Friday, August 27, 2010

August 23, 2010

Hey everyone! How is it going? My week was pretty good. It seemed like it went on for forever! Monday was fun. We went and met the zone in Tuscany for Pday. Only about half the zone showed up though. But at first it was just us, the zone leaders and the sisters and we went and saw this old abandoned house that the sisters said was really cool. It wasn't all that exciting. It was just a house that the garage burned down and was left there. It smelled horrible inside. I think animals lived in there and there were remnants of late night teenager parties there as well. So that was kind of exciting... not really though. haha. Then we went back and found the rest of the Elders in the field so we played football and soccer and ultimate Frisbee and then we all went and got slurpees. So it wasn't a bad day. It was better then doing nothing out here in Cochrane which is what we were planning on doing. haha. I got mail for the first time in three weeks! It was awesome! I got four packages and six letters! It was sweet! So thank you to my parents and the Farr's and Nana and Don for the birthday packages! They were awesome! I can't remember who the letters were from right now.... but thank you guys too! It made my day! haha

Then Tuesday we had district meeting. That was fun. But even before that we had a family that wanted us to teach someone. The Leavitt's had a girl named Carlie over. We went there at like 7 in the morning and had breakfast and then we taught her the first lesson after that. I think it went really well. She said that we answered a lot of the questions that she had about our church and she was really interested in what she learned and she wanted to learn more. But she is a really busy girl. She is only seventeen but has two full time jobs and is a barrel racer in the rodeo. She graduated from high school in four months and has been working ever since. The Leavitt's have been trying to set up that appointment with her for five weeks. So she wanted to meet with us again but we don't know when that will be. The Leavitt's are amazing people though. They just got back from a mission so they are still in that missionary mode and when Carlie came to their house trying to sell them a water filtration system, they just did what missionaries do and we ended up teaching her. haha. I love members like that!

Then Wednesday we went on exchanges with the zone leaders. I went with Elder Bradley to their area. That was awesome! I absolutely love Elder Bradley! He is hilarious! We had so much fun together! Why can't I get companions like him? haha. But at the end of the day we stopped by this family, the Elfords. Who are actually in my ward but have a YSA daughter in the zone leaders ward. But they just had a helicopter in their front yard... it was sweet! So obviously we had to take pictures with it. haha.

Then Friday and Saturday we spent the whole day with members out in Morley. That was sweet. We just stopped by as many members as we could and tried to get to know them and leave a Spiritual message with them. It was awesome. I love the natives! They are amazing people! The land that they are on in Morley is absolutely beautiful. I love it out there! Most of the members out there are less active though. They don't like waking up early enough to get out to church and they don't like making commitments. It's just part of their culture.

We are also helping the members we live with, the Comstock's, redo their walkway in their front yard. Just whenever we find a spare hour or whatever. It's pretty fun. We took up a bunch of bricks and redid the border for them and then got a lot of sand to put under the bricks. I might have had too much fun with that sand though. haha. I couldn't help it! And there were two of the Comstock's grandkids there so we were all playing in the sand. It was fun. haha.

That's pretty much it for my week though. We also had a lot of member lessons. I think we are gaining more member trust which is good. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens this next week though. Thanks for everything guys! I miss you and love you all!

Elder Townsend

Me and my sand bird, haha
Happy Birthday to Me!
Me in the Hopticopter
That is Elder Bradley

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August 16, 2010

Hey guys! How is it going? This week was pretty good. Not too much that really stands out as exciting. Monday we had Pday but we couldn't go in to the stake center to be with the rest of the zone because we live too far away... I don't like that rule. But we called a bunch of the young men and they came out and played basketball with us at the Cochrane chapel so that was pretty fun. It was a sweet way to get to know the youth in the ward. There are some awesome ones here. And they are all really tall and good at basketball... and I'm not either of those so that was sad. haha. But today the zone is all going to go to Tuscany and play fugitive in some ravine, so we actually get to go in this time since Tuscany is in our district! Yea! And the best news is that I finally get mail!!!! I haven't had mail all transfer because we are so far away that we never see the zone leaders. That also means that I get my birthday package today! Woohoo! Yes, it was my birthday on Friday and yes that means that it was Friday the thirteenth.... sad. (mom I wasn't born on a Friday was I?) It was a pretty average day though. Not too different from any other day. We went and did some service at Compassion Africa and I got some free clothes from there. Then we went to the thrift store and I found a coca cola sign that was awesome and Tina gave me that for free. So that was sweet. I considered those my birthday presents since I didn't get my package that day. haha. Then we had dinner with this really nice older couple. They fed us really good taco salad with all fresh grown vegetables, even the corn. It was awesome! And then they even made a cake for me. I wasn't going to tell anyone it was my birthday, but apparently Elder Grace put it on the dinner calendar so they knew... haha. It was fun though. For a birthday on a mission in Canada I didn't really expect much else. Oh and in the morning I got the call from all the senior couples in the mission office and they sang Happy Birthday to me. That was pretty sweet and a bit of a surprise because I had actually forgotten it was my birthday until that happened. haha.

