Tuesday, January 25, 2011

January 25, 2011

Hello everyone! How is it going? It's going pretty good here. We actually had a pretty good week. We set a goal of having eight new investigators this transfer and having at least three of those with a baptismal date and up until Saturday not much was happening to help us in that goal. But on Saturday afternoon we didn't have much to do so we decided we would go out to the little town of Coleman and see if we could stop by some part members or such out there. We don't get the chance to get out there too often. But we went out there and stopped by some people. Nobody was home and we tracted a little bit. Nobody was interested. We did get one older guy to talk to us for a while at his door. But in the end he said he wasn't interested at all. He was nice though. I enjoyed talking to him. Then we tried stopping by another part member family. Nobody was home so we started back to the car. But as we were walking down their steps a lady pulled up in her car with her 9 month old son. Her name is Danyelle and her son is Destin. We ended up talking to her for a while and we asked if there was a time we could come back and so we set up a time for Sunday at 2:30. So Sunday we went to the Crows Nest Pass branch that we also cover because Brome, who got baptized last week, was getting the priesthood out there. (that's where his girlfriends family is and her dad is the Branch Pres and he did the ordination. That is also the branch that has Coleman in it. So after the ordination we got one of the members from there to come with us out to Danyelle's house and teach her. That went really well. She was really receptive and seemed very interested and then at the end I asked her to be baptized and the conversation went a little something like this, "...we are holding a baptismal service on Feb 19th will you prepare yourself for that date?" "Does it matter if I have already been baptized?" "...like into our church?" "yea" "um... yes. Well, I guess we can skip that step... I don't really know what to do now... this hasn't ever happened to me before..." haha so apparently her grandma took her to church in BC when she was little. And when she told her mom Saturday night that we had stopped over and were coming back her mom asked her if she told us that she was baptized and she was all... no... I didn't know I was. Apparently she got baptized when she was really little. I'm a little hesitant about that though because she doesn't remember it at all. She didn't know anything about Joseph Smith or prophets or anything. So we got her name and birth date and the branch clerk is trying to find her records. We are going back on Friday though. So either way it's someone to teach! haha.

Also on Sunday we went to the first two hours of Pincher Creek ward before we went to the pass and Bro Westrup has been bringing a friend to church. This was his second week there. He was in gospel essentials which we were teaching and we taught about the Holy Ghost and it went well and we asked him to be baptized and!!!... he said no... but he did say we could come by and teach him sometime but we didn't get an exact appointment. He said to make it through Bro Westrup. So we are trying to do that. Also we got a referral from the Kirtland Historic visitors center and we contacted him and he said he wanted to learn more but his girlfriend wasn't interested at all so he would call us with a time we could go by when he was home but his girlfriend isn't. He also lives in the middle of nowhere. In a little town called Frank. Where a big rock slide happened a long time ago and covered most of Frank so now it's a really small town. haha. I'm excited though. That's a lot of good happening. I can't wait to see how it all pans out.

The rest of the week was alright. Nothing too exciting. We had interviews with President Archibald on Wednesday and that took pretty much all day. It was up in Raymond which is a two hour drive for us and then we had interviews and training from the assistants and the zone leaders and Sis Archibald talked to each of us for a while and then we drove home. By the time we got back it was like 7:30. We did stop in Lethbridge for dinner with our district at Five Guys Burgers and Fries, which is actually pretty good.

That is pretty much our week though. It was a lot of fun and a lot of good things happening. I can't wait to tell you guys all about the ending of these stories! I hope I am here for them. Thanks for everything! I love you all!

Elder Townsend

World's most photographed tree...

World's smallest chapel

There are only four rows of those pews

Good old Pincher :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January 19, 2011

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great week! I had a pretty good one here. Well for being in Pincher Creek it was a pretty good one. We didn't get too many lessons. People in this ward are hard to nail down for a set time for a lesson. They are usually alright with us stopping by and letting us teach them in the evenings. So we were able to get a lot of those which was good. That means a lot of our mornings and afternoons are pretty empty. And there isn't too much service that we have found to do here. So we do a lot of stopping by older people in the ward or stopping by potential and former investigators and when it comes down to it... tracting... yea... haha. It's not too bad though. We aren't supposed to do it too much here. A lady got mad at the missionaries a while ago and wrote a big thing about it in the newspaper and the town got all mad. Apparently the missionaries were being too overbearing. But the Bishop has said he doesn't want us doing that much for a while. Which is pretty understandable. But it doesn't leave us with much to do in the daytime.

