Thursday, March 25, 2010

March 23, 2010

Hey everyone!
Guess what... I am getting transferred! I am still trying to find out if I am excited about it though... haha. I am excited in the fact that it will be fun to get to a new area and get to meet new people and get some more people to start working with. I hear my new companion is going to be good. I hear he is fun and a hard worker so that will be good. His name is Elder Winder. I think he just got done training this last transfer. So he has to be a good missionary right?... right. haha Yea it will be a lot of fun. And I am going to north west Calgary, a place called Rockyview, so I am still in the city but on the complete other side of it. I hear it is pretty darn close to where the new temple is going to be built. So maybe I'll be able to go down there and see that area. That would be fun. This last couple of days has been pretty sad though. I have known I was leaving since Friday night. The assistants called Elder Glick and told him he was training. So that meant I was 99.9% sure that I was leaving. It would be very rare that they would send him to a new area to train. But it isn't unheard of. My zone leader right now, Elder Basinger, has done it before. And actually he is doing it again this transfer, in the zone I am moving to. So that's fun. At least I will know him. and Elder R from Cranston is going to that zone too. It will be fun. Anyway, so since I knew I was leaving I have been saying some goodbyes to people this weekend. It made me a lot more sad than I thought it was going to. It is weird how attached you get to people in just four months... but the thing that surprised me even more was how attached some people get to us missionaries. Maybe I am just a horrible person, or not an old person..., but I never got too attached to any of the missionaries back home. But there were a lot of people that were pretty sad that I was leaving. There is actually a lady that just called me to see if I was getting transferred, Sis Tredinnick. She is a part member family but is an awesome member. She has her kids really involved in the church. It's awesome to see her working so hard even without her husbands support. But she was really sad that I was leaving. She said she didn't really know why, but she just loved having me around. She loved listening to me teach and stuff. She said her family hasn't really liked a missionary in 8 or 9 years. It was really cool to hear that though. I think that is just one more reason as to why I was sent here. And while I was here her kids grew to love me too and they have started being more into church stuff and her husband has grown a little more at ease with us too. He doesn't run away when we show up and he actually eats with us when they have us over for dinner. So hopefully that can continue with Glick and his Greeny. Anyway. it was really sad to say goodbye to all of the people here and see how sad some were that I was leaving. Like the Lacustas and the Colemans and the Stoddarts and the Shaughnessys and such. But it had to happen sometime. And I was getting pretty comfortable in my area which is usually when President decides to send us somewhere else. Something that I am really going to miss though is free frosters from mansoor at mac's. I love those guys there. It was a lot of fun.
Anyway, I am excited for my new area. I'm excited to meet new people and to work hard and to get friends along the way like I did here. I hear the west zone, which is where I'm going, might be one of the slowest zones in the mission. Which is funny because the south zone, which I am in now, was the slowest when I got here but now it isn't... hopefully President doesn't keep sending me to all the slow areas... that would be a bummer. But I guess wherever he sends me in my mission is where I am going to need to be. So it will be exciting to see what happens as my mission goes on.
I am also excited to get to a new area to have some new things to do. I have completely run out of ideas of things to do in this area. It's ridiculous. This last week we had 11 cancellations with dinner and appointments so we didn't have much to do. We only ended up getting 9 lessons and we are supposed to get 20 a week. So we ended up just walking around our area aimlessly as we tried to figure something out that we could do. We ended up tracting a lot this last week. It was ridiculous. Nobody here will talk to us... darn Canadians are all happy with their ways! haha. But I don't know if it was frustration with having nothing to do or what but Elder Glick was absolutely annoying last week. There were definitely times where I wanted to kill him. But I probably wasn't the best companion either. That has really helped me to learn a lot about myself and how I can be a better companion. I didn't really want to be a better companion as the week was going along, but looking back there were some things that I am going to definitely change.
Well, other then that I don't really have anything else to tell you guys. That was pretty much the highlight of my week. Although it is pretty sad because tonight I don't get to go around and say goodbye to people because we have to go meet Elder Glick's new companion.. bummer. But at least I've said most of my goodbyes already, eh? Well I can't wait to talk to you guys next week and tell you how my new area is going!
Elder Townsend

Hey! i live with her! haha

Oh Chaparral valley... (that isn't blasphemous is it? haha) We tracted that whole valley and nobody talked to us at all. And there is only one member that lives down there and he is kind of weird...

