing movie while they were changing. We watched the "Reflections of Christ" DVD. It was awesome. And the best part was after when we were talking to Angie and she said that she didn't recognize the Spirit in the font because she was too nervous but when she walked into the room and that movie was playing she just felt warm inside. That's awesome. She is the most amazing person! I love her. She is going to be an amazing member of the church. She asked me to conduct the meeting. So that was fun. I haven't ever done that before but it was quite the enjoyable experience. Then after the baptism we went out with them and Trymer's family for dinner. That was awesome. They are a hilarious family and we had a lot of fun that night. It really was a great day.

Sad news though... I'm leaving. Transfers came in and im going down to Medicine Hat. A little town south of here. I am really sad to be leaving. I wanted to be here for Christmas and to be able to be here with Angie and Trymer again and to help her with anything and to be here for the new member lessons. I am really sad to be leaving but we knew that it was coming. Friday we got a call from Pres. (you never want one of those) and he asked us to come and meet with him. Apparently some member has been complaining about us. Saying we haven't done any work and that we didn't teach with the Spirit. DIDN'T TEACH WITH THE SPIRIT!!! Who on earth has the guts to say that about missionaries. We are called to have the Spirit with us always! It was just one member and it's really sad to see because everyone else here loved us. We had fast Sunday this last week because they are having Stake conference next week. We got up in both wards and then afterwards there were probably 5 or 10 people in each ward that came up and said how much they loved us and appreciated all that we did for them and their families. And everyone that we told said the person was insane and that we were two of the best missionaries they have had in these wards for a long time. So president had already told us that we were leaving. He can't keep us here with members saying those things about us and then on Sunday we got a call from the assistants saying that we were getting Sisters in this area and to clean our apartment really well. What a slap in the face that is. We worked really hard to get this area going. Not to say anything bad about sisters... but Elders and Sisters are really just different kinds of missionaries. and its sad to see Sisters coming in here. But I know they will do good. I am excited to go down to Medicine Hat and to serve there and do as much there as I can. I will do whatever I am supposed to get done there.

So this week was kind of sad. But all in all one of the best weeks I've had on my mission. At the end of the best transfer I have ever had on my mission with the best companion I have ever had on my mission and to end it all I had the best baptism I have ever had on my mission in which I was able to see the best investigator ever be baptized! I love Angie and Trymer and I hope that they know that! I hope that I helped them in their lives but they will never know how much they helped me in mine.

I love you all and I can't wait to tell you about my first week out of Calgary. I hope it goes well and I hope to thoroughly enjoy my new wards and companion. Thank you all! I love you so much!

Love
Elder Townsend


Angie and Trymer. Best baptism ever.

Joba their cat
Hurley got dear johned... and yes. That is a life size poster of her. haha

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Elder Townsend the artist

I was cleaning up today and found these letters from Devin that I had saved because of the artwork. My kids love writing letters to Uncle Devin and getting them from him...especially when Buzz Lightyear is involved!!
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November 15, 2010

Hey everyone! How is it going? Well... this week wasn't really all that exciting. There really isn't much to tell you. We had a lot of really good lessons. I think I am getting really sick of member lessons though. This isn't anything I thought I would be doing when I was coming out on a mission and I am just sick of dealing with members. Why can't people just accept commitments we give them? Is it really that hard to look for opportunities to do service for friends or neighbors or to share your testimony with a non member? Why do members have to butcher every commitment we give them? Anyway. I am glad to be on a mission though. And those members that do listen to us and are happy to have us in to their home are so much fun to teach I love going over there.

And it was a great week for missionary work. We met with Angie and Trymer twice this week. Angie is doing amazing. There is definitely nothing holding her back from being baptized on the 27th. I am so excited for that date and she is as well. She is the best investigator that I have had on my mission. I love going over there. And her husband Trymer is hilarious and fun as well. We even did some service for them on Saturday. That was a lot of fun. We raked their leaves for them. And Hurley had the great idea to burn the leaves instead of throw them away so Trymer went and got an old truck bed tool box and we filled it up and tried to burn them. It didn't turn out so well and we thought the fire truck would show up any minute. haha. It didn't though. So that was good. It was a great day though.

We also had a service opportunity with a non member. We went and helped her clean out her basement that was covered in mold. Everything...the TV stand, couches, carpet. It smelled horrible and I thought I was going to die. I'm pretty sure there is a bunch of mold growing in my lungs right now. haha. So that might be exciting. But it was good. We gave her our phone number and I think we could have a good chance of teaching her sometime. She seemed really nice and she was very grateful for us to be there. It was awesome.

Not much else happened this week though. We got this huge amazing lazy boy couch with a center fold down console and two recliner chairs on either side that was a killer to get up the stairs but definitely the best addition to our apartment. It's an amazing place to do comp study. I love it. And I have to thank Tina from the thrift store in Cochrane for bringing it down here for us. She is the best!

That's pretty much our week though. Not too much exciting to talk about but it was a great week for missionary work. I hope you all had a good week as well! I love you and miss you all!

