Monday, June 28, 2010

June 28, 2010

Hello everyone! How are you doing? I hope you guys all had a great week! I had a pretty good one! It was nice and busy! Last Monday after we emailed we went back and had some lessons and skipped the rest of Pday so we could go to the temple on Thursday. Then Tuesday we had district meetings all morning and then some lessons that night. That night we taught Heather Halstead. She is a young woman who is basically a member of the church but isn't. She teaches primary and everything and has a huge testimony but she doesn't want to disappoint her dad who isn't a member. She was taught about four years ago along with the rest of her family and her sister Heidi joined then because she didn't like her dad but Heather was more worried about what her dad would think. But we had a really good lesson with her about the plan of salvation and really focused on our life on earth and what we need to do here. Then Bro Wolff , our ward mission leader, was there as well and he was very blunt with her and told her that she needed to be baptized to have the full blessings of the gospel in her life and that if she got baptized and bore her testimony to her father that it would help soften his heart. So she promised she would pray again. We are meeting with her on Tuesday so hopefully then she will accept a baptismal date.
Then Wednesday we had interviews with President. Those went really well. I enjoyed them. They took forever though! We got there at ten thirty and weren't out until four. It was ridiculous. then we had some more lessons that night. then Thursday was our temple trip day! It was so sweet! We woke up and then went to the Pitchers house at seven in the morning. They fed us breakfast and then we took the three hour drive down to Cardston. It was really fun to get out of the city finally. It was nice to see some open fields instead of just neighborhoods. There has been a lot of flooding down there recently too so the rivers were pretty high and the fields had giant lakes in them which was apparently unheard of down there. It was so cool though because we saw Chief Mountain which everyone in southern Alberta knows as a landmark of where home is. It's crumbling though so it might not be there too much longer. Then we saw the little town of Cardston with a huge white building to the side of it and we knew we were close. The Cardston temple was beautiful! It was amazing to think what a huge job it would have been to build such a huge building in a little time when it was built. And it was awesome because Bro Pitcher knew some people in the temple and we met the temple president and he took us in to go see the baptismal font. That was amazing. It was my favorite one I have seen. And the rest of the temple was great as well. But I think I like the Mesa one better... maybe im just a little bias though. haha. But it was really great to go to the temple again. It was a great experience to remember those things and to feel the Spirit there again. I'm so grateful for the Pitchers for taking us all the way there. Then they took us to the bookstore afterwards too. That was a big bookstore. haha. Then we took the three hour drive back to Calgary and were home in time for dinner. It really was a great day and a great experience. Too bad I only get to do it once every six months...
Then the rest of the day was pretty good too. Pretty average. We taught some lessons. Did some service. We were able to go to a baptism from the Royal Oak Ward, unfortunately we weren't able to get any of our investigators there though. It was good though. Baptisms always have a great Spirit about them. And we had a good day at church as well. We had a non member family show up at church. That was sweet. We are meeting with them tonight so hopefully that goes well. It looks like its going to be a pretty good week coming up. I'll let you guys know how it went!
Elder Townsend

cleaning the car for interviews... yes... in the rain. haha (me and Elder Gelwix)
Chief Mountain!
Welcome to Cardston!
The temple!
Side view!
The happy barn!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

June 21, 2010

Sac Pasé? ("what's up" in Creole) How was everyone's week? Mine was pretty good. It seemed like it went on forever though. I don't really know why. It has only been six days since the last Pday. But we had a pretty fun Pday last week and then Wednesday morning we woke up at 6:00am and went to a goodbye breakfast at McDonalds since half of our district was leaving. So that was fun. We got some pretty interesting people in our district now. We have Elder Lake who says he is a MMA cage fighter and Elder Porter who has been out 16 months but is still Junior companion to Elder Estupinan who is a concert pianist and has only been out for three months. And then you got me. District leader Elder Gelwix who is a rugby player and was on the Highland rugby team and then Elder Reese who is a Southern California beach bum who is too cool for good manners in members homes. Quite the diverse district if I do say so myself... and I do.
But we had a pretty good week here. We got a lot of lessons taught and we were able to get in and see Mitch and Savanna and teach them a pretty good lesson. I'm still not sure if they are ever going to be baptized. I just don't know what in the world is holding them up. They both have told us the Book of Mormon in true... so I just don't get it. But we got a lot of good member lessons in as well even though we were walking around in the pouring rain. Yes, as soon as we give the other elders the car it rains for three days straight. I would walk into a members home or in for the night and look like I had just jumped into a pool. I was drenched... and cold! And my shoes are not very waterproof and leather is not a very good insulator! Especially when wet! But it was fun. You just need to find ways to make things fun. And like our Young Men's President said in his talk yesterday, just say to yourself, "it doesn't get any better then this" and everything will just seem to get better. And it is true. After three days of rain it got beautiful and warm outside! Maybe even too warm. I would still come home wet sometimes but this water came out of my skin instead of the sky.
I have decided that I am really glad that I am still serving in this ward. I really enjoy it here. The members are really nice and the ones that aren't are starting to warm up to us. And even though I have to walk a lot, which makes things more fun anyway at times and we don't really have any progressing investigators you can still feel very productive and effective here. Although I have decided that I would have been pleased if I had gotten another companion, but I guess I can work with this one for another five weeks. He just does some things hat a missionary really shouldn't do or act like especially when around members. But every time I try to let him know things like that I get an attitude out of him. Like, I'm senior companion and know everything and I am from southern California and its ok to do these things where I am from. So I just gave up on trying to help him and now I am just hoping some member just comes out and tells him how it is sometime. But other then that things are going really well here. I wish we could find some more investigators but I've been trying that for three months. We'll see if my efforts can bring anything in five more weeks. I think that is all the longer I'll be in this area so I'm hoping to make it a great five weeks!
That was pretty much our week. Not too much more exciting. Although we did talk to the coolest guy ever! He was on a long board and was wearing girls shoes and one tall red sock and short shorts and a brown beat up shirt and a wizards hat on his really long hair and wearing harry potter glasses. His board said in big green letters "home is where you are", oh man. He was pretty much the coolest guy ever! I wish I got a picture of him. I almost asked if I could take one with him but that would have been weird. But one thing that I have learned on my mission is that all the weird people talk to us. So when you see a weird guy like that, don't judge him just go talk to him. Turns out he was a sweet guy! Just not too interested in the church but still willing to talk to us for a while. It was quite the experience. haha. Well that's it for me though. I hope you guys have a good week! I love you guys!