The Stoddarts!!! Oh man i love them. They are so awesome! I miss living with them.

Steve! my pet rock. I kicked him for an hour and a half while we were walking around our area. It was fun. haha

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March 17, 2010 - holla!... eh?

Hey guys!
How is it going? Oh man did I have a great week! It started out on a pretty good note. We went to go teach Jeanette a new member lesson on Thursday, which was awesome! It went really well. We only had time to teach the first half of the first lesson though because she still had a lot of questions. But when we left she had some presents for us and Matt Leavitt. Which was awesome! First off she is pretty much a professional wrapper so it looked amazing! haha. And guess what it was? Anyone? yep. It was a tie. haha. It was pretty sweet. haha. I didn't get a picture of it though... but it was a pretty OK looking tie. Not one that I would have picked out for myself, but I think it is growing on me. haha. It was fun though. She is way too nice to us. And she gave us some pictures from the baptism as well, which was sweet. It was great though! I love her. She is so involved in the ward already. She is going to all the ward functions and she helped clean the church on Saturday and she feeds us dinner more then most of the members. We just ate there yesterday actually. It was pretty good! She is a pretty good cook! She did bring out a giant bowl of mushrooms and garlic though and then asked why nobody ate them... I felt kind of bad... but I mean come on... its fungus! Don't worry though. I did eat some of them. I couldn't say no to her... I just ate them with a whole lot of mashed potatoes. haha. It was good though because her whole family was there so we were able to talk to them for a while as well. I think Natasha will definitely get baptized eventually. There really isn't any reason why not, besides the fact that she is always busy with friends or homework when we go over to teach them. But I'm really excited for Jeanette though. She is going to be a great member of this church. I cant wait until she gets a calling. I think she will really like that!
Then Friday was pretty fun too. We went and got haircuts as a district. That was funny. All of us show up at Sis Shaughnessy's house for haircuts haha. But then we went on exchanges for the night. They made it so that we can go on exchanges now, but it is only with the district or zone leaders, but that is alright for me because I am the district leaders companion so I can basically go with anyone in my district haha. They can't be overnight, but this one was pretty fun. We went on splits with Sundance this time. It was sweet. I went with Elder LaFond and we stayed in Chaparral. We just walked around all afternoon trying to set up appointments for the week, but after 3 or 4 hours of walking around we only came back with one appointment... bummer. It was still fun though because Elder Lafond is one of the few missionaries I have found that likes Brian Reagan so we basically were just walking around quoting him in between each house. It was pretty hilarious. He is a pretty fun guy. Kind of a weird missionary, but a lot of fun to be around! Then we went to our Relief Society birthday party. That was pretty fun. We really only went for the free food. But it was still pretty good. And we thought we could have some investigators come but none of them showed up... just like when we set up an appointment with them and they aren't there... darn investigators! and members too... all of our appointments for Monday fell through... so we didn't have anything to do... anyway. the party was still a lot of fun. and Jeanette was there so we talked to her for a while.