We still have a lot of service that we are doing though. Which is really fun. I wish we could teach more of the members though. But this ward is kind of interesting. Nobody really seems to want to meet with us. If we ask they say they will call us and never do or they will talk to us later at church and then seem to avoid us. But I think slowly we are building member trust. We got more lessons this week then we did last week. And we are getting more people to sign up for dinner. And even on Sunday the Leavitt's came up to us and told us they had someone for us to teach and so we are going over there tomorrow. So that is going to be exciting. And the best part about that, I thought, was that the Leavitt's are the ones that got mad at us when we missed dinner the first day Elder Grace was here. So apparently they weren't too mad at us, eh?

But one of the best parts of the week was we had a lesson with a recent convert named Pat Hocaluk and we couldn't find priesthood to come with us so we were just going to stop by and see if we could talk to her on the porch for a bit. When we got there she said she really wasn't feeling good so we asked if she wanted a blessing. We had to go find priesthood though. Bishop lives a couple houses down from her so we went to go see if he was home but he wasn't. His wife called Bro Henry and got him to come. So we went and talked to her for a while and Bro Henry was awesome. He just kept talking about the plan of salvation and temple work and how her son that passed away when he was 22 was still alright and how we don't always know the Lord's plan. It was awesome. The Spirit was very strong. Then she asked me to give the blessing. I was really nervous. Even though last conference there was a talk about how we shouldn't ever be nervous when giving a blessing because it doesn't really matter what we say. The Lord is still going to bless them the same. But yet I was still nervous that I was going to kill the Spirit there or something but it turned out great. I don't really remember anything I said, but it was amazing. I loved it. It was definitely my favorite part of the week.

Well it has come to my attention that I haven't talked about the place I live yet. So we live with the Comstocks. They are funny people. Not home much though. But we live in their basement in a tiny place. We have our room and then a room that is our kitchen bathroom and laundry room all in one... it's awesome. haha. It isn't bad at all though. And it really doesn't matter what the place we live in is like. We aren't there much. And they let us go anywhere in their house so we aren't confined to those close quarters which is good. So that's pretty much that. I don't have much else to say. Thank you guys for everything! I love you!


Elder Townsend

Cochrane scenery
Downtown Cochrane! Look how small and cute it is.... haha
The bedroomThe three-in-one-room. haha

Friday, August 13, 2010

Devin's Birthday

we enjoyed having your son for his birthday

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August 9, 2010

Hey everyone! How is it going? So after such a busy week last week I had a pretty slow one this week with not very much going on. Cochrane is a tiny town and there isn't much to do here. The ward is amazing though. I love the people here. They are so nice to us which is awesome since they don't really know either of us at all. Elder Grace put that it was my birthday this Friday so someone signed up to feed us then... I was kind of hoping that the ward really wouldn't find out. I don't think I really like things being about me... but I guess it's a good thing. It got someone to sign up for the dinner calendar so we are going to get fed. So that's good. And the ward pretty much filled up the dinner calendar for the rest of the month which is awesome! We have had a lot of people come and tell us they might have people for us to teach. So that would be great because we don't really have that many people to teach at all. I think Elder Basinger and Elder Estes were too good of missionaries. They were the last missionaries here and they seemed to have baptized pretty much everyone that was interested in being baptized! Which is great for them and it means we have a lot of recent converts we can teach, but it left our investigator teaching pool pretty darn empty... but that is where the service we can do here comes in handy. I might have told you guys about them last week but we have the food bank, the thrift store, the library and Compassion Africa which collects clothes and sends them to Kenya. It's pretty sweet. I do love service and it's keeping us pretty busy for the days. But it would be nice to replace some of that time with teaching people. haha. That's pretty much all I really have to say about our week though. Not much really happened. Elder grace seems like a pretty cool guy. I haven't even been with him for a week yet though. And he is a little bit hard to understand. He went to speech therapy for twelve years of his life but he still has a pretty bad lisp. So me and members ask him to repeat himself a lot. I think he gets kind of frustrated with it at times. He is a good missionary though. He works hard and we still have fun together.