Love
Devin

November 8, 2010

Hello everyone! How is it going? I hope you all had an awesome week! I had a pretty good one myself. We went and played football for Pday. That was pretty fun. We went to a school and played in their feild... didn't think about what would happen when school got out though. It was crazy. Little kids everywhere. Some even wanted to join in for a while. I thought we would get kicked outbut we didn't. So that was pretty exciting. haha.

Other then that not too much exciting things happened this week. It was pretty sweet though. We were able to get a lot of lessons this week which was awesome. We are teaching a couple of less active people which is sweet. And we are teaching this one recent convert girl. She is awesome. She's kind of struggling being the only member in her house and she's losing her friend that brought her into the church. So it's pretty sad to see, but she is still pretty strong which is awesome. And we are also still teaching our investigator Angie. She is doing amazing. We weren't able to teach her this week because she wasn't feeling too good last night. We always teach them Sunday night. But we were able to have her husband Trymer take us to dinner. Which was awesome. He took us to a place called Peters. It's this amazing burger joint that is a big old heart attack waiting to happen. I think I had a little heart attach that night. haha. It's OK though because all that grease just lubricates the heart right? Just makes it all flow smoother? haha. It was soo good though. Especially with my mango-peach-strawberry milkshake. You can combine up to three flavors and they have a bunch of them. It was delicious.

We had zone conference this week too. It was actually a really good one. I really enjoyed it. We did a lot of role playing though,. I hate role playing. I feel like an idiot. But it does help for when you are actually teaching. So it is a good thing for me to do. They came out with a bunch of new rules as well. A lot of missionaries weren't too happy about them. Like we aren't allowed to have guitars or ukuleles anymore. We aren't allowed to have weight sets. And a couple other things. None of them really affected me but it didn't make too many people happy. They also added a point to our standards of excellence. They want us to find one investigator to teach every month, by our own efforts. So we might have to start going tracting more. Which I think will be good. They said that in North and Central America we are the most efficient mission when it comes to investigators being baptized. For every three investigators we have one get baptized. The average is about thirteen. So they figured that if every companionship could find an investigator on their own every month in addition to what we already have then we will be flying high. haha. It wold be sweet though. I'm excited to see what I can do to make that happen. We actually had a pretty sweet thing happen yesterday. There was this guy who lives in the condos that overlook our church parking lot and he was impressed with always seeing us there and being dressed well and coming to church on Sunday and just being good people so he was always curious to come in and this week his family came to visit (who happen to be members) and wanted to go to church so he came along! He came to all three hours and after Sunday school we talked to him and asked if he would be interested in having us over and learning more and he said yes and gave us his business card and we gave him our phone number. So hopefully something will come from that. That would be awesome! And kind of our own efforts! haha.

That is pretty much our week though. I love this area and love Elder Hurley. We are working hard and having fun. It's great. And we are working really well together as a team. It's nice to have someone who knows how to do missionary work and have fun doing it. I'm really enjoying it so far and I hope we stay together for a while. Thank you all for everything! I love you all! Have a great week!

Love
Elder Townsend

Monday, November 1, 2010

November 1, 2010

Hello everyone! How is it going? I hope you all had a great week. I did. It was awesome! We were able to get a lot of lessons this week. As a mission we try to get 20 lessons a week. These last couple weeks here have been some of the only ones on my mission so far that I have been able to even get close to that. It might help that we have two wards to work with, but it also helps that I have an awesome companion. Elder Hurley is amazing. We have a lot of fun together and get along great, but we know how to work as well. We were able to get a lot of lessons with members this last week. We even got a couple pretty good lessons with less active members and we had an awesome lesson with our investigator Angie. She is amazing. She is married to an excommunicated member who is also awesome. He's working on coming back and hopes to be baptized on the same day as Angie. She has a date for the 27th of November. And I know that she will be ready. She is awesome. We watched the testaments with her and she loved it. We were able to talk to her after and solve a couple of her concerns. She never has very big concerns just little ones that are easy to resolve. So that's good. She is awesome. I can't wait to continue to work with her and see her progress towards baptism.

That lesson was yesterday. Oh, Happy Halloween by the way! We had to come in at 6 last night so that we wouldn't get into any trouble. So we had a lesson with Trymer and Angie and they fed us an amazing breakfast for dinner and then went in and played some board games and set up some lessons for this week. It was a lot of fun. I really wanted to go trick or treating though. I really just wanted some candy... I may or may not have already eaten everything you sent me mom.... haha. It was fun though. And luckily we didn't have anyone come to our door... we didn't have any candy to hand out. Didn't think of that.

Oh! By the way! Probably the best part of our day was when we got the call that we were moving into an apartment. I was finally able to unpack! It was awesome! It's a pretty small little one bedroom apartment, but hey, its ours. And it's awesome. It's on the third floor so we don't have to worry about people making noises above us. But it also meant that we had to move all our stuff up a bunch of stairs. That wasn't fun. I'm still sore from it. We went and got a bunch of furniture from the mission storage... but it still doesn't look very full in there. But it took us forever to unpack! In between service and lessons we didn't have much time. The first night we were there we were up until one in the morning just trying to unpack enough for us to sleep. It was kind of ridiculous. But hey, we are all moved in and having a blast. I like having my own place. I hate the feeling that you are in the way of the people that you are living with. So this will be nice. I love this area and I can't wait to see what I can do here. I am excited for it!