Then came the best day of our week. Saturday! It started off with us waking up at three in the morning.... whoo hoo... then we went and picked up Cranston and headed over to the Willow Park chapel. We had to be there at 4:30am. All of the missionaries in Calgary met there (~130 of us) and then we all piled onto two tour buses. Our car guy, Elder Lambert, had some hook up so we had really nice tour buses to ride in. Then we all went for a two hour drive down to Lethbridge. It was a very quiet ride. Everyone was sleeping... including myself. But then we got down to Lethbridge at around 7:20 and we met up with all the other missionaries in the mission at the stake center down there. It was pretty fun. I was able to talk to Elder Byington and Elder M and Elder Holcome for a while before we went in. I miss those guys. Then we went in and started to sing some hymns until around 7:55 when Elder Bednar walked in! Oh man that was great! It was a lot of fun. He is an amazing teacher! It was a lot of fun. He made the whole thing a question and answer session. We couldn't just ask anything though. We read two talks he gave in a general conference about faith and we were supposed to ask things about the things in those talks. It was awesome though! We were there for three hours! It was pretty good! He basically told us how we can apply faith in our lives. And how we need to go out and earn our faith. We cant just expect God to give it to us. And the thing I liked best was that he said we win. He likened his life to a baseball game. He said we don't know how many innings it will be. We don't know the score. It could be 1-0 or 18-0 or 52-53. But we do know the end. WE WIN! In the end it won't matter what happened in each inning. There could be innings where we seem to be falling behind. but none of that matters. Because we know that in the end we win. Isn't that awesome? Oh man. I loved it. And then throughout the whole thing he kept telling us to pay attention to how he was teaching. And then at the end he told us that that is how we are supposed to teach our investigators. We are supposed to let them ask good questions and then ask them good follow up questions. GOOD follow up questions, and not play the guess-what's-in-my-head game. He said that we need to listen, observe and discern. The hardest part about that though is probably the discern... that is hard for me... I'm not very good at it. But hopefully through my faith and the experiences of my mission I can improve on that. But that was an awesome three hours. Then at the end we got to go up and shake his hand. That was sweet! He is a lot shorter the I imagined him being though... haha. Anyway. it was awesome! We got to shake Elder Melchin and Elder Jensen's hands too. They are both 70s and Elder Bednar let them say some stuff too and answer some questions too. It was really just a lot of fun and a really good learning and spiritual experience. Definitely a story I'm going to be telling a lot of people after my mission haha. Then we all piled onto the buses again and headed home. We were home by one. Quite an intense way to start out the day, eh? haha
Not much else happened this week though. Elder Glick is still pretty annoying at times... but I think he is getting better. or I am just getting used to him. It is crazy how fast this transfer has gone though. Transfers are next week already... It has been 5 weeks since I've been with Glick. I'ts crazy. I can't tell if I am nervous for these transfers though... I've been here for 4 months so I think there is a really good chance of me leaving. But then again, Elder Byington was here for 7 1/2 months and before him Elder Basinger was here for 6. So who knows. I could be staying... I wouldn't really mind that though. I love the members here. They are a lot of fun. And I want to stick around long enough to see if anything comes of Jeanette's daughter Natasha. It would be interesting to stay another transfer with Glick. But whatever happens is what the Lord wants. So I'll be happy. I'll let you guys know on Tuesday what is going down!
I love you guys and miss you guys so much! I cant wait to talk to you again soon!
Elder Townsend

