Thursday, February 25, 2010

February 24, 2010

Hey Everyone!
This week has been pretty good. I didn't get the chance to take any pictures though... so sadly you wont be getting any of those... I know, I know, I'm sorry. I was just too busy to be taking pictures. haha. But it was a pretty good week, I'm just going to have to tell you about it rather then show you. The newest thing really is that we have been tracting a lot more then I have been before. Which is actually pretty fun. It has already made it easier for me to talk to random people here. And the Canada area people are actually really polite. They still don't want anything to do with us at all, but they are usually really nice and just say they are Catholic, and then take a pass a long card or pamphlet with our phone number on it. I have yet to have anyone yell at me. Well that isn't true... I have had someone yell at me. The same person...twice. It is someone that we have been talking to for a while and he is reading in the BOM, Jason, but his wife isn't to happy to see us ever. So one night Elder Glick decided that we were going to stop by and try to see him. He has like seven kids and it was like 8pm so I didn't think it was such a good idea. But we went anyway... and when we got there he wasn't home and his wife answered and got mad at us for waking up her kids and told us to call him to set up an appointment. So we left. But then yesterday, for some reason, Elder Glick thought we would stop by again. His reasoning was that it as 5pm so the kids shouldn't be asleep. I told him he would probably be at work and his wife would probably yell at us again. He didn't think she yelled the first time. She was just "having a rough day". So he knocked on the door anyway. Guess what happened? She yelled at us again for not calling beforehand because he was at work and she didn't want her dogs going crazy for no reason. So yes. I have had someone yell at me. That's not fun. Especially when it didn't have to happen. But yes, tracting is a really a fun thing. People are... not really nice, but polite. And the members get to see us walking around and working hard so that is good. I am excited to keep that up and to have some great experiences.
Elder Glick is an interesting guy. The story above kind of shows it, but he does a couple of things that annoy me at times. But he is still a good missionary and I am excited to learn all that I can from him. I know I can learn a lot and something that I have been learning a lot of already is patience. So that is always a good thing to have. But he always uses my stuff. He uses my pens, he uses my paper, he uses my bleach pen thing, he uses my scissors, he even uses my peanut butter. I've told him that if he would just ask I would let him use it all if he really wanted to but just the fact that I just walk in and find him using all my stuff is frustrating. So patience, yes. I am learning a lot of other stuff too. So I am excited to see what goes on in this transfer and hopefully I can start making it kind of fun. ROTC Glick thinks that having fun is against the mission rules... but I am excited to learn stuff this transfer I can use for the rest of my mission. And the missionaries in my zone say that if I can get through being with him, I can get through being with any companion. So there is hope, haha.
But probably the best news from this week is that Jeanette is doing really awesome! We went over and taught her again on Friday. It went really well. We watched the Restoration with her and she really liked it. Then we answered a lot of her questions. She had been reading a lot and had some questions which was really good! The only bad thing was some of the things she was reading. She was reading a lot of good things like the pamphlets we gave her and stuff but she did get some things off of the Internet from some anti's so we had to try to resolve those things as well. It made it a little harder, but I think we resolved a lot of it and she understands that there are people out there that will try to tear down anything they don't believe in. So we told her that the main thing she needs to be reading right now is the Book of Mormon and she agreed and committed to reading from it everyday. So that was