Oh... by the way. I hit my year mark this week, and yes, I burned a shirt. That's right. It was awesome. I can't believe I'm at a year though. It's crazy to think about. They say this next year go's by really fast but I hope it doesn't. I've hit the point where I really just don't want to go home anymore. I love it out here too much.

Thanks for everything guys! I love you all so much! Can't wait to talk to you next week! I love you!

Love
Elder Townsend

Before


After

Thursday, October 28, 2010

October 25, 2010

Hello everyone! How is it going? This week was pretty good for me. I moved into my new area. The Queensland and Parkland wards and am back in the zone that I started my mission in. In fact I am even in the same district as Chapparal. Which is pretty awesome. I've been able to see some of the members from there already and it has been awesome to see them. My new companion, Elder Hurley, is awesome. I love being around him. He is a hard worker but also knows how to have fun and enjoy himself. I can tell already that this is going to be a great transfer. I was really sad to leave my last area, especially since both of us were leaving. I was afraid that all the work I put into that area and all the progress I had would be lost, but Elder Barber who went in there with his greenie seems like a great missionary and I am sure that area is in good hands.

I have been able to have a lot of fun in this area already though. We carved pumpkins with some of the other missionaries. We helped a member get rid of his 100 year old piano. And by get rid of it I mean that we put it in the back of his truck, went to a big parking lot and he went in reverse really fast and then hit the brakes and the piano went flying out the back and got destroyed! Don't worry... we cleaned it all up. Nobody would ever know that we were ever there. But it was definitely the best service I have ever done. I have a feeling I am going to love it here.

We have an investigator named Angie who has a date for November 27th. That's awesome. We had a lesson with her and her excommunicated husband who is also working on coming back. The lesson was sweet. We went over Alma 36 and just talked to her about it. She had some concerns about getting baptized but we were able to resolve them pretty easily. She is ready for baptism. She really is. I don't know if I am going to help her towards it at all, but I hope I do. I hope that I was put here for a reason. And maybe that reason was to help her to overcome some problem that hasn't come out yet. Or maybe the reason I am here is for someone else. An investigator we don't have yet. We were walking around one day and found this guy named Christopher. Well he kind of found us. He saw us and walked up to us and asked if we were Mormon. And he said he had just moved there and was a born again Christian and was looking for a church he could go to and asked if visitors were allowed in our church so we told him when it started and he said he might be there and we set up an appointment to go visit him yesterday but he wasn't home. We were walking up to the house and the guy came out and said. We aren't interested... it wasn't Christopher though so we went up and he came back out and he said Christopher lived in the basement so we went around back and knocked on his door and he didn't answer. I thought that might happen though. he seemed like a kind of sketchy guy. But we are going to try back again soon to see if he is there. He didn't come to church which is sad, but maybe he will show up some Sunday.

I am really loving this area and Elder Hurley and I am excited to see what good I can do here. Thank you all for everything! I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love
Elder Townsend



The girls at Cochrane Home Treasures

Me, Elder Crowe, Elder McFarland and Elder Hurley
Our room... I haven't unpacked yet because we are moving

ps. So... I forgot to tell you all that when I got to the area Elder Hurley told me that the member we are living with is really frustrated with missionaries in his house and wants us gone... so we spent a lot of the week looking for a new place to live. We went to a lot of members but President Archibald wants us out of there as soon as possible and we couldn't find a member that could house us that soon so we are going to be moving into an appartment this week sometime. I don't know if that will be a good thing or not. I think it will be nice, but I have really enjoyed being with members so far on my mission. But it could be a nice change. I always feel like we are getting in the way of the members we are living with. So that will be something fun to tell you guys about next week!

love you all!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October 19, 2010

Hey Everyone! How is it going? So transfers are this week. I am getting transferred down to the SE Calgary again in the South stake to Queensland and Parkland wards. I am going to be a senior companion to a guy named Elder Hurley. I don't really know anything about him but I am excited to get down there and see what I can do in that area. I really am sad to leave Cochrane but I guess it is what the Lord wants and I am looking forward to seeing the good that I can do there with the members and the investigators. I am a little nervous to be a senior companion but I am looking forward to it. It is going to be a great experience for me and will help me focus on being a great missionary and doing the best I can at planning and staying busy. I am truly sad to leave though. I hate that as soon as I start seeing some success in an area that I get transferred out of here. I was just barely starting to like it here. I came in and it was going really slow and I was working hard to get this area started again and then as soon as it starts to pick up I leave. And it's not just me. They are purging our area. Me and Elder Grace are leaving. He's going to Fort Macleod. And Cochrane is getting a trainer and a new guy. It is really sad but I guess it is what the Lord wants for all of us. It will be for the best and I am looking forward to seeing what happens.

This week wasn't too exciting though. We just had a lot of service that we did and lessons with members. We weren't able to have a lesson with any of our investigators. But we did go on exchanges with the zone leaders and me and Elder Clarke stayed in our area. That was fun. Not really. We spent most of the day at the library because he had to do a bunch of zone leader paperwork and then we went and had dinner and then we had a lesson with some friends of members in our ward. Their friends have been coming to church for two weeks and we asked if they wanted to learn more and they said sure we have a lot of questions you can answer. And they did. It was weird. He started out with questions like why don't we pray to Heavenly Mother and why Jesus is always pictured as a white guy with brown hair. And then the member friend showed up. He was late and then they just started talking about random stuff. We as missionaries didn't even get a word in once he came. Then when it was time to leave we barely even got a chance to have a prayer before we left. The new missionaries are going to have a lesson with them on Wednesday though. I wish them the best of luck.

