Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 20, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elder Townsend

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

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 13, 2010

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

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

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

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

Elder Townsend

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

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

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September 7, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elder Townsend

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

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August 30, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elder Townsend

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