Anyway, so Cochrane is actually a pretty cool place. The downtown is pretty small but there are a ton of houses out here and they are pretty spread out. So it makes this area huge! We drive about 50 kilometers everyday and it doesn't even seem like we do very much every day. We also cover a native reserve, which is awesome. It's called Morley and it is the Stoney Indians. They are pretty sweet. The natives are so humble and willing to learn, it's pretty awesome to see. The only problem is that they aren't very committed. Pretty much all of the members there are less active. There used to be a branch out there, but nobody ever came so they combined it with our ward. We actually have a separate Sunday school class for the natives. It's pretty cool. They cover the basics and teach it really simply so that they can understand. It's pretty awesome. But there aren't many people there. Yesterday we had a Mom and her two sons and then some others from the ward in it. It is a really good idea though. I think the natives will learn a lot better in that environment. Especially because they aren't very outspoken and kind of shy around non natives so a class for themselves that goes at their pace is awesome. We haven't gone out to Morley much though which is sad. I really like it there, but its a 45 min drive to get there and "isn't safe" for us to go alone so we have to get a ride every time we go there. I've only been out there once so far. It was fun though.

And for how big this area is there isn't much fun things to do. Since we are too far from the stake center we can't go in for Pdays and play basketball or whatever with the rest of the missionaries so we are kind of stuck with not much to do... So we called a bunch of the youth last night and hopefully we can get some out to play with us at our chapel today. Last Pday was really fun though. That was when I was with the zone leaders and the Rockyview Elders said Bob, the guy we did service with when I was there, was taking them to Kaninaskis for a hike and he asked if I wanted to come. So I went with them. It was actually a lot of fun. We hiked along this river and then came to a big waterfall after a while. I really enjoyed it. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of hiking. But I hope that one of these Pdays we can get out to Banff. We have to find a member that will take us though... but I hear it's beautiful up there! anyway.... that's pretty much it this week! Thanks for everything!

Elder Townsend

Climbing up a rock... kind ofWaterfall
Epic"The view from the summit is worth the effort"
It said drinking water... so why not try it?!?!Where was this sign before?!....

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 4, 2010 - Sorry its late, I couldn't help it! haha

What is up everyone? How have things been going? This has been the craziest week of my mission so far. So, Tuesday we found out transfers and me and Elder Gelwix were both leaving and a lot of other people in the zone were as well so most of them went to go pack and say goodbye to people. So nobody got together at all so me, Reese, Gelwix and Lake all went and hung out with Emma and Richard for the day. We played Uno and rugby. It was actually a lot of fun. Then me and Elder Reese went to go meet his greeny because he was training. That was fun. He got a guy named Elder Hansen. He's really tall and seems really fun. I really like him. But it was kind of sad because I couldn't go say goodbye to people that night. Which sucked. That has happened to me in all of my areas now. But luckily they tell us if we are training the week before so I said goodbye to people the whole weekend. I really loved that area. It was awesome. I really understand how missionaries can grow to love an area and people so quickly now. I was only there for four and a half months but I feel like everyone there was family. Which is probably why I left now that I think about it... haha.

Then Wednesday was transfers. We had to drive to the Mission Home/Willow Park chapel and be there at 830. We got stuck in traffic and didn't make it till about 9 though. But we met our new comps there and I got Elder Mott. He's awesome! I love that guy! Then I said goodbye to a bunch of people there especially the ones going home. This transfer going home was huge and I knew all of them pretty well. It's going to be weird to not have them in the mission now. It was kind of sad. But I was actually really excited because me and Elder Mott get along great. So we go to Cochrane and this place is awesome. It's a little town of 15,000 people or so, I think. It's pretty awesome it's in the middle of the country and the town is tiny. Just a couple streets for the downtown area. There are a lot of houses around it though. So we drove around for a while trying to get acquainted with the area and then we were told by the previous missionaries to go to a place called Twisted Basil. (oh, just in case you were wondering we were both new to the area and had no idea where anything was or what was going on. but the two missionaries before us left pretty good notes so that was good.) So we show up to this place called Twisted Basil. It's a little hole in the wall Mexican looking place that sells all fresh local organic foods. We were told they would give us free food but we had no idea how that worked so it was really awkward for a while. Luckily the Bishop's daughter was there and recognized us and told us how everything works. It's owned by members and we just put whatever food we want on the "elders account". It's pretty sweet. We go there every Wednesday for dinner. It's not the best food or very much food but its free. I can't complain. haha. Then we went back and unpacked for the rest of the night.