That was pretty much it for my week though. Not too exciting. We have been able to spend a lot of time with Tina and answering some more of her questions. She really is amazing. She is sincerely interested and I can't believe how awesome she is. She is going to be really sad when we go tell her that we are leaving, but I am sure the next missionaries will be able to do a great job with her as well. I am really sad to leave. I truly am. I love it here. But it's what God wants not what I want. So I'll let you all know next week how things go. No pictures again this week... sorry... I love you all! Thanks for everything!

love
Elder Townsend

Friday, October 15, 2010

October 11, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! And no I'm not just saying that in advance. In Canada this is their thanksgiving. Weird I know. But it's pretty sweet. It means I get two this year. And we even had a turkey bowl this morning. It was fun. I didn't think I would get one. But I did! Whoo hoo! It was cold and wet though. And there were little rocks in the grass. It wasn't very safe. haha.

This week was pretty fun though. I didn't get a chance to take any pictures though. Sad day. But we were able to do a lot of service. Even Pday we didn't have anything to do so we went and helped Tina at Home Treasures. That was fun. Then Tuesday we had district meetings and then stake president Miller had the missionaries in the zone over for lunch and then talked about how we need to be more unified with our wards. So that took pretty much all day. That was weird. Then Wednesday we had interviews with President Archibald. He told us that we need to start having better back up plans and it's true. I'm pretty bad at those. But I am working on it. I guess I just get lazy because most of our first plans won't ever fall through. haha. It was good though. I like interviews with president. They are nice and we only get them every other transfer now. Isn't that sad? I thought so.

Then on Friday we had dinner with the Reilly's and their son Nick who we have been teaching was there and so we had a lesson with them afterwards and it went really well. His parents kind of took over the lesson but it did go well, but he isn't ready for baptism so he won't be getting baptized this weekend sadly but he will eventually.

Then on Sunday we went to church and afterwards Tina called us and asked if we would come answer some of her questions about the Book of Mormon. That's right she has been reading! A lot actually! It's awesome! So we went and talked to her and her daughter Megan for a while. That was sweet! They seem to be understanding a lot more than before. They are pretty caught up on coffee though. Well, Megan has a lot more problems but Tina can't get over that. But that isn't too hard to overcome though. And we are even going over to her house for thanksgiving dinner today so I am excited! It means this letter is pretty short though because dinner is pretty soon. So hopefully we can continue to talk to her about things today. And the rest of her family will be there too! Sweet!

Well, that's pretty much it for my week. I'll talk to you guys next week and let you know if I am leaving Cochrane or not. I really hope not. I don't like transfers. I like it here a lot. I really do. Thanks for everything guys! I love you all!

Love,
Elder Townsend

Friday, October 8, 2010

October 4, 2010

Hello everybody. How are things going with you guys? Things are going pretty well up here in Canada. It's definitely becoming winter again. I've already scraped ice off my windshield a couple of times. The leaves are all yellow and orange and covering everything. It's starting to get dark before I fall asleep again. haha. It's pretty weird. We had a really bad summer and they say this winter should be pretty mild too. So I guess that not too bad.

So this week was pretty good. Not too much exciting happened. Last Monday we went to Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. That was pretty fun. We went and met the Banff missionaries in Canmore and then drove together there. It was pretty sweet. Those lakes really are beautiful. I love Canada. And the best part is that you don't really have to hike to them. The parking lot is pretty much right there! haha. It was absolutely beautiful though. I loved it.

Then Tuesday we had district meeting. Those are three hours long now though. The district leader is teaching us everything he learned in the meetings last week. So they are kind of long. But they are good. Then we went and helped a member and his neighbor lay sod in their yards. That was fun. And of course it decided to start pouring on us right before we started and stop right when we finished. So we were soaked and covered in mud. It was actually a lot of fun though. I really enjoyed it. Also on Monday I hit my 11 month mark... weird. Time flies when you're having fun I guess. haha.

Then Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we did a lot of service during the days and teaching at night. So that's good. I really like it here. The service opportunities are awesome and I really do have a lot of fun doing it. We even get a lot of opportunities to talk about the church to people. In fact this week we even gave Tina, the manager at the thrift store, a Book of Mormon. That was pretty sweet. She even said she might read it. And she found me on Facebook and is probably going to be reading this so everyone should tell her she should read it. Ready? one... two... three! TINA YOU SHOULD READ IT!... welp. There ya go Tina. they said it. haha, Tina is really fun though. I really enjoy working with her and the rest of the people at Home Treasures. So thanks to all of them!