Elder Townsend

The west zoneWhy is it so bright outside still?!?!Its past ten!!!Darn Canada! Its hard to go to sleep at ten thirty when there is still light coming in through your window...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June 16, 2010

OK, so just to start out I am sorry for not writing last week. I'm still pretty sure that I wrote one and watched it send but I can't find it in my sent mail or in my drafts so I don't know what happened to it. Maybe I was dreaming about writing an email to you guys since I love doing it so much. haha

Anyway, that is my bad. But this week is transfers! I was pretty nervous about coming to email today because I was worried that I was going to leave because I am finally getting to know the area and the people in it and usually as soon as that happens you leave. But that didn't happen. I am staying in the same area and am still with the same companion, Elder Reese. So that was a surprise to me. I thought that one of us would leave. But a lot of people in the zone are leaving. Especially in my district. Our District Leader, Elder Riggs and his companion Elder Fowler are getting purged out and the other companionship is losing one of them. So our district is going to be different but I think it will still be alright. Although it is pretty sad. I really enjoyed being around these guys the last six weeks. It's been fun. But I am looking forward to this next transfer and seeing what else I can do in this area.

As for this last week it went pretty good! We got 23 lessons in which is awesome! As a mission we have a goal of getting 20 a week and this is the first week I've gotten 20 in this area. So that was fun. And they were pretty good lessons too. We finally got in with Sam again! That was sweet! We hadn't seen him in 7 weeks or something like that. But he let us in and we had a pretty good lesson and he promised us he would read the BOM this time but he said that last time too and then we didn't see him for 7 weeks. So we'll see next Friday how things are going with him. We also had two lessons with the Miller clan. Which is awesome! There are a whole bunch of people that are in this ward that are all related and they are related to our stake president, Pres Miller, who doesn't really see eye to eye with Pres Archibald so the whole family isn't the biggest fans of missionaries. But I think they are coming to like me and Elder Reese. In fact they have told us that we are the only missionaries they have liked in a while. So we were able to get in and teach two of them a lesson and then one of them even had us over for dinner on Sunday. So that was awesome. It's been fun to see this ward progress and move toward missionary work and liking us as missionaries too. So I am excited to see that in the next six weeks too.

We also had a tie trade with our district. That would have been in my letter last week though. I still don't know what happened to it, but Elder Riggs has a lot of ties and I mean A LOT of them. And he is trying to get rid of a lot of them since this next transfer is going to be his last one. So I was able to get a lot of them from him. I got eight of his ties for one of mine. Not bad, eh? haha.

Other than that not much else has been going on here. The ward is doing pretty great and I am excited to see what we can do here for the next six weeks!

Thanks for everything. I love you guys!

Elder Townsend will never guess what we saw on the way to the library today! We were sitting at a stop light and then we saw a cop car with its lights on coming toward us. It was going very slow which I thought was really weird. Then as it got closer I saw a bunch of cars behind it and I thought maybe someone was having a police escort. But then as he was coming through the light I saw this big Mexican looking guy on a tiny little dirt bike in front of him. And then we realized that is who he was chasing and he was only going like 20mph. We all laughed and watched as the cop went and drove up next to him and then the guy flipped the cop off. Then the guy behind us got mad at us because the light was green. It was the best moment of my day so far! haha

All the ties I got from DL Elder Riggs

This is me wearing this kids sweatshirt and riding his awesome bike! That was a fun day.