Thursday was good. We had a lesson with our investigator who was getting baptized. He finally came into town and I met him for the first time. He is actually pretty cool and seems like a pretty solid investigator. We just went over a couple of things like making sure he's still obeying the word of wisdom and law of chastity and things and went over the baptismal interview questions. He seemed like he was pretty good still. So we had the baptismal interview the next night. Our district leader, Elder Grace, came and had the interview. That went really well. He was only with him for like five minutes but he said he passed. So that was awesome. Grace said he didn't have very long answers but his answers were great. So that's cool. Then Saturday morning we went and filled the font. The font here is weird. You just lift the floor in the primary room and it's under the floor. Then we had the baptism at one. That whole thing was just ridiculous. Elder LaFond said they had everything planned out so I didn't have to worry about anything. When we got there, nobody was conducting the meeting, nobody could play the piano, nobody was asked to give prayers, nobody was asked to be witnesses. We didn't have anything to do while they were getting changed. So it was kind of just thrown together at the last minute. I conducted. There was a member of the bishopric to preside, which was good. And as for the prayers I just asked two of the missionaries that were there to say them as I was saying it. So they were volun-told. And we just sang acapella and we sang some more while they were changing. But hey, it happened. And that's all that matters right? He will be a good member. Then Sunday came and Presidnet Hummell (from the branch we also cover) was supposed to be there to confirm him (he also baptized him) but he woke up sick and couldn't make it so they asked LaFond to do it when we walked into church and he was freaking out. He did a good job though. So that was pretty exciting. Pretty much the most ridiculous baptism I have ever been a part of. It was exciting though. And I'm going to make sure it never happens again while I am around. haha.

Then Pday was pretty fun. We got together with the zone, the one time a month we can. And thought we were going to be playing basketball. We ended up not though. We thought the young men from Raymond were going to come play with us but the missionaries in Raymond, Reese and Dodge, didn't call anyone even though they said they would. They didn't even show up themselves. So we kind of just played games. Farkle and Catan and they played magic (this weird card game that is like pokemon and dungeons and dragons mixed... something I will never play! haha)

That's pretty much our week though. Nothing too exciting. Just another week in good old Pincher Creek. hey... that rhymed! (I don't know how to spell that...) Thanks for everything guys! I hope all is going well with you all! I love you all!

Elder Townsend

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 11, 2011

Devin's letters will be coming on Tues while he is in this area. He said the little library in Pincher Creek is closed on Mondays. I also told him about how the town was named because some prospectors lost their pincer (a tool to trim horse feet) which was a valuable tool to them and someone found it later rusting in the creek. He said he had heard that but didn't believe it. Devin didn't mention it but it also said there were lots of wind farm development in the area.

Hello from Pincher Creek, the windiest city in North America! And guess what we do every Pday... we fly kites! OK. not really. That would be funny though... maybe I should get a kite. We had a pretty good week here. It was interesting. Tuesday morning me and Elder Newman woke up and drove to Lethbridge and from there I put my stuff into my new zone leaders truck, Elders Booth and Bradley. (remember Elder Bradley? He was my zone leader in West Calgary for a while. I love him!) and Elder Winder was in the truck as well (my comp I had for like a week and a half before he went home. He's back out! Has been for a little bit actually.) We also had Elder Carmack who was a Mandarin speaking but then last transfer president just said... I think you need to go English. So he did. He seems kind of weird. But the five of us drove to Fort MacLeod where I met up with Elder Lafond and then we came to Pincher Creek. The tiny town of 3500 people. There is a whole ward here though! We cover Brockett (a native reserve) and the Crows Nest Pass branch. So it's an alright area. Not much going on at all. We have three native investigators who aren't really going anywhere and then we have a guy named Brome who is getting baptized on Saturday. He isn't coming back into town until Thursday though so I haven't even met him yet. It seems a little sketchy to me but the missionaries think he's ready and he wants to be baptized so there is nothing holding us back! Even though it seemed like everyone in PEC on Sunday was a little hesitant on us baptizing people. Which is understandable because their last three converts are less active already. sad...

Well, there really isn't much to say about this area. We don't get very many lessons. This ward is really small and it's pretty hard to get in to teach people. There were only 50 people at church on Sunday. They say there is usually 100, but it's been snowing pretty good ever since I got here so they say that kept a lot of people from coming. And as for it being the windiest city in north America... I can believe it. It's pretty bad here. The wind is blowing all the time! Unless it's snowing. And then when it stops the wind blows it around and makes HUGE snow drifts. It's pretty exciting actually.

Me and Elder Lafond are doing pretty well together. I guess it's only been a week, but so far so good. Sometimes he is really weird and it just gets awkward, but I guess that's not too bad. He has an amazing impression of President Archibald and President Monson. It's kind of creepy actually. Sometimes President Monson wakes me up in the morning or President Archibald says our companionship prayers. haha.