Then came conference. That was awesome. I absolutely loved it. It was ten hours long but it was a great ten hours. I loved Elder Holland's talk Saturday morning. It was a great way to start off the conference. He really made me think of how much I really do appreciate all of my family and love them so much. So thank you guys. You really are awesome. It actually made me really sad when I heard him talk because I really wanted to go home and be with you guys and be able to just give you a hug. But then it made me also want to work hard so when I do get the chance to hug you guys again I will know I did everything I could to have a great mission. I love you all so much! I really do! I cant say it enough! The rest of conference was pretty good too. A lot about making the right choices in life. It was a good conference. It was weird though because here in Cochrane they had it in the church building since the stake center is so far away, but most people must have just watched it on the computer because it was really just me, Elder Grace, and like four other people there the whole time. So we had the whole building to ourselves. Which was a good thing though. I enjoyed the solitude a little bit. After I left the Sunday afternoon session though I thought about how I only had two more conferences on my mission... weird. But I'm going to make the next year the best year of my life!

Thanks for everything! You all are amazing! I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Love,
Elder Townsend

Moraine Lake. Look how beautiful that lake is. Again though... the sun was in the wrong place for good pictures... Thats Elder Grace's fault this time.
Glacier that feeds Lake LouiseThis is Elder Hepworth... and his favorite sign. haha

Friday, October 1, 2010

September 27, 2010

Hey everyone! How is it going? This week was awesome for me! A lot happened so I'll try to get everything in without making this email too long haha. so Monday kind of sucked. we didn't have anything to do for Pday so we went to the church and I played with some Lincoln logs I found in the nursery and then took a nap... not the best Pday ever. haha.

But the rest of the week was exciting. Elder Grace had a bunch of meetings that he had to go to in Calgary and so did the senior companion from Banff so me and Elder Mercado were on exchanges pretty much all week. Tuesday through Friday until dinner. It was awesome! I love that guy! He is amazing! We had a lot of fun together. We were able to do a lot of service. Which is awesome. I love he service here. And the people there seem to love us a lot! Especially at the thrift store. There are a bunch of ladies there that are awesome! I love them! They are hilarious and make going there a lot of fun. And the manager there is named Tina. She is awesome. The last time we went there she bought us a whole box of peaches. She heard me say I liked peaches and then she went to the farmers market and bought us some. Isn't that awesome? I thought so. We work with Compassion Africa as well with Jon and Tim and Wanda. They are hilarious. Tim and Wanda are great. I've never seen two grown people act like them. It makes it really fun to go there when we do though. They are amazing. They are moving down to SE Calgary in Oct though. So we don't get to work with them for much longer. That's pretty sad. We have the food bank as well. Elder Mercado loves going there because we get free food. He loves food. As any good Philippine does. haha. It really was a great week though. We were able to teach the 8 year old out in Morley again. That was awesome. She seems to be doing amazing and it's great for her mom to hear this all as well. And we were able to teach Nick Reilly again. He is going awesome! He has a baptismal date for October 16th!!! I was so excited! He was a little hesitant about it and we did kind of push it on him. But at least he has that as a goal he can work towards. When it comes to that date either he will be baptized or his true concerns will come out. Either one will be good. haha.

Oh, then Saturday we had the Cochrane food drive. That was awesome! We went around and collected food all morning. And if people didn't have food on their porch then we knocked on the door and asked if they had any. It was awesome. I felt like I was tracting but it was weird because there were a lot of people that were actually excited to see us. haha. But we couldn't talk about the church at all because the food drive people didn't want us too. But our church hosted it so all the food that was collected went to our church and got sorted and boxed. That was awesome. It was a great opportunity for people to get into our church. There were even pastors and stuff from the other churches here that asked if they could go into the chapel and they were very surprised that it looked so normal and were very grateful they had the chance to see it. So that was sweet. The community is starting to think that we are a little more normal I think. haha.

But the most exciting part about this week. Besides the baptismal date was that I went to BC!!!!! That's right! Beautiful British Columbia! haha Wednesday when me and Elder Mercado were on exchanges a member from his branch asked if they could take us there to meet all the less actives there.... OF COURSE! haha. So we went to Lake Louise and saw the people there. That was beautiful! Then we drove on over to a little town of Fields BC. I was so excited! It was awesome and beautiful! No wonder they call it beautiful British Columbia. Although Lake Louise was still in Alberta... but still. I love it here in Canada. It really is a beautiful country.

That's pretty much it for my week though. Not bad, eh? I was pretty excited! And we are going to Moraine Lake today for Pday. I am excited!

Thanks for everything! I love you guys!

Love
Elder Townsend

Lake Louise! Beautiful, eh? haha
BC!!!!!!!!Canadian Rockies
Elder Mercado. haha

Dad wanted a picture of the sisters in the district. This is Sister Riley and Sister Ireland. Sister Riley got transferred though. Now we have Sister Hill. But no picture of her, sorry.
Hi Kim.

I am sitting here talking to your son and he is raving about your COWBOY SALSA.

He tells me you MAY give me the recipe if I ask.

So I am asking.

Would you mind sending it to me?

I will try to make it like yours so he will feel at home.