Jeanette's present to me

The bus ride

Us and Cranston

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March 10, 2010

Hey everyone!
How is it going? Oh man, this week was awesome! Jeanette got baptized! Friday she had her baptismal interview and she passed with flying colors and then she got baptized Saturday. It was awesome. And it was definitely a good way to finish off a day, and a week for that matter, that not much else happened. It was great though. It started at 7 and we got there at 630 just to make sure everything was ready for it, but the doors to the stake center were locked so we couldn't get in. Then Jeanette and her daughter showed up because she was going to get dressed and ready and then our Relief Society president showed up to help her get dressed. The only thing was that we still couldn't get in the building! So then I called our zone leaders and luckily they were in the area and could come let us in. Then we got in and luckily it was all ready and the font was full and warm, haha. Then everyone started to show up, including her family which was awesome! I am glad they were able to be there. Hopefully it effected them somehow... but we took some pictures and then we went and started. The program was awesome! Matt Leavitt, a ward missionary that came with us to pretty much all of her discussions, gave the talk about baptism. It was really good! He is an awesome teacher and just speaks very well. Jeanette loves him and wanted him to do pretty much everything! He even gave the opening prayer and he confirmed her on Sunday. But that is jumping ahead. haha. After the talk on baptism came the actual ordinance. And oh man was I nervous! I was shaking all over! (thanks dad haha) It went really well though. I only had to do it once and I did not drop or drown her, which I was worried about because she was giving me life threats if I did. It was awesome though. I was so happy that I could be a part of such a wonderful day for her. It has been great to be able to see her through the whole thing and to see her learn and progress and change. It was awesome. I know that it has brought so much happiness into her life and I hope it brings it into the lives of her family as well. But I was even surprised how much happiness it has brought into my life. Being on this mission, I'm definitely not going to be able to baptize hundreds of people. but that doesn't really matter to me anymore. Even if Jeanette is the last one I get, the joy that I have right now could last me the rest of my life. But that does not mean that I am going to slack off at all now. Seeing this whole thing take place has just brought more of a desire for me to share this gospel with others and bring this happiness into their lives as well.
Anyway, that was a pretty long tangent. sorry. But the rest of the program was awesome too! While we were changing, another ward missionary, Shane Gross, gave a really good talk about the restoration. I didn't actually get to hear it but I heard it was good and just knowing him and the person that he is, it had to be amazing. Then a lady from our ward named Amy went up and gave a wonderful musical number. She has one of the most amazing singing voices I have ever heard. I wish I could sing... it was great though! There is so much musical talent in this stake it isn't even funny. I guess there is a lot in the church everywhere though. That is just so awesome! Then Elder Glick gave a talk on the Holy Ghost and that was pretty good too. Then the Bishop went up and said some things too. I love that part of the program every time! I don't know why, but I just love what they say. It's amazing! And the spirit is great during it. I guess all baptisms always have a special Spirit throughout the whole thing but I love that part of it. The Spirit was really strong. Through out the whole thing. It was awesome!
Then Sunday she got confirmed by Matt Leavitt. It was awesome. He gave a wonderful blessing. It was amazing. And a lot of people came up and congratulated her after it. That is one thing that this ward is really good at, being really friendly to new people. Which is awesome for missionaries! Now if only they did more missionary work to help us get more new people there... haha.
But like I was saying, just because I got one doesn't mean I'm going to be slacking off. I've still got a lot of work to do out here. In fact, that is what president and the assistants told me and Elder Glick. We are now in the month of March which means the mission is frantically working to reach our goal of 100 baptisms this month. We have about 85 scheduled but that means we still have 15 to go. And they are really pushing us to continue to work hard. Especially our zone. The South zone has always been the slowest zone in the mission. Which is kind of sad, but true. And as a zone we only have 4 baptismal dates for march. And there are 14 of us... even the Mandarin zone has 6. And there are only 8 of them. AND they are speaking mandarin! haha. But I don't know. We are all working hard and I guess that is really all we can ask for. I still have faith that this goal is going to happen. I am excited to see things as this month goes on. One thing they are really pushing are 7 day challenges. That is when we sit down and we pray about members of our ward that we think are ready and are helping us as missionaries and then we go to their house and give this whole lesson about our weekly planning and how we use revelation to plan out how we are going to work with our investigators and find new ones and then we talk about how important members are to missionary work and then we tell them that we have prayed and that God has prepared a way for them to find someone for us to teach in seven days. I personally haven't seen too much success from it but a lot of people have. Elder Glick found three people in his last area to teach through this so they do work. So hopefully they start working here in this area. That would be awesome!
And Elder Bednar is coming to the mission this Saturday! It is going to be awesome! He is talking all about faith and they say it should help us continue to work hard for this goal. It's going to be a lot of fun though. The whole mission is going to get together for it, which is EXTREMELY rare. It is all the way down in Lethbridge though, so that means that us missionaries in Calgary are going to have to leave at 5 in the morning in order to get there on time since it starts at 740.... whoo hoo.... that is really early... but I am excited for it! It is going to be an awesome experience! One that won't happen again in the mission for... a VERY long time they say. haha
Well, that is pretty much it from me this week. Not too much happened but it was an amazing week all the same! I hope you guys are all safe and well! Thank you for all the support you give me while I am out here!
Elder Townsend

I found this on a mail box when we were walking around. Don't worry, I got a free piece of paper. It was awesome! haha


And yes. I figured out the tetris cube!!! haha

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 3, 2010

Hey Everyone!