This is me and the Easterbrook kids. They are an awesome family and have us over for dinner a lot. The oldest one is Meschack or something like that... I don't know how to spell that. But he is hilarious! I love getting to know the youth in the wards.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Your Elders Working

Hi parents of Elders Reese and Townsend,

Not only are your sons great elders, but they helped us plant our garden on one of the few days we had no snow or rain. The first picture was taken a week ago after they cut our lawn and the other pictures were taken this past Saturday. They were willing workers and the pictures of them lazing about were staged. :)

Thanks for letting us have these fine men live in our home.

Wilford and Ann Woodruff

Lemonade, Elders, and freshly cut grass

What, work? Us?

Later ... we'll help later.

Oh look, see Wilford work. See Elders rest.

There you go, little plant.

Someday these will grow big and tall.

This little seed goes here.

Ahhh, a job well done.

Rain is falling all around.

I just knew she would try and soak me.

A little more moisture, a bit of sun.

I'm watching you -- where's the hose?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

June 2, 2010

Hey everyone! How is it going? I hope all is going well and you guys had an awesome week. I had a pretty good one other than the fact that is snowed... yes. It snowed. darn Canada! It snowed or rained pretty much all week until yesterday. It was ridiculous but kind of fun at the same time. So it didn't start out too well weather wise, but we did get the car this week so that is good. Speaking of cars. We had zone conference on Friday and we won the car award so we traded our truck for the Subaru Impreza that was in Baniff. Its a pretty sweet car. It has tectonic shifting which is kind of cool. It's really funny to try to see Elder Reese use it though. He has absolutely no idea what he is doing. But he won't let me try to help him either because he is from southern California and knows everything about anything. I feel pretty bad for the car though. It has to work really hard when he is driving it. haha.

But anyway, zone conference was alright. It was fun to get together with the other missionaries and to feel the Spirit there. But if you asked me what I learned I couldn't really tell you. We really just talked about how the atonement helps us as missionaries fulfill our purpose and role played a lot. It was a good experience but I really didn't learn anything. Anyway, we had Stake Conference on Sunday as well. That was actually really good. I enjoyed it. It was broadcast from Vancouver and was shown all across Canada. President Uchtdorf... (I can never spell that right) and Elder Ballard were there and gave awesome talks! As well as some other Seventy and his wife. They were really good talks though. I really thoroughly enjoyed it, but President Uchtdorf spoke for an hour and the first 30 mins was him telling us how much the brethren love Canada. Which was great to hear, but maybe not for that long. haha.

Those were pretty much the main things that happened this week. We also got in a lot of great lessons with members. We also had a sweet lesson with Mitch and Savanna as well. They are pretty much going to be baptized. It's just a matter of when. And it might have to even be in the Spirit world... but it will happen! haha. And we finally got in contact with Sam too! We stopped by his house on Monday just to see if he was home and he was. So he let us in and talked to us and apologized for being too busy to meet with us the last month or so and said he was excited too see us Tuesday night for our usual lesson. But then on Tuesday morning he canceled on us via text message. He doesn't even call us anymore. So I don't really know what is up with him. Him being baptized I am not too sure about. Maybe in the Spirit world... but he is moving back to Malaysia to be with his mom again at the end of July and he's worried what his mom will say about him meeting with us so... well see if we can ever get in with him again. Hopefully we do. He really is an awesome guy.

Oh and good news! It's JUNE! Which means I don't have to wear a suit coat anymore! But the bad news about that is now I have to lose some weight in order to fit into my slacks again... awkward... haha. But it is still fun. I can at least fit into one of the pairs of slacks. Only because it's the pair that has elastic in the waist though. haha. But don't worry. I'm working on that. haha. Also, I have been finding a lot of weird things out about Canada still. I have noticed that everyone's lawn mower has a cord attached to it... and yesterday I figured out why. Eeveryone has electric lawn mowers! Yes, electric. As in you have to plug them into a wall... it's so weird. But we mowed the lawn for our housing members (the Woodruff's) yesterday and it was pretty ridiculous. It was kind of fun though. It has been something like six years since I've mowed a lawn and it brought back some good memories. We had a lot of fun. But yet again I couldn't help but laugh at my companion. He had the weed whacker (which was also electric and had to be plugged in) and he had no idea what he was doing and he was really just tearing up the grass. But just like before he wouldn't let me give him advice. He knew what he was doing and he was already doing whatever I suggested. Anyway, it was fun though. I enjoyed it. And then Sis Woodruff made us some lemonade. But they don't have any ice ever so it was warm... oh well. Can't complain. It was free. haha. They are an awesome family. It was sweet to see how happy Bro Woodruff was when he came home and saw his lawn mowed. He gets hay fever pretty bad so can't be outside long enough to do it. So he usually only does the front yard. Which meant the back was REALLY long. I had to go over it a couple of times, haha.

Well that is pretty much it from me. I had a pretty good week and I hope you did too. Can't wait to see what the next one has in store. I love and miss you guys so much!

Elder Townsend

This is it snowing.... I even put the date stamp on just in case nobody believed what day it was. haha

The first day of not having to wear suit coats! :) Also, our new car!

Electric lawn mower!

Just kidding. This is the electric lawn mower. But i really liked the other one too. It didn't work though...

Chillaxing with my lemonade