Thanks………Bonnie

PS…. We are really enjoying having your son in our home. Devin is very friendly and very willing to serve in this mission. We often just end up talking for long periods of time on any matter that may come up. We love him, he is a wonderful young man.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 20, 2010

Hello everyone. How is it going? My week was pretty good. I spent most of it still trying to get over this food poisoning that I had. At least I think it was food poisoning. But I feel a lot better now. It seemed like I was always feeling better as long as I never ate anything. So I always felt pretty good in the morning and afternoon, but then as usual we would have a dinner appointment... I've never not looked forward to one of those... but that never settled well with me after I ate. So most nights weren't too good for me this week. haha. But I think I'm over it now. The last day or two I've been eating pretty regularly and digesting at a normal speed. So that's good. haha.

Other then that not too much happened this week. We went in for Pday last week. So we were able to play some basketball and volleyball. That was fun. It means that we have absolutely nothing to do today though... we might play Risk... or go to the thrift store. haha. Then, Tuesday morning we got a call from Elder Zaugg saying that we needed to go change our oil in our car and he told us a guy that we needed to go to. It was way on the NE side of Calgary though. It took us an hour and a half to drive there. It was ridiculous. And it was kind of sketchy when we got there. We pulled up to this building. A little Chinese guy came out and asked for our keys and said he'd be back in half an hour and just drove off and left us in the middle of Calgary's "ghetto" area. haha. It was pretty sweet. Our car did come back though. So that was good. But that took up pretty much the rest of our day as well because we got lost... it gave us a pretty good tour of downtown Calgary though. haha.

Then Wednesday we had a special training from the assistants. President was supposed to be there too... but he wasn't for some reason. They talked all about how we make and keep covenants all of our life and then as a zone we covenanted to be 100% obedient in everything. Which we already did in March with our Miraculous March... so I don't really know what it was for... it was a pretty good training though. I liked it. And it gave me another chance to see the missionaries in the zone and then go to lunch with them afterwards. I haven't done that in a long time. Darn Cochrane and being so far away from people all the time! haha. Then we came back here and the Elords came and picked us up to go do some service with them. That was fun. I really like that family. They took us forever away and then we got to these old trailers that the church used for their nativity pageant and we took out all the electrical in them because they were getting new ones... which was good... those things looked like you would find better ones in a junk yard. It was a lot of fun though. Then that night we went to Mutual and taught all the young women how to be good missionaries and stuff and taught a lesson on the plan of salvation as well. That was pretty fun. I really like getting to know the youth in the wards. It makes me feel like I'm back home. It's a nice break from being around all the old people in the ward all the time. haha.

Then Thursday we did a lot of service and then for the evening we headed out to Morley. That was pretty sweet. We went to the House family. We are trying to get Brandon to be a priest so he can start baptizing people, but when we got there he was the only one there and he said his mom would be home soon so we could come in. So we went in and he went downstairs and went to sleep... so we just kind of sat there for like 45 mins talking to Bro Allison who took us out there. Then his mom finally showed up and we started talking to her and we talked about how she wishes that her family was more motivated when it came to church and she wishes that her husband was more supportive in it. And then her kids all came in and we taught a really good lesson. I was actually impressed that the kids all just came in on their own. That was sweet. Then we started to talk about the grandma who wasn't feeling to well and so the mom called her and asked if she wanted us to come give her a blessing and she did. So we were going to head there but then I asked Lana, the mom, if she wanted a blessing of comfort while we were there and she did. And then we went and gave her mom a blessing as well. It was pretty sweet. I really was thankful that we were able to go out there. Especially after the first 45 mins we were there when it looked like we had struck out for the night. But it was sweet in the end.

Then Friday we had a mission tour. We had Elder Zivic of the 70's come. That was pretty good. He was kind of hard to understand but it was good. He said it was his first talk in a mission that wasn't in Spanish. haha. He was really funny and we learned a lot from him. It was also a great chance to see the other missionaries from the mission. Well, at least the ones in Calgary. I saw Elder Byington my trainer and Elder Gelwix my old district leader and a lot more. That was sweet. It weird to think my trainer is going home in a couple of months though. And it's even more weird to think that I only have a month and like ten days until I hit my year mark... time flies when you are having fun I guess. But it's making me want to keep working hard so that I can make the best of the time that I have left. So I'm looking forward to it. I love it out here and I wouldn't trade this experience for anything!

Thanks for everything! You guys are the best! I love and miss you all so much!

Love,
Elder Townsend

We went to the Flemming's for dinner this week and they live out in the middle of nowhere. And on the way there we saw a black bear... it started running away before I could get a good picture of it though. But it was right next to us on the road for a while. And then on the way back we saw a bunch of deer. There were six or seven of them... I couldn't seem to get a good picture of them though. It was getting pretty dark by that time.
We also did some service at the thrift store and we have a group of Hutterites that come in every Saturday and give the manager there, Tina, some leftovers from the farmer's market they have in Cochrane. And this time she gave her a pie and then she gave it to us. It was delicious. A homemade Saskatoon berry pie. Not bad at all. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 13, 2010

Hello everyone! How is it going? Well my week was pretty short. With transfers being this week. But it seemed like it went on for forever. Not much really happened though. Last Pday we didn't have anything to do so we just went and did some service with Jon at Compassion Africa. We finally started packing a shipping crate. We got that full and it should be on its way to Kenya sometime this week. So that's pretty sweet. And we even got to talk to someone that was over in Africa. I don't remember her name... but she wanted to talk to me and Elder Grace and tell us how happy we were making the people in Kenya and how grateful she was for everything that we are doing. It was actually really sweet. It made me feel good for the rest of the day. haha.