awesome! And then on Monday we had a mission tour and our ward was in charge of feeding the missionaries lunch, and she signed up to help with that. It was awesome! She had a really good time and was really helpful. It gave her a chance to meet a lot more sisters from Relief Society and to talk to them more. She also got the chance to see us missionaries and the mission President and she got to talk to him. She told him that she was getting baptized on March 6th. So that is always a good thing to hear. haha. It was awesome though. She really enjoyed it. Then we got to go to her house that night and teach her again. This time we taught her the first 5 principles of the fourth lesson. It went really well and she agreed to read the Book of Mormon and pray each day so that was awesome. We even got the chance to answer some of her questions too. We couldn't stay as long as we usually do because we had to get in for the night. But it went really well. And Bro Muirhead was there. He had some really good insight and answers for her as well. It was awesome to have him there. We have had Matt Leavitt there every other time and she has gotten really comfortable with him and loves seeing him, but we couldn't take him this time because his wife was having pregnancy problems. Their baby was coming 8 weeks early. So that isn't good. I think they are doing alright though. All I really know is that they stopped the baby from coming out for now. So that is good. Anyway. sorry about that tangent. but yes. Jeanette is doing great! And we are going to see her Thursday and Friday as well this week! Thursday she signed up on our dinner calendar to feed us, so that is awesome! I am excited for that. Then Friday at three we are going over there to teach her again. We are going to continue the fourth lesson. We have only been teaching her once a week up until now, but we still have a couple things we wanted to go over with her and we are running out of weeks, so we might have to see her a couple of times next week as well, and then she is going to be baptized that upcoming Saturday at seven! So i am really excited for that!
The other highlight of our week I already mentioned, the mission tour. That was awesome! A mission tour is like a zone conference only bigger! Usually our zone conferences only have two or three zones in it, but this time we had all the missionaries in Calgary there. So there was 135 or so of us there. It was pretty awesome! It gave me an opportunity to see some missionaries again! Like Elder Hatfield form the MTC, and a whole bunch of people that have been transferred out of this zone, like Elder M, Meyers, Crippen and such. I didn't get to see Elder Byington though, because he isn't in Calgary and the rest of the mission is having their own mission tour next Monday. But it was pretty awesome! Elder Melchin was there and he spoke to us for over an hour. It was a question and answer thing though so we king of chose the topic he talked about. But it was pretty Awesome. He basically told us that the goal of 100 baptisms this coming month is amazing and that we can do it as long as we have the faith required. And the thing that really stood out to me was that if we don't think we have the faith then we need to tell ourselves that we do have it and then go out and work as though we do. Then the Lord will give us the faith that we are telling ourselves we have. (he told us not to quote him on anything though, so you didn't hear that from me. haha) But it was really awesome! Because I have been feeling like I haven't really had as much faith in the goal as all the other missionaries in the mission so I've been feeling a little down. But I am going to stay positive about this whole thing and keep telling myself we can do it and I'm going to go out and do all that I can to do my part and I know the Lord will let it happen. So that was a very big highlight of my week as well.
Well that is pretty much it from me. Sorry again for not having any pictures. I'll try to work on that this week. I tried getting a picture of a skunk... but he ran away too fast... anyway. Hopefully I have some for you next week. I love and miss you guys so much! I can't wait to talk to you again next week!
Love, Elder Townsend