Then Thursday we went to the food bank. We were told we do service there but we didn't know where it was. So it took us a while to find this little warehouse in the back of the city. It was awesome though. We went and collected food from the stores in town and then we helped the ladies there sort it into boxes. It was actually a lot of fun and the ladies there are pretty funny. The best part was that when we left they said we could take whatever food we wanted. Which was awesome! Because it was the end of the month and we had no money left and with both of us being new to the area, we had absolutely no food. So that was awesome! Then we helped this one lady mow her lawn. We didn't know she wasn't a member though till the end. So that was kind of fun. But we got eaten alive by mosquitoes! It was ridiculous! I couldn't believe how many of them were there!

Thursday night the assistants called and wanted to talk to Elder Mott. They didn't sound too happy. Turns out they had found out that Eder Mott and his companion while they had been serving downtown had gone to the Stampede and went to a concert. Which we are not allowed to do... so they weren't too happy about that so they said he was going to have to have an interview with president. So that was kind of sad/crazy. It wasn't a very happy night. Then Friday we woke up and went and did some service at this place called Compassion Africa where they collect clothes and sporting equipment and ship it to Africa and then we had a couple of our investigators we stopped by and said hi to and introduced ourselves and then we had dinner with a family that we decided we would walk to and on our way there was this huge black as black cloud coming towards us and then a guy in a news van pulled over and told us to find shelter because there was a tornado warning for Cochrane. That freaking scared us so we booked it to our dinner and they were watching the news and Elder Mott was freaking out thinking he was going to die but turns out the storm went right by us. It was still sunny the whole time. Kind of anticlimactic if you ask me. haha. But we had a really good dinner with them and then we started back home. But then we got a call from the AP's again saying that Elder Mott was going to get special transferred down to Lethbridge and I was going to get a new companion. He was going to leave Sunday night and I'd get my new comp Tuesday and stay with the zone leaders till he came. That was really sad. I freaking love Elder Mott. He was awesome!

Saturday we did some service at the thrift store here called Cochrane Home Treasures. That was actually a lot of fun. We helped them move a lot of furniture around that they kept getting in throughout the day and we were testing all of the electronic things and making sure they all worked before we sold them. It was actually a lot of fun and the people there were awesome too! It's sweet though. There is so much service opportunity here. We are going to be doing a lot of service here I can tell. It's going to be a lot of fun. Then we had a member that came in and asked us if we had a dinner and then invited us over. That was awesome. We had a really good dinner there! Then we headed back to Rockyview to go see Heather Halstead get baptized! That was awesome! It went really well and the best part was seeing her dad give her a big hug after she was baptized. He was the non member who wasn't too excited that she was going to be baptized. So hopefully that softened his heart a little bit. It was a great day though. It was awesome to see that go through and I was able to see people from that ward again too. Most of them didn't now I had left though because I only left like three days earlier. So that was funny.

Sunday we went to church and that was awesome! This ward is amazing! We had like four people come up to us and tell us they wanted to have us over for dinner and they wanted to invite a friend for us to teach as well. It was pretty amazing! Elder Mott wasn't too excited though because he knew he was leaving in a couple of hours. Then we went home and packed up Elder Mott and took him to the Stake Center where we met the AP's and they went and took him to Lethbridge. That was really sad. I was only with him for four days but I loved him. He was awesome! Then I went with the zone leaders. I was not too excited about that. I was with them till Tuesday. They were actually pretty fun though. Elders Bradley and Clarke. We had a lot of fun together and we were able to have some pretty good lessons. Then Tuesday I was supposed to get Elder Grace, my new companion at four thirty, but the AP's said they wouldn't be there till 730 so we went to a couple more lessons. Then we went and picked him up. He seems like a pretty cool guy. Kind of quiet though. But I think things are going to go really well this transfer. We are getting along pretty well though considering we've only been together for 15 hours or so now... haha.

I was really mad at the AP's though. Turns out for some reason my phone didn't work when I was with the zone leaders and there was someone who had signed up for dinner on Tuesday and were expecting us there at around six. But we didn't get into town around 8.... so that didn't work out so well. When we got into town we had five voicemail's from them saying how they expected us to be there and they were inviting a less active family and then that they were coming to pick us up and then that that they were at our house waiting for us.... so that was sad. Then when we called them back to apologize they forgave us but I get the feeling that it will take a while for us to gain their trust back. So that sucks. Those darn AP's ruin everything!

That's pretty much my week though. It was absolutely crazy.... so much happened. Even more stuff then I even put into this email. It was insane! This is really long though so I'll end it. Thanks for everything guys! I'll let you know how things are going next week!

Elder Townsend

Saying goodbye to the Woodruffs

Welcome to Cochrane!Tornado warningGoodbye Elder Mott... :'(