Then the next day we went out to Morley and taught some of the natives there. That went really well. We were able to stop by a lot of them and teach them. including this young man named Brandon. He is a member but pretty less active. But we are trying to get him excited to become a priest so that he can baptize his cousin and the rest of his family when they decide to join as well. He says he wouldn't mind it but he hasn't made any steps towards coming back. It's hard for them to make decisions and keep commitments. It's just part of their heritage to not to. He even told us that he doesn't ever really make decissions for himself. He would just do what his mom or grandma would tell him to do without asking any questions and that's just the way they are. So it will be kind of hard out there. But I hope we can touch them in some way while I am here. Maybe get a branch out in Morley again. That would be sweet.

Then Thursday we went to Cochrane Home Treasures, the thrift store, and helped there. They had a big sale because they had way too much stuff in there. So whatever you could fit in a bag was only $5... so I'm going to be sending a box of stuff home soon. I was really good at stuffing things into that bag. haha. It was pretty sweet. Hopefully it makes it home... I don't really trust things going through the border... but I'm going to have to. haha.

Then the really exciting part of the week happened. Friday morning I woke up and did not feel good at all. So I went into the bathroom and destroyed it! It was bad. Turns out I'm pretty sure I got food poisoning... I'm pretty sure I ate a microwave bowl of chunky soup that was expired... not a good idea. I was out of commission from Friday to pretty much last night. The good news though, I lost all the weight that I've gained on my mission so far. haha. We did go to the corn bust on Friday though. That was fun. For those of you who don't know what a corn bust is, because I didn't til I got to Canada, it's where everyone gets together and all you eat is corn. Lots and lots of corn. There is a place in southern Alberta, Taber to be exact, that apparently has the best corn in the world and grows a lot of it. So every year around this time everyone is eating corn... except this year... apparently it was too cold and wet for much to grow... so I'm missing out on that experience. We did have some corn there but it was also made into a chili cook off. It didn't really matter to me anyway because I wasn't in any condition to eat food to begin with. That was pretty much my week though... not too exciting... actually pretty crappy... literally... but hopefully your week was better then mine! haha. Thanks for everything guys! I'll let you know about this upcoming week next time which hopefully is a little more exciting! I love you all! Thank you!

Love
Elder Townsend

"The Three Sisters" a mountain(s?) in Canmore. This one is for MY three sisters. haha

This one is for Dad. Because he is the "chief" of our family
And this is my three brother in laws because... well... they're weird. haha

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September 7, 2010

Hello everyone! How is it going? We had an awesome week here in Cochrane! Last Pday we went with our district, me and Grace, Elders Hepworth and Mercado, and Sisters Riley and Ireland, to Johnston's Canyon in Banff. That was awesome! We had a lot of fun! It was a pretty easy hike! It was paved paths the whole way and it was beautiful out there. I love Canada. It really is a beautiful country. I love my district! We have had a lot of fun together! We are losing Sister Riley but the rest of us are staying. So that will be fun. It was a good Pday. I really enjoyed it.

Then on Tuesday we went out to Morley again. I love it out there. It is amazing! I love the natives! They are such nice and awesome people. And when we go out there we are able to see a lot of them. Which is good. We had some really good lessons out there. Including the House family which is one of the only two families that are semi-active.

Then Wednesday we were invited to go play fugitive with the youth. That was awesome. They dropped the youth at Cochrane Golf Course and they had to make it back to Cochrane Ranche without being caught by us and the leaders who were in cars. It was a lot of fun and it was a good opportunity to continue to get to know the youth and their families. We only lost one boy, haha. We started at seven and we all pretty much made it back to the Ranche by 8 or 830. But we figured out one of the boys was still out there somewhere. So we sent everyone out looking for him. We thought he died. Turns out he just took a really long way around and just walked into the Ranche around 10. haha. Well... I guess he did win. Good for him. haha. There were only about four out of the forty kids that actually made it back without getting caught. yea. That's how awesome we are! haha.

Then Thursday was fun. We went on exchanges with the Elders in Banff. So me and Elder Mercado came here. It was awesome. We did a lot of service but we had a lot of fun together! I love Elder Mercado! He is from the northern part of the Philippines and is amazing! He was baptized four years ago. Became a counselor in the bishopric, a Young Men's leader and a ward missionary. Before he came out on a mission he baptized five families into his branch. When I asked him what he did for fun back home he said missionary work in his branch. haha. He is awesome and he is hilarious! Everything he says is funny. Even when he doesn't mean for it to be. He is still working on his English so every now and then it sounds like he swears at you or something but he just gets words mixed up or doesn't know how to pronounce things. It's actually really funny. He really wants to eat a dog. Every time he sees one he says how good it would taste. haha. I love him. We had a lot of fun together. But it meant we had to drive him back to Banff as well... so we used 355 clicks that day... we only get 1700 for the month! haha. But it was well worth it and we had to do it anyway... the district leader has to go on exchanges. haha.