But we are having a lot of fun. It's a good area. I'm looking forward to seeing what kinds of things I can do here and who I can help while I am here. It seems like we have a pretty good ward. Small but good members. So I think I am going to enjoy it here. I hope I don't stay too long though. Being in this tiny town for 6 months might drive me insane! haha.

Thanks for everything! I love you all and miss you all! Thanks for the support!

Elder Townsend

The Cervo family. Minus two kids who were sleeping.

Newman, me, Moore, Stevens

Pincher Creek chapel

Shoveling huge drifts off of driveways.... yippee....

Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3, 2011

Welp... I'm moving again. Apparently President is just having fun moving me around a lot. I'm getting transferred to Pincher Creek. It's a random little town in southern Alberta. My new companion is going to be Elder Lafond. He was in my district when I was in South Calgary for the first time. so I know him pretty well. he seems really weird but I think that we are going to have a lot of fun together. I still cant believe I am moving though. I just got here to Medicine Hat five weeks ago. I just started to get to know people here and like it here. I am really sad to be leaving Elder Newman. We have had a lot of fun together and we were really helping each other to become better missionaries. We didn't think it was ever a possibility for either of us to leave this transfer. I had just gotten here and Elder Newman came one transfer before me, but I guess it was supposed to happen. Whatever there is to do in Pincher Creek I am looking forward to doing. It's just sad to be leaving here now. We had just barely started getting people to listen to us. We have been working with some formers and a lot of less actives and they were just barely starting to get somewhere. So hopefully Elder Newman and Elder Bass can continue to help them. I was only here for five weeks. It makes me wonder what I did in these five weeks that was the reason that I was here....

Anyway, we had a great week this week. We had a lot of fun. We had a whole lot of lessons, which was good. A lot with members. We had a lot of seven day challenges because we have been trying to find new people to teach. Everyone we have been teaching has been leaving or we've been dropping them. Even Travis, the kid we were trying to help quit smoking, just up and moved to Fort Mc Murray. Who does that? So me and Elder Newman have been working our butts off trying to find new people to teach. We have been trying to find through our members and we were even tracting an hour a day trying to find people. We went on exchanges with the zone leaders on Friday and I went with Elder Nii in our area. So we went tracting as well, which was good he helped me to do it better. We went to doctor and dentist offices asking them if we could put copies of the book of Mormon in their waiting room. That didn't work out so well. haha. But it was good. We have been working really hard and I feel great about it.

We didn't really find anyone through any of that, but the Lord blessed us in different ways. Especially yesterday. We went to church and one of our former investigators showed up. Her name is Sarah. She is a tall black lady and she even brought one of her sons. Then after sacrament meeting she asked if we could come over that day sometime. So we went over and she was asking us if we could write some reference letters saying that her family was a good family and stuff because her son got in trouble with the law and might be getting taken back to Africa. So we said that the church couldn't officially write one but our ward mission leader, who was with us, said that he and the Bishop could write some just as people that know them. But then we had a really good lesson with them. We basically taught them the first lesson even though we weren't planning on it. It just came out. They both said that they would think about getting baptized and Sarah said she wanted her whole family to learn. She has like seven kids. How sick is that?! Then we went over to the Lilly's house. They are an awesome less active family. They are a younger couple, 23 and 20, and have a kid. But are very less active. They told us that they wanted us to help them in their goal of getting to the temple so we are doing that. We had a great lesson with them. He opened a lot to us and even started talking about scriptures he knew and bore his testimony and stuff. It was great! Especially because he is the main less active there. I think she only is less active because of his influence, but that was sweet! Then we went to Matt Finch. I think I've talked about him before, but he is a less active who wants to come back really bad but thinks that he is just too far off. So we have been helping him a lot. We read Jacob 6 with him and it was sweet. He picked out six different parts of the chapter that applied to him. It was awesome. Oh man, he's coming so far. The worst part is that we had all this great success, but now I am leaving tomorrow. I guess maybe that's why I was here. Just to get those things rolling. But I wanted to be here to see how things played out.

Anyway, can you guys believe that it is 2011? I can't. That seems crazy. I came out on my mission in 2009. I am now done with the year that I am on my mission for the whole thing. It's crazy! I still have a long ways to go. I still have ten months and I am looking forward to those ten months. I am planning on getting as much out of them as I can. Thanks for everything that you guys do for me. I love you so much! I'll talk to you guys next week and let you know how things are going in Pincher Creek! I hope you guys are having a great new year! Love you!

Elder Townsend

Elder Moore and Elder Stevens. I love those guys.

Me and Elder Newman. We bought ourselves some new sunglasses for Christmas. That is also the new jacket that I bought off of him for Christmas.