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February 17, 2010

Hey guys!
This week has been very interesting and very long! It is always a long week after transfers because we have to go all the way from Tuesday to Wednesday without a Pday. So that isn't fun. I got a new companion this time! He is a pretty interesting elder. He is from Heber City, Utah and he is the oldest of four. oh, and his name is Elder Glick. He has only been out one more transfer than I have, so five months, but he is our district leader. He s a pretty good missionary though. He was in the ROTC at Utah State for a year before he came out here so he is very militaristic minded and loves rules and staying busy. So it will be a little bit different from my last two transfers but I think it will be good for me. President is really excited for us because his last area was really slow like ours is now when he got in there, but when he left it had picked up really well and they had 7 investigators the week he left. So President hopes he can do the same thing here in Chaparral. We've only been together for a week and I can tell he has a lot of really good ideas about missionary work and awesome things that worked for him over in Shaughnessy, his last area, and that is awesome. I can see how that turned things around for him. but the thing he doesn't know right now is that each area is different. Very different. And things that worked in one area won't necessarily work in another. I completely agree that our area needs change and needs the things he is trying to work in, but he expects everyone to just do it automatically. And we work with the ward mostly and so he expects the ward to just go along with everything he says automatically. But our ward isn't like that. There are a couple that are, but most people we are going to have to slowly work them up to doing the things he wants them to do. But I think he is slowly finding that out and that is awesome. I do hope that we can implement his ideas into out ward because I think it would really help and I really want to see this area go thorough a lot of changes and be an awesome area that every missionary wants to come to.
He does like to stay really busy though. Which is a good thing. But there really isn't anything to keep us busy throughout the day so we are turning to some things that I haven't really done too much out here on my mission. We have started to tract. And that is weird. Missionaries out here don't really tract all that much because it is ineffective. I always thought that was just an excuse to not do it. But now that I have done it I see why we don't do it that much. Nobody we talked to wanted to talk to us at all. Nobody was really mean about it. Some people just open and close the door when they saw us. But most people just politely said they weren't interested and usually take a pass a long card or something. But I don't see too much coming form that. Although I do think that if we do it enough we could potentially find someone, so we are going to keep it up. Besides... talking to people randomly is a really good skill to have and I am excited to stat getting better at it. Another thing that we have started to do to keep us more busy is to walk to all of our appointments. We never really walked too much when Byington was here. We always just had enough kilometers to get to wherever we needed to go. But Elder Glick likes to walk because he wants people, members and non members, to see us out and about during the day. And also it takes up a little more time between each appointment. But it does mean that we are walking a lot. I think I have walked more this week then I have all last year,even at BYU. OK, maybe not... but it has been a lot of walking! I'm going to have huge leg muscles at the end of this transfer and hopefully I'll lose a couple of pounds too, eh? haha.
Other than that this week has been pretty good. It has been a lot of introducing Elder Glick to the area and trying to get him to know his way around. And going to the members and getting him to meet everyone. We haven't had all that many lessons though. But we did get the chance to have one with Jeanette again. That was awesome! I love going over there! She is always excited to see us and is always baking something for us to eat after the lesson. This lesson went really well. We taught her the first lesson again. She got the basics of it at the church tour she went on but we wanted to go a little more in depth with it this time. And we got Matt Leavitt to come, and we brought Sis Yee over as well. We thought it would be good for Jeanette to get to know some people in the ward better so we are going to try to get someone from Relief Society over there each time we go. So that will be awesome. Sis Yee and Jeanette got along really well and Sis Yee had some really good insights in the lesson. And after the lesson Jeanette had some really good questions again which was awesome! You can definitely tell she wants to learn as much as she can before she gets baptized and is sincerely interested. Then we talked about her baptismal date. We had originally had it set for this coming Saturday, but she felt like that was pretty soon. And we thought it was too because she still had a lot to learn and she still has all of lesson four to be taught to her which we usually like to have in two lessons. And it will be good for her to come to church a couple more times before she is baptized as well. So we decided that we should move the date to March 6th. Which is going to be awesome. It gives us enough time to teach her everything and her enough time to feel more comfortable in the ward. But she is doing great. She even signed up on our dinner calendar to feed us, which is awesome!
It is also beneficial that her baptism will be in March. And I'll tell you why, but first I just need to clarify that moving her date into March had nothing to do with this at all! It was all her idea! But our Mission President gave us a goal as a mission for March. The goal that he set was that we would have 100 baptisms in March. Which is pretty significant seeing as though we get an average of twenty as of now. But he has promised us that if we are 100% obedient and do everything we can to reach this goal that we will be blessed with the success we need and we will be able to reach it. It is pretty awesome. You can definitely see a lot of change in the missionaries out here already. And we already have over 50 dates for the month of March which is more then we have ever had. I definitely have my small doubts about it happening but I am not going to let that effect me. I am going to do all that I can to do my part to reach this goal and I have faith that the Lord will make it happen. So I am excited to see what happens this coming month and how things go here.
That is pretty much if from me though. This next week will be pretty exciting. We have a "mission tour" on Monday. I'm not entirely sure what it is but an Elder from the 70 is coming. I hear it is just going to be a really big zone conference with an Area Authority there. It should be a lot of fun though and really good. Our ward is actually in charge of feeding us all lunch so Sis Shaughnessy, our Relief Society President has been working really hard on that. It should be an awesome day. Oh and Jeanette, our investigator, even signed up to help with serving food at it. So that will be awesome! It is going to be a good week. Well, I hope you guys all have an awesome week as well! I love and miss you all so much! I can't wait to talk to you again next week!
Elder Townsend

a tribute to the best district ever.

The three seniors in our district last transfer... they all left... :(
I think the birds are a little confused by the weather. They are all flying back already...
The zone. I miss them already... so many of them left this transfer...
whore frost...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

February 9, 2010

Hey guys! so... I think I may have forgotten to tell you guys that it was transfers this week... my bad... but today is P day so here is a letter from me! haha. The pictures will come a little later. like in 5 mins. I have to borrow someone's cord to connect my camera to the computer. I forgot mine.
Well transfers are going to be interesting this week. There is a lot of changes in my district. Elder Miller is going home. I don't know if I told you guys that yet either. But he has been sleepwalking and Pres found out so he called SLC to see if he could stay out and then an apostle called him back and said that if anyone sleepwalks they have to be sent home. So he is leaving with this transfer. That is pretty sad. He was awesome. He has been out 13 months so he still served a pretty good mission. Elder Byington is getting transferred down to Medicine Hat and this guy named Elder Glick is going to be my companion. Elder M is getting transferred to down town Calgary. He is the Polynesian Elder in Cranston, he was hilarious and a lot of fun to be around. So all of the senior companions in my district are gone. That leaves me and Elder R, he's hilarious but very strange and Elder Norman, he's well... he's pretty annoying and gets mad really easily about anything you try to tell him. So hopefully the people coming in are pretty fun. Our district these last two transfers has been pretty fun and I am going to miss them a lot, but I am going to try my hardest to do what I can to make this new district just as fun. My new companion, Elder Glick sounds like a good missionary. People say he is a really hard worker and has a very military attitude towards things. So that will be good. At least he is someone that will be a hard worker. We'll find out tomorrow though after he comes here. I'm pretty excited for the new adventure though. It should be a good transfer and our investigators are coming along pretty well.
We still are trying to get in with Jason. We stopped by a couple of times and talked to him on his porch. I am kind of starting to get the feeling that he is just talking to us just to be nice and doesn't really want to take the next step of taking the discussions. But we will keep going until he comes out and tells us to stop coming, because you never know. He might just be waiting for the right time. He may just be waiting for Elder Glick to come in. Who knows. Chris Burrows is doing great. We still haven't really taught him an official lesson but we were able to sit down with him and talk to him for a while. When we talk with him we really just talk about life and stuff and we tie beliefs into a lot of what we talk about. He is really nice and fun and has started joking around with us about getting baptized so at least he isn't afraid to talk about that subject. But on a more exciting note we were able to get in and have another discussion with Jeanette on Thursday. That went really well. We were there for quite a while and most of it was spent answering a lot of really good questions she had. Then we figured we should leave with some kind of a lesson so Elder Byington talked about faith for a while. Then she had a couple more questions that we answered. Then she basically asked what it would take for her to be baptized and how long it would take. So we just told her it was up to her and how she was feeling but we asked if she would work on being ready for baptism on the 20th of February and she said that she would love to. So that is so awesome!! Dang that was fun. She is really solid and loves everything that we have taught her so far and she loved church, even though she said three hours was pretty long. But she is definitely going to be baptized sometime and hopefully on the 20th. Elder Byington won't be here for it though. But lucky for Elder Glick. He is going to have a baptism right when he gets here.
This week has been a lot of fun though. We spent a lot of time with the district and being around each other. We have been working at this lady's house for a while. The Sundance Elders baptized her and are still working on her husband. But we have been over there a lot doing random service for them. But this last week we have been finishing their basement for them. We have been putting up drywall and fixing the framing of walls that were completely off and putting down some carpet. It has been pretty fun. I have decided I really like dry walling. But it has been fun to be able to be around the district and be able to get service done too.
We have been having some really good church tours lately. We have been able to get a lot of members out to them and they love them. It is an amazing way to automatically bring the spirit into peoples lives while teaching them about the restoration as well. Everyone that has been on one absolutely loves them. We challenge everyone to bring a non member friend to one the next week and everyone always seems really excited to go and ask people to come. But so far we haven't really had anyone do it. But that seems like the normal thing in this area. Everyone always gets excited to do missionary work when we are talking about it but they seem to just forget about it as soon as we leave. That's what happens in ward council too. Bishop has been getting really into missionary work and it is awesome. During ward council meetings he tries really hard to get the rest of them that excited too. And it works, they get really excited but then throughout the week nothing happens... we are going to work as hard as we can to change that though and hopefully we can get them to act on their plans.
I am excited to be out here doing missionary work and to be serving the Lord and the people here in Calgary. Thank you all so much for everything that you do for me and the love and support you give me. I love you all and I cant wait to talk to you again next week!
Elder Townsend

Friday, February 5, 2010

February 3, 2010

Hey Guys!

How is it going? It is going pretty good up here in Canada. It's been getting a little colder but it is still not all that bad. It started snowing again this week so we have some fresh snow on the ground. It was weird before that though. Almost all the snow was gone. They are saying that this is a pretty mild winter this year. Spring doesn't usually come until April or something. It will probably get cold again though. They say that last year in February it was -40 for a month straight. That would not be fun. I've decided that Canadians have short term memory though because everyone here is still saying that this is like the worst winter in ten years, except for the mission office people that told me it wasn't. haha.

This week was pretty fun though. We had zone conference on Thursday. That took up most of the day. It was pretty sweet though. It was all on planning and finding, which seems to be what a lot of our training are on... but it was pretty sweet. Pres and his wife talked and the AP's talked and gave a training and our zone leaders gave a training too. Then they chose a couple of missionaries to come and talk about planning or finding. They told us we were going to have to do that and told everyone to prepare 5 min talks but didn't say who would give them, but naturally I was the first person they called. Luckily I had made a semi-plan for a talk so I had some things to say, but I got really nervous and shaky and I don't think I really made all that much sense, but people said they liked it... but can they really say other wise? I think it was horrible. haha. But it did go for 5 mins and hopefully I won't have to talk at the next one now. haha.

Then on Friday we taught Jeanette again. That went amazingly! She is so awesome! haha. We taught her lesson three and she asked really good questions and basically said she already believed everything we were telling her. So that is good! Hopefully we can keep that going! We are hoping to see her again on Thursday. We also had her daughter sit in on the lesson. And she actually sat in on the whole thing and was pretty interested too. That was kind of surprising to me but it was awesome! Hopefully she can continue to be excited as well!

Then Saturday we went over to Laura Knights house in Sundance to do some more service for her. The Sundance missionaries are still trying to convert her husband and she keeps having stuff for us to do so we keep going over there. haha. She had us start clearing and organizing her basement because she wants to start to finish it and drywall it. So we spent that day doing that and then we went back on Tuesday and helped her again. She had the drywall for us and we got the ceiling of one of the rooms mostly done. That was awesome! I've decided that I really like dry walling after helping brother Lacusta in his basement and doing this as well, haha.

Sunday the most amazing this happened though! We had our first investigator come to church! Jeanette came! We had invited like four people but she was the only one to come. It was awesome! She had to be a little late because she was volunteering at a soup kitchen downtown so she got there at the end of sacrament. She was there for all the talks and then stayed for Sunday school and combined Relief Society and Priesthood. She loved it! She was getting all into the lessons and was even answering some questions and when she left she was so happy. You could just tell that she loved it there. So hopefully she will continue to come! We introduced her to some people too so she knows people in our ward now. Maybe that will help.

That is pretty much it for this week though. Although so far today has been pretty exciting as well. Yesterday I may or may not have put my jeans in the washer with our cell phone in the pocket... so we went and got a new one from the office this morning. Luckily they had an extra one so I didn't have to pay for the new one! But yesterday we also got a call from Elder Lambert, the senior missionary in charge of cars, and he told us to come in to the office to exchange our car again. He said they were going to sell our 07 Malibu. So we went in and they gave us a 2010 Malibu. Holy Cow, that is a nice car. It's huge and awesome. It only has four cylinders so it isn't as fast as our old one, but it is still pretty sweet. They said that we have been taking care of our car really well so they trusted us with this new one. It is quite literally brand new. It only had 60 km on it when we got in it. So that was pretty exciting. A new phone and new car all in one day. not bad eh?

Well thank you guys so much for all that you do for me while I am out here! I love you guys so much!

love, Elder Townsend