Then Saturday was awesome! We went to a powwow out in Morley! It was awesome! It was really loud... but a lot of fun. They were dancing and singing and beating drums. It was sweet. I wanted to buy a CD of the music but it cost way too much and I was going to buy some authentic, hand made native moccasins. But turns out they cost $90... yea.... I'm not spending that much on a couple of pieces of leather... I think it was because I was white... They like to take advantage of us "rich white people" haha. It was a lot of fun though. If you guys ever get a chance to go to a powwow I would highly recommend it. Then after the powwow we had a lesson with Nick Reilly. It was our second lesson with him and it went really well. It was at our ward mission leaders house again and he was an awesome help with it too. I think he is really interested and I think it's going great. We even got him to say a prayer at the end of it. Then we had dinner with his parents. His dad was baptized 11 years ago and his mom was just baptized a couple months ago. We were talking about the lesson and they were really happy it was going so well. We even told Bro Reilly that Nick said the prayer at the end and he told us that he knew how to pray because he had heard his father do it so many times. This made his dad so happy that it brought tears to his eyes and he told us that he had never heard his son pray before. That was an awesome experience. So for all of you parents that don't think your kids are listening or paying attention to you. They are. To everything you do. So keep being an awesome example. It will benefit them and you so much!

Then Sunday was church and lessons. Nothing too special. Then Monday came around... that day sucked... it was Labor Day so everything was closed, including all the places we could do service at. And nobody was home to talk to or didn't want to talk to us on their day off... so we were able to go to the Cochrane parade in the morning. That was awesome! It was a sweet parade! Especially the Shriners and their little midget cars. I love those guys. I was even able to see Canadian Mounties all dressed up! They weren't on horses though... sad... but it was a lot of fun. We were even able to talk to some members there. But after that nothing.... we didn't even have a dinner... it was really a sad day.....

Come to think of it I should have left off on Saturday... but oh well. haha. Well that's it for me today... I'm still in Cochrane and still with Elder Grace. So I'm looking forward to see what happens here this transfer. Thanks for everything! I love you guys!

Love
Elder Townsend

Banff!
The elders in the district!
The powow. Yes. Everyone out there is dancing. They just dance and walk around for hours on end. Its sweet!
I love their costumes. They are sweet!
MOUNTIES!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August 30, 2010

Hey everyone! This week was pretty good for me. I hope it went well for you guys! Last Monday we went in for Pday. It was the only time this transfer that we could do that. So it was fun. I got to play basketball and volleyball for the first time this transfer. It was great! It was made even better by the mail that I got! I continued to get even more birthday mail! It was awesome! So thank you to everyone again! It was awesome! I love you guys!

Then Tuesday we had zone conference. That was pretty good. We learned a lot on how to ask good questions and make our members and investigators learn by faith through their own words and answers. It's pretty sweet. Really hard though. I suck at asking good questions, but I'm working on it and I am getting better. So that's good. Oh and the church came out with eight new lessons for the missionaries. Not ones that we teach but ones that are taught to us. They are all about how we can teach the lessons to investigators more effectively. So we are going to be being taught these lessons in zone conferences and special trainings that we have. So that will be fun. President says we already know a lot of the stuff in the lessons, but that we will still be able to learn a lot from them. So I am excited to get trained on them and learn how to teach better!

Then Wednesday we helped this non member move in. That was sweet. Iit was a friend of a member and we got a couple of the young men to come help as well. It went really well and they really appreciated the work and we were even able to talk about the church a little bit. They weren't too eager to learn more, but their friends are still going to work on them. Then we had a lesson at our ward mission leaders house. He had invited the non member son of one of the families in our ward to take the lessons. So we went and taught him. It went pretty well. He said that he would read and pray so hopefully he will. And he told Jason, our ward mission leader, that he wanted to take the other lessons as well. So that's awesome. He is YSA age though so we might have to hand him over to the zone leaders... darn zone leaders taking all of my investigators! haha

Thursday we did a lot of service. At the food bank and the thrift store and then that night we had a lady call us and say that her son needed a blessing so we went over there. It was pretty sweet. The dad and other son were camping and the younger son had a bunch of dental work done and was asking for a blessing, which I thought was sweet because he was like 6 years old. So we went over and gave him a blessing and he was really excited to have it. It was awesome. And the mom, Sis McKinnon was really grateful that we could come over and do that for them. It was sweet. I love giving blessings!

Then Friday we had training all day. Me and Elder Grace trained the rest of our district on the how to ask good questions. Just like we learned from the zone leaders last week. Then we all had district lunch at a Chinese buffet. Then we went back and had a training by the assistants and president Archibald. It was really good and I learned a lot. But it seemed like this week we were sitting and getting a lot of training. From that and zone conference. So it was good but I was definitely sick of sitting around this week! haha

Then Saturday we spent the whole day filling the font and going to the baptism of an eight year old native from Morley. That was sweet. We were able to meet a lot of the people from Morley and we even set up some appointments to go teach them this week. So that will be fun. Then we all went to the Scholl's house for some food afterwards and it gave us a chance to continue to get to know some of the natives which was good.

So all in all this was a pretty good week for me. And we are going to go hiking out in Banff today so that will be sweet. I am really excited for that! Thank you all again for everything! I love you guys and miss you!

Love
Elder Townsend

This ones for you Mom! haha. A member gave us this at church on Sunday
cows