This week was pretty great! It went by pretty fast! It didn't really at the time it was happening, but looking back it definitely did! Did you guys get to watch the Olympics very much? I was pretty sad that we weren't able to watch them. We did get a little bit of them here and there though so that was kind of fun. I hear they were kind of disappointing though. sad. It was actually really funny though because Sunday was the gold medal hockey game and it just so happened that it started right when our church started. Any guesses on how many people were at church? Not many. There was only eight people in Elders Quorum. haha. It was pretty funny. Apparently it was a pretty good game though. Canada won... but i guess we all expected them to eh? haha. We even got to watch part of it. It was completely against my will though! We showed up to our dinner that night and they were all upstairs watching it and they said that they were eating upstairs and we didn't get any food if we weren't up there either... so obviously we had to go watch it. I wasn't going to complain about it. haha. I think it made Elder Glick kind of uncomfortable... but then again he gets uncomfortable easily. Last p-day when we were walking around the mall we went into the Bose store and they asked us if we wanted to watch this thing about their new speakers. It was pretty awesome! It was mostly just a guy talking to us, but Elder Glick got mad at us for going in there afterwards... my bad. haha.

Other then that this week went pretty good. We have been doing a lot of tracting because Elder Glick likes to stay really busy. It is kind of funny though because we both suck at doing it. Neither of us have really done it very much before this transfer. I've done it more than him and I haven't really done it much. haha. So... if anyone has any suggestions about how to talk to people. Or ways that seemed to work. Please let me know! Because I'm going to be doing a lot of that while I am with Elder Glick and it is just plain embarrassing when we try to do it. haha.

We had a really fun experience on Tuesday! I finally got to go downtown! Elder Bennion over in Cranston ward had a doctors appointment down there, apparently he has a cyst on his tail bone... sound familiar to anyone? haha. But they don't have a car so we got to drive them down there. It was pretty fun. But we didn't get to see much and I didn't get to take any pictures because it was really foggy that morning and we couldn't see very far at all... I didn't even get to see the Calgary tower! I just saw the base of it. bummer... it was still pretty fun though. Elder Glick got really antsy while we were waiting at the doctors office. I think he has ADD. He can not stay still! It is kind of weird haha. But it was pretty fun to see downtown. I hope I get to serve down there sometime. Apparently you do a lot of talking to people on the street. I think that would be pretty fun. And you don't stand out as much when you are walking around in a suit haha.

Other then that this week was pretty average. A lot of walking around and trying to see people. Cranston did have a baptism on Saturday though. That was pretty fun. They asked us to do a ten minute first lesson while they were getting dried off. That was pretty fun. It was interesting trying to fit the whole thing into ten minutes. I hadn't done that before. I love baptisms though. There is always a great Spirit there. I am looking forward to going to more of them as we try to reach our goal of 100 in March. The baptism was really fun as well because Elder M got to come back for it so I got to see and talk to him again. I love him. He is so much fun!

Speaking of baptisms! We are baptizing Jeanette on Saturday! I am so excited! We taught her a couple times this week. She actually had us over for dinner on Thursday, which was awesome because we were able to talk to her family a lot there. And we taught her again on Friday which was awesome! She is definitely ready to be baptized. We went over the baptismal interview questions and she didn't seem too worried about any of them so that is awesome! And yes, she even came to church on Sunday even though the hockey game was on! haha. It was a really good day at church the lessons were awesome and the talks were great. She really enjoyed it. I did have to tell her that President wasn't going to let Elder Byington come back and baptize her because he is too far away, So that was sad, but then she asked if I would baptize her. That was exciting! Of course I said I would be happy to, but now I'm getting nervous about it. I've never done that before! What if I drown her?! haha. It will be fun though! I am really excited for it and I hope all goes well!

That's pretty much it for me this week guys... I am excited to talk to you again next week though! And next week you should be getting a picture of me and Jeanette! Who's excited?!?! Well I am, so you should be too. haha. Thank you all for everything! I love you all!

Love, Devin

If you look closely in the middle of the picture you can see a coyote looking at me. We had a whole pack of them in our backyard this morning. They ran away before I could get a picture of them though...

We've been walking around a lot lately so I finally got a picture of me on the Chapparall Valley sign. haha

I really like this one for some reason. haha

We've spent a lot of time doing this lately though... (Don't worry. We made sure nobody was home before we